Market Research

Chobani: Putting market research to work

Lachlan Malone // September 25, 2019 // 5 min read

“Great brands are built by individuals with purpose, vision, and single-mindedness.”

This was Chobani’s opening maxim at Qualtrics’ Sydney X4, providing powerful insight into the company’s approach to creating a great brand experience.

But what do purpose, vision, and single-mindedness look like in reality?

For Chobani it’s simple – make great products your customers love. This approach has paid massive dividends for Chobani, with the company experiencing a rapid rise since it launched in Australia in 2012. Today, Chobani is Australia’s #1 yogurt brand, and more than 8 in 10 Australians recognize the brand.

There’s no doubt Chobani is leading Australia’s FMCG category through its unwavering commitment to delivering a great product and brand tailored for the country.

Being able to understand the unique needs and preferences of its consumers - through experience data (X-data) captured by the Qualtrics platform - has been a key driver to Chobani’s success.

At X4 Sydney, Chobani outlined the 5 research principles it used to unlock the insights it needs to close experience gaps.

Principle 1: Only ask the question if it leads to actionable outcomes

What will I do with this information? That’s the question every market researcher should ask themselves before launching a study.

Gathering data has become easy in today’s modern research landscape. And because it’s so easy, brands often accumulate data upon data without it correlating to a positive impact within the organization.

The lesson? Data needs to be actionable to be effective.

Principle 2: Address your assumptions from different angles

Do you consider yourself a purely qualitative researcher or purely quantitative researcher?

As business consultant and author Greg McKeown has recently shown, maybe it’s better to be a specialized generalist.

Start with the ‘why’ and then choose your method based on what you want to find out but don’t be limited by it. We all know methodologies have their limitations so rather than fixate on one data touch point, which may feel like you’re pushing a square peg into a round hole, expand your research by looking at things from multiple angles.

Principle 3: Ask the right questions to the right people

If you start and end with your X-data (otherwise known as “why” data) you are laying strong research foundations that will lead to results.

To unlock insights that can have the biggest impact, make sure you are capturing feedback from the people you are targeting. Being able to understand why and how certain people and groups act empowers you to deliver personalized services, products, and experiences that have a big impact, and ultimately drive business performance.

Principle 4: Act fast

Closing the loop in real-time is vital to any modern research program.

The most successful companies don’t simply react to problems – they proactively engage with their research participants and then act on the insights captured to close experience gaps. For example, at Chobani understanding the common reasons for skipping breakfast, or the desire for high protein options and healthy snacks, has helped build entire new product lines.

It won’t come as a surprise to learn acting fast is also received positively by consumers. A recent study revealed 70% of consumers are more likely to become a brand evangelist if their complaints are handled proactively.

As such, make sure that in your research project you make space to plan, prioritize, and execute.

Principle 5: Everybody lies

Bias in research and company culture has been a talking point amongst the world’s leading organizations for years. But how do brands tackle bias in not only hiring but also research?

The good news is today’s modern research platforms can detect bad responses and disengaged users, and provide recommendations on how to resolve the problem. This ensures more accurate research studies that lead to smarter insights and better results.

To succeed in the experience economy, being able to understand the beliefs, emotions, and sentiments of your customers and employees is critical. It requires a modern and efficient approach to research that not only uncovers deep insights into the experiences you require but one that empowers brands to then take action on.

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Lachlan Malone

Lachlan Malone is a contributor to the Qualtrics blog.

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