Category and brand research for Lassie

If you type ‘Lassie’ into Google, one of the first automatic search results you will see is the combination ‘Lassie rice’. This is hardly surprising, since Lassie has been the market leader in the rice category in the Netherlands for years.

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Consumer’s eating habits are changing. Think about superfoods for example, the emergence of meal boxes and also pulses as a meat alternative continue to grow. Lassie wants to respond to changing consumer needs and has done so by launching grains alongside its rice products and combining rice and grains with healthy mixes.

Lassie is so much more than rice, and the brand wishes to remain visible and communicate in the right tone, which suits today’s and tomorrow’s consumer.

Research aim: to check Lassie’s brand positioning

In order to grow and to prepare for the future, Lassie began to work with a brand bureau to create a new positioning. And to make sure that this refined positioning is working, Lassie approached Blauw.

Using category and brand research, we are helping them to investigate whether their idea for this new route for the brand is the right direction to take. This type of research is particularly useful in checking whether the new positioning/repositioning of your brand connects with consumer expectations and wishes. A combined study is the ideal approach to this type of question.

In this case, we use community research for exploratory research, followed by qualitative research with focus groups. In doing so, we determine what consumer needs can still be fulfilled and the relevance of Lassie to those needs.

Phase 1: Community research

A community study enables us to explore several themes which teach us about usage and consumer behaviour in general and specifically in relation to the rice, grains and pulses categories.

Community research provides the opportunity for a broad orientation and to hear from several angles what people think about and how they interact with various product categories. By monitoring community members at home, we can get close to their actual behaviour. Other benefits of the community are:

  • Quick start-up and flexible planning and question-setting
  • Qualitative insights based on a reasonably large group
  • Budget-friendly form of research
  • Various research methods (topic, challenge, questionnaire, diary, poll etc.) within one platform.
  • Broad scope for interaction and spontaneous reactions yielding innovative insights
  • Agile working: questionnaires can be adapted to Lassie’s information requirements

The aim of the first research phase is to analyse the current domestic situation.

  • How do people eat now?
  • What place do rice, grains and pulses occupy in eating habits?
  • How do consumers seek inspiration (recipes)?
  • What do they think is important about them?

Phase 2: Focus groups - seeking depth around the brand/positioning issue

The focus groups are then held. In them, the focus is on how people view the Lassie brand and the new positioning is also tested.

The aim of the second research phase is to better understand how people view the Lassie brand. How is Lassie described and with what is it associated? We also test the new positioning and various ideas to support that positioning.

The benefit of this approach is the group dynamic. In the focus group we provide both individual opinions by initial written responses, followed by discussion.

Benefits of focus groups:

  • Efficiency: longer duration with several people in discussion, allowing more topics to be discussed. Ideal for the exploration of a wide topic.
  • Creativity: the group dynamic gives respondents new ideas and stimulates creativity. Ideal for evaluation and refining of concepts.

Phase 3: Reporting - conclusions and final recommendations and opportunities for Lassie

The report, based on findings from the community and the data from the qualitative study, provides Lassie with useful insights into how consumers think and behave and their preferences. We seek opportunities based on what consumers miss or would like to see differently, based on needs and trends. This provides Lassie with clues as to how to develop the optimum marketing mix and to refine or confirm the new positioning.

Following the reporting phase, Lassie, in conjunction with the brand bureau, continued with its brand campaign and positioning.

Are you also working on the (re-)positioning of your brand and do you want to check if you are heading in the right direction?