Direct Selling: Straight to the Source
3. What are customers’ perceptions toward a new branding and catalog creative effort?
A multichannel marketer decided to gauge its customers’ perceptions toward a re-branding effort that included new merchandising as well as catalog creative. A survey went only to elite multibuying catalog and Internet customers. Telephone calls and an e-mail effort were selected as the most efficient and timely methods of researching customers’ perceptions. A minimum of 100 completed calls and 100 e-mail responses was the goal to provide statistical relevance.
In an ideal world, the company might have done a head-to-head test of the old creative design against a new catalog presentation. That option was not pursued because of the cost of producing two versions of the book. The research was conducted about seven to 10 days after the anticipated in-home mail date of the catalog. Since this survey was going to the top, elite multi-buyers, the company was interested in receiving a relative quantitative read on such issues as:
• Did customers recall receiving the catalog?
• Have they had the opportunity to read/review it?
• Did customers recognize that new product categories had been added to the catalog?
• What did customers think of the new product categories?
• Did customers recognize that the design had changed dramatically from previous books?
• What is their impression of the design change? Positive, negative or so-so?
• Did customers recognize the re-branding? What is their impression? Positive, negative or so-so?
• Does the catalog seem approachable or is it too elite?
• What types of offers will motivate best customers to further action?
• Customer demographic infor-mation.
4. What format, size and creative presentation is best served in a new catalog start-up by a retailer?
Several years ago, a national retailer wanted to undertake a major catalog-feasibility study, including financial analyses and five-year projections. With a positive report of the market opportunity, it elected to conduct a series of focus groups to answer a number of questions. The brand image and identity of the store were extremely well-conceived, and the focus group research was viewed as a means of fine-tuning the catalog offering and creative presentation. The focus research was planned for three cities in which the firm had strong store concentration. Two groups of customers were invited to focus group sessions in each city: 1) known repeat-buying store customers in the corporate database who lived within a 10 mile radius of a store; and 2) non-buyers who also lived within a 10 mile radius of a store, fit the demographic profile of good customers but weren’t in the corporate database.