How can Miele increase market penetration for its new stick vacuum cleaner?

Miele has brought a new stick vacuum cleaner onto the market, aiming to increase its market penetration. But how can Miele do this intelligently? The brand works together with GeoMarktprofiel. GeoMarktprofiel is a specialist in profile information on all households in the Netherlands, and has made its own segmentation based on lifestyle and other features, so-called GeoTypes. The collaboration between Blauw and GeoMarktprofiel helped Blauw to set up a market segment survey that was truly complementary and gave insight into the considerations and needs surrounding the purchase of a stick vacuum cleaner. In that way, we were able to investigate which GeoType Miele could best focus its marketing on. And how did the survey in collaboration with GeoMarktprofiel go? You can read about that in this case study.

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You probably know the name Miele from various types of domestic appliance. Miele also has a stick vacuum cleaner in its range and wanted to bring a remodelled version onto the market. Miele was eager to know, in advance, how its new version could increase its market share and sales. To achieve this, it would have to make some changes to its marketing. But what, exactly? As a client of GeoMarktprofiel, the brand was already the recipient of interesting data on the lifestyle of households in the Netherlands: information which it could, perhaps, use to its advantage.

GeoMarktprofiel and its 14 GeoTypes

Okay. But what are the GeoTypes, exactly? GeoMarktprofiel collects a lot of data on all households in the Netherlands. That data is regularly built up on the basis of current (public) data, such as the BAG (basic address register), Statistics Netherlands and the Land Registry. In addition, GeoMarktprofiel performs on-going market research, with which it obtains an insight into the composition and lifestyle of the population in the Netherlands.

This results in a division of the Netherlands into 14 unique lifestyle segments. So, each GeoType has a unique lifestyle which provides information on purchase behaviour, media use and leisure activities, for example. And also, for instance, their purchase behaviour in relation to domestic appliances. For a brand that makes domestic appliances, this is one way of getting more information on who your customers are and, as a result, you can utilise this in your marketing and increase your market penetration. Miele wanted to supplement the GeoTypes with specific insights on what people look out for when purchasing a stick vacuum cleaner.

How, exactly, did we study how Miele can increase its market penetration?

By carrying out a market segment study, our experts at Blauw can enrich the GeoType segmentation with consumers' needs and considerations where the purchase of a stick vacuum cleaner is concerned.

First of all, we called upon our Blauw Community; this allowed us to talk to consumers. Then, we checked all the answers with a quantitative questionnaire distributed among the general public in the Netherlands.

To begin with, then, we made use of an on-line community. An on-line platform, through which we could converse with consumers. Under what circumstances would these people choose to buy a stick vacuum cleaner (or not)? What would they look out for when purchasing a stick vacuum cleaner, and why are those aspects so important to them?

Brand image of Miele and its competitors

We used an on-line questionnaire to review the answers from a wide-ranging sample group. Accordingly, we distributed an on-line questionnaire. A range of aspects came to the fore in this questionnaire. For example, we began with an Implicit-association Test (IAT). In each case, participants were shown a different word or feature of a brand on the screen; in effect, an association with a brand. Then they were asked whether they thought the association they had applied to Miele and its most significant competitors was appropriate or not. In this way Miele was able to gain an insight into not just its own brand image, but also that of other players in the market.

What does the path to purchase look like for a stick vacuum cleaner?

Then we mapped out the path to purchase for a stick vacuum cleaner. The path that the consumer takes when looking to buy a stick vacuum cleaner. What are the important purchase criteria in that respect? We asked the various GeoTypes why they were or were not thinking of buying a stick vacuum cleaner. And, if they weren't considering the Miele brand, why not? And which vacuum cleaner do they ultimately purchase?

To do this, we also looked at differences between the various GeoTypes. Which households tended most towards purchase of a Miele stick vacuum cleaner? And what is it that those people find important in that respect? What are their purchase criteria?

Identifying the pros and cons of product use

The last question we asked was about the use of a stick vacuum cleaner. What do the GeoTypes use a stick vacuum cleaner for, exactly? In what sort of situation? And why don't they use a 'standard' vacuum cleaner in those conditions? We also asked about the pros and cons of using a stick vacuum cleaner. As a result, Miele got even more insight into the day-to-day life of their target group.

It was particularly valuable for us to work with both Blauw Research and GeoMarktprofiel. We were able to survey the market more efficiently and make choices accordingly. Whereas, under normal circumstances, you look for characteristics of the target group to get a picture of the people you need to focus on, this collaboration meant that we could tailor our questions to the specifics.”
Eva de Boer Customer Insights Marketeer, Miele

What did Miele learn from the market segmentation research?

Our experts analysed all the answers. Then we passed them on to Miele in a clearly structured report. Miele could easily read from this which GeoTypes it could best focus on in its marketing, with a view to increasing its market penetration for the remodelled stick vacuum cleaner. In addition, Miele now has a good idea of the purchase criteria that are important to these households. And don't forget: Miele knows its target group for the stick vacuum cleaner a lot better now, something it'll surely benefit from in future!

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