Nestlé uses Cambri as a concept testing tool to gather consumer insights
In today’s fast-paced consumer goods market, success is dependent on how well a company can listen and adapt to changing consumer needs. For Nestlé Nordics, Cambri is an easy and fast concept testing tool that helps ensure everyday decisions are based on more than just a gut feeling.
During the past years, Nestlé Nordics has been opening up to new ways of innovating and collaborating with consumers. In addition to large-scale consumer research projects, the company has started to try on more agile research methods to test ideas and concepts as they emerge. In the summer of 2021, Nestlé started using Cambri for concept testing in all of their different categories from infant nutrition products to coffee and Nestlé Health Science products. Now they use it to complement other types of consumer research such as focus groups, agile consumer tests, or market research. “We use Cambri for example to quantify the results we get from a focus group, to test packaging designs, to identify how a product would best be introduced to the market, and much more”, says Julia Neergaard Laursen, Innovation Projects Lead at Nestlé Nordics.
Using Cambri has also changed team dynamics and empowered more brand managers to execute tests on their own, says Consumer Marketing Insights Specialist Audrey Dupire. “As a consumer insight specialist, I like to be involved in designing the research questions but the brand managers can then run the tests and interpret the results on their own. I can be the expert who challenges their thoughts and helps to make sure that they get the insights they need with the tool they use.”
Dupire and Neergaard Laursen refer to Cambri as a concept testing tool that allows the company to conduct rapid market research and stay relevant in the fast-paced consumer goods market. As new competitors and startups are entering the market, innovation requires more focus and effort. However, expensive and lengthy consumer research does not help to solve the day-to-day innovation challenges. This is why Neergaard Laursen feels that tools like Cambri help fill a gap in consumer research.
“We often have to make fast decisions between two product concepts or designs. Before we would rely more on our expertise or gut feeling but this do-it-yourself type of testing changes the game and allows us to get data to support our decisions,” Neergaard Laursen says.
Recently, Nestlé Nordics used concept testing for their upcoming Zoégas Espresso for 2022. Two concepts were tested against one another and against the existing competition on parameters such as willingness to buy, uniqueness, attractiveness, and the preferred choice. Also, retail visibility was tested to see how attractive the proposed designs were on a market shelf compared to competitive products. The designs were also tested with heat maps to identify which design appealed to the respondents. Finally, the test also included communication targets to see what thoughts and emotions were evoked by the design. “We got a clear result for the final preferred choice of design, which paved the way forward,” Neergaard Laursen explains.
Insight and research experts are internal consultants that help brand managers make the most out of consumer insights
Years ago, the company adapted its team structure to ensure brand managers have all the support they need. Neergaard Laursen and Dupire both work in Nestlés “service” teams – teams with skills that other teams can make use of in different phases of their projects. They refer to themselves as internal consultants who can bring a specialist mindset to the table whenever needed. “This consultancy position allows us to transfer inspiration and learnings from one category to another”, Dupire says.
When Dupire and Neergaard Laursen are not helping brand and category managers, they focus on developing their know-how and expertise on a larger or even futuristic scale. This means for example spending time on building new ways of testing, finding new inspiration, conducting bigger market research projects to gather insight. “We do need to gather insights in many different ways because the different testing methods all have their limitations. If we use Cambri and test an idea with 200 people, it’s still only 200 people. This gives us an indication but not the whole truth. However, sometimes indication is exactly what we need to make a decision”, Neergaard Laursen states.
Dupire adds that easy-to-use concept testing tools can also work as a way to educate people internally about consumer research and increase awareness about how important it is to always have some data to rely on when making small and big business decisions. “We have noticed that brand managers are at ease with using Cambri because the results are so easy to interpret. This allows them to learn directly from the consumers and brings them closer to their reality”, says Dupire.
In an ideal situation, Dupire and Neergaard Laursen would like to see consumer research being used across the organization.
“In a perfect world, everything would be tested and all decisions would be based on consumer data,” Neergaard Laursen says. For now, both of them are happy with the journey that they have embarked on and believe that the more testing the company does, the more consumer insights will be used and the more relevant they will be for consumers now and in the future.