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Junkk RE:tie Market Research Report

Dr. Ann Bicknell, Chartered Psychologist UW Business School

August 2010

With funding support from a voucher provided by

This report is the property of its author and citations from it should be referenced accordingly. The author reserves the right to publish the results of research data anonymously, or outside of this project, or with permission from the client if the product is to be identified.

University of Worcester Business School Henwick Grove Worcester WR2 6AJ
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This research project was completed as a piece of independent and objective market research without any involvement of the client in data collection, analysis or interpretation. “Power in organisations comes from the control of knowledge and …information. Marketing Research therefore equates to power.” Bradley, (2007, p5). It is important to remember that in the collection of this data, consumer awareness has already been activated at a local level, this is itself advertising the product with previous research findings suggesting greater purchase intention in surveyed as compared to un-surveyed consumers (Chandon, Morwitz & Werner, (2005). Market research seeks to generate consumer insight (Evans, Jamal & Foxall, 2009). However, “…much traditional customer research dampens creativity... It makes the assumption that customers have the ability and imagination to envision the future, to know what they will desire tomorrow and to be able to articulate that desire.” Ind & Watt, (2006, p1). The example usually given to illustrate this apparent paradox is the apple iPhone™,. This product could well have „failed‟ in standard focus group research had that been its route to market, from being too innovative compared to what had gone before. And yet, it is hugely successful. It may have appeared „too different‟ from existing mobile phone concepts and it is highly unlikely that a focus group would have developed such a product concept „from scratch‟. As such, one cannot remove the importance of innovation from successful product design any more than one can expect the results of any market, or other kind of research, to accurately predict the future. What market research does function to do is an early stage risk-assessment and is especially useful for product concept development and refinement, rather than for inspiration as such (Bradley, 2007). It can offer different types of intelligence as shown: Market Intelligence Type Defensive Intelligence Description

To avoid surprises, monitor the environment and support any „hunches‟ of what might be happening. An alert of major changes. To provide benchmark data to compare the company‟s own performance and use it to evaluate objectives To identify opportunities that would not otherwise be discovered

Passive Intelligence Offensive Intelligence

The RE:tie is therefore at an appropriate stage in its development for market research feedback at both the defensive and offensive levels discussed by Bradley, (2005). The data in this report additionally offers some forward planning potential with which to conduct passive intelligence monitoring in the future, from these initial benchmark values. Page 2

The objectives of this market research as detailed in the original proposal (see appendices) are to: a) b) Explore customer reactions to the product concept of the RE:tie Compare customer response data from two grocery retailer survey samples The purpose here is therefore to report objective validity evidence which was specifically collected for this product. This data captured potential consumer responses in an unaffected manner in order to allow a „customer appraisal‟ of the RE:tie at this phase in product development. It is entirely up to the client (Junkk) to decide which findings, if any, should be taken forward. To this end, the author is happy to discuss the content of this report following delivery of it.

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Literature Review:
A focused review of relevant literature was carried out to inform the design of the questionnaire and to demonstrate the construct-related validity in this market research. Theoretical foundations add to the reliability of market research as theories and frameworks are under continual examination and review in the academic literature and so have, to varying degrees, been tested to demonstrate their relevance „in the field‟ in terms of predicting human behaviour. The grocery market has been the subject of a great deal of consumer research and is essentially a mature and stable market. Customer panel studies suggest that in mature markets, brand sales do not alter substantively from year to year (East, 2008). In these markets, advantages can therefore be gained from product differentiation features can „interrupt‟ and potentially alter habitual purchase patterns (Belch & Belch, 2009). Adding environmental sustainability and re-cycling attributes to products are one way that differentiation can be achieved – this is known as „cause related‟ marketing (Kotler & Lee, 2008). Such product attributes, if appealing to customers, can illuminate or enlarge its „personality‟ in the mind of the consumer (Zaltman, 2003) and potentially accelerate purchase decision-making (Rajogopal, 2009). This effect has been suggested to function through concepts known as „halo characteristics‟ in social psychology or „nudge factors‟ from a more behavioural-economics approach. These nudge factors operate to facilitate human judgement in a benevolent way, according to Thaler & Sunstein, (2008), such that even “apparently insignificant details can have major effects on people‟s behaviour” (p3). These details help to structure the „decision architecture‟ in the environment around us and if we consider the amount of stimuli competing four our attention in a typical grocery store or supermarket, that could be very helpful to the product on sale as well as to the consumer. A similar effect can also be seen in research into „augmented products‟ (Colgate, 2002). This is the idea that if a product possesses more than one reason to purchase it in terms perhaps of one rational (utilitarian) and one irrational (emotional – by choosing this product I will be doing something positive for the environment), the customer is more likely to choose the augmented product. Whether a „nudge‟ will be successful can depend on a number of factors; the congruence or „authenticity‟ of the attribute compared with the host product (Rajogopal, 2008) or basic appeal. Is it consistent with customer expectations, e.g. of a product which is sustainably manufactured, or a supermarket which advocates a strong environmental sustainability message more than a „no frills, buy one get one free‟ approach? And of course there are other marketing issues around price and perceptions of value that are beyond the scope of this report. Point of sales display is important even in supermarkets as a large proportion of grocery purchase decisions are made at the point of purchase (East, Wright & Vanhuele, 2008). This explains the use of directional sales affinity data e.g. toothpaste and toothbrushes increase the likelihood of buying chewing gum if locally placed, but not the other way around (Bezawada et. al, 2009). In this way we can see that purchasing the additional attribute only occurs if the consumer is potentially on a congruent „psychological journey‟ in the store and is aware of the additional advantages of the purchase. So in the example above, the consumer would be shopping for toothpaste and, being conscientious about their dental hygiene, the hanging packs of chewing gum are able to offer an additional attractive attribute to purchase. However, if the customer was on a date and wanted fresh breath, they would only be thinking about the chewing gum, not their general dental health. The RE:tie is at first glance, a utilitarian device – it serves perhaps a domestic function and reduces waste by re-cycling something that would have been thrown away. As such it is not only a utilitarian product as it has the potential to effect an emotional reaction in the consumer that is consistent with their personal values system. An additional theoretical framework offers Page 4

insights here which maybe useful in product concept development. This is the Four Pleasures Framework (Jordan, 2000). It categorises products in terms of their hedonomic attributes. Hedonomics is concerned with „pleasure in products‟ and is an extension of ergonomics, which is about form and function. Hedonomics accepts that there are other levels at which consumers interact with products as shown below: Physio-pleasure – sensory: visual, touch, taste, auditory, smell, e.g. the tactile and olfactory or auditory properties of products Socio-pleasure – enjoyment from relationships through status and image Psycho-pleasure – cognitive and emotional reactions which facilitate a ‘good feeling’ & reduces stress Ideo-pleasure – moral or personal values e.g. environmentalism, or high level of aesthetic appreciation


2. 3.


One product may not necessarily achieve them all. It is important to identify which level and for whom? Who [exactly] are your targeted customers? Collecting responses to a „new product‟ which can evidence reactions at each of these levels would count as evidence that the consumer is psychologically engaging with a product. In this latter question, demographic variables can play differential roles in grocery purchasing behaviour such as age and gender (McDonald, 1994) as well as a preference for grocery shopping online (Gilbert & Veloutsou, 2005). For now, it is sufficient to consider these variables in terms of their congruence with a product and its target market as more generic marketing issues. There is a possibility that the RE:tie could appeal to elderly or disability customer markets as it removes the need for the peel off tamper proof seal which these groups may find difficult to use. The RE:tie also has a larger grip than the standard tear-off seal for e.g. milk containers, which may be preferred by people with limited mobility in their hands e.g. due to arthritis. Specific research with advocates or members of these groups would be needed to validate this but it will be interesting to observe if any of the spontaneous qualitative data endorses this. For example, if respondents convey an „imagined use‟ which would also constitute data at level 3 in Jordan‟s framework above, perhaps for someone they know such as an elderly relative or even themselves, this would suggest a „behavioural proxy‟ for the potential of the RE:tie to utilise alternative customer education information, perhaps in a product specific manner, for different target markets. Finally it is pertinent to consider a widely researched model in social psychology concerning the interplay between attitudes, intentions and behaviour; The Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1977), which has since been applied to consumer behaviour through the automatic activation of attitudes relating to an object (Fazio, 1990). Taken together, these models indicate the sources of consumer attitudes and the mechanisms through which they operate on consumer behaviour as represented in the following slide:

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Model of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (adapted from Ajzen & Fishbein, 1977)

Attempts to combine attitudes, intentions and behaviours Each of these form ‘weights’ which lead to a prediction estimate for the behaviour E.g. for products that can be re-cycled™

Influences from instore displays & product information


External variables


Attitude to behaviour Outcome Beliefs

Subjective norm Referent Beliefs

Perceived control Control Beliefs

Is there potential for a ‘nudge’ at any of these locations?

The major difficulty in the consumer research area and indeed social psychology more generally, is that correlations between attitudes and behaviour are often assumed when in fact they are inconsistent, as has been discussed in terms of market research using behavioural proxies to indicate purchase intention. Research by these authors in the model, has indicated that when the elements of Attitude to the Behaviour (AB), Subjective Norm (SN) & (Perceived Control (PC) are given „weights‟ which can lead to a prediction estimate for the behaviour, the accuracy of subsequent behavioural prediction range is around 17-39%. It is however, much higher for those who express a purchase intention (PI) when it can increase towards 80%, hence the value of this concept to marketers and market researchers.

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RE:tie Market

Research Methodology

Design: The research is a cross-sectional (one point in time) street shopper survey which is appropriate for the client need (Bradley, 2009). It evaluated adult grocery store customer responses which was consistent with the target market for the intended product, thereby demonstrating ecological validity or relevance of the research to direct product development and roll-out with this consumer segment. The data was explored with reference to academic (peer-reviewed) literature on consumer behaviour and product design. The „interview administered‟ questionnaire (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2009) is a survey method that has a number of advantages for new product scoping; it allows the respondent to interact with the product and to see and hear it „in use‟ (via a short video (less than one minute) of the product in domestic consumer use) as opposed to completing a questionnaire with only a picture of a product. It also reduces the number of spoiled questionnaires and missing data, thereby increasing efficiency. Most importantly, interview administered questionnaires allow for any queries or misunderstandings from the respondent to be clarified by the interviewer, thereby increasing the validity of data, or the extent to which the data measures that which it purports to measure. Ethical Research Practice: Permissions were sought from two supermarket store managers prior to data collection outside these stores; a Poundland which is a lower-priced, Midlands based retailer and a comparison sample was obtained from a higher priced, large chain retailer, whose marketing has a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability issues. Respondents were not pressured to participate and agreed to this whilst in the course of entering or leaving a grocery store. The standard script at the top of the questionnaire was read out to them, Primary Researcher contact details were provided for anyone who requested them (no one did) and the whole demonstration and questionnaire was designed to be completed within five minutes to avoid „survey fatigue‟ (Bryman & Bell, 2009). That a number of respondents were very „candid‟ in their comments (see excerpts in this report and „raw‟ qualitative data in appendices) attests to the open or „honest‟ nature of them and supports the face validity and content validity of the survey tool and data collection strategy. Data Collection: The questionnaire schedule was constructed in such a way as to gather spontaneously produced information from the respondent, rather than to merely „tick a box‟ in front of them. The former reduces the problem of „self generated validity‟ (Chandon, Morwitz & Werner, (2005) which is a common problem in the design of research. That is; the act of measurement inflates the association between attitude and behaviour or, respondents acting to tick boxes or selecting answers from given suggestions, merely because they have been asked to by a researcher, or worse, because they are being incentivised to do so, rather than producing their own responses as the result of genuine, independent thought. The questionnaire contains a mix of quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (verbal comment) data as is appropriate for applied, market research (Sapsford & Jupp, 2006). The quantitative data was submitted to descriptive and inferential statistical analysis as appropriate (mainly nonparametric Chi 2 tests acknowledging the sample size and data level - categories). Where statistical significance is reported this is taken at the p<0.05 level or higher. This means that there is a probability of 5% or less that the results were obtained as a result of chance alone, rather than being the result of an „effect‟ that is worth taking notice of. This is the accepted level of significance or „importance‟ in the social sciences. A simple „template‟ or „thematic‟ analysis was conducted with the qualitative data to produce groups of themes within respondent comments (Cassell & Simon, 1994 ; Seale, 1999). This qualitative data does not indicate quantity but rather explanation of the quantitative data. Collecting two data types allows for Page 7

„triangulation‟ which refers to both data sources offering consistent findings, thus increasing the reliability of the findings, or the extent to which we would expect to repeat these findings, were the research to be repeated. Sampling: A target sample of 100 randomly approached shoppers was the initial goal, which is accepted to be statistically meaningful in the social sciences (Bryman & Bell, 2009). In light of the decision not to run a focus group due to lack of sufficient product prototypes, the sample size was increased to aim for 100 from each of the retailers. The completion rate after 18 hours of data collection was 69% (n=137) completed questionnaires split as a comparable 68/69 between the two stores. This retains statistical meaningfulness allowing for robust interrogation of data and is considered a „good‟ return rate (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2010).

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Survey Results & Interpretation:
Demographics of the sample: The two researchers collected data for 18 hours over 4 days. They were instructed to ascribe ages and gender to respondents rather than ask them as some people can find this off-putting and the ranges are broad enough to remain valid as follows:
Age range Cumulative Percent 23.5 40.4 69.1 100.0

Frequency Valid under 25 26-35 36-45 46 and over Total 32 23 39 42 137

Percent 23.4 16.8 28.5 30.7 100.0

A notable point is that 60% of the sample are 36 and over, with the smallest category being 25 and under at 24%. This could be said to approximate a „typical‟ sample of grocery store customers and therefore support the reliability of the study for this market segment. Overall, females formed the larger part of the sample at 58% n=80 compared with 41% n= 56 males. Given that in a qualitative question, wife, girlfriend and mother were also reported as doing more of the grocery shopping than husband, boyfriend or dad, and in both stores, it can be taken that most groceries continue to be purchased in these stores by females. There was a statistically significant (Chi 2) association between gender and store, with the largest difference being between the number of females than males who were shopping at the „higher end‟ grocery store. On this basis, it may be pertinent to consider whether gender is a factor in other consumer behaviour patterns in this research and later in the product life-cycle, in terms of considering „point of sale‟ product information. Product Questions: The remaining data is interpreted alongside relevant theoretical models and frameworks introduced earlier, attesting to the criterion related validity (consistency with existing academic knowledge) of this piece of market research and allowing for a comparison of the potential for the RE:tie alongside existing knowledge about consumer psychology and successful product design. Is it ‘new’? A statistically significant difference (Chi 2) was observed between the number of respondents reporting that they had not seen anything like this before (n=126) compared to those who reported that they had, attesting to an innovative quality. Further, significantly higher numbers of respondents reported that they would use the RE:tie as shown in the video (n=73) or 53% of the sample, with a further (n=29) or an additional 21% indicating „maybe or possibly‟ they would use it. This makes a total of (n=102) or 74% of the sample indicating a „pro-use‟ attitude. Further, (n=90) or 66% of the sample indicated that they knew someone who they could recommend it to. Taken together, these findings supply some evidence for the validity of the product concept as fit-for-purpose in terms of a representative sample grocery store customers and the products they purchase. When asked what they thought of the RE:tie, the following Page 9

qualitative data from the majority of respondents demonstrates a selection of spontaneously produced positive comments:

Good idea, potentially useful, reducing waste is always good, good if you will use it, inventive, eco-friendly, good for easy opening, similar to cable tie, nice addition to bottle, creative, innovative, multi-use, good if able [to use it].

Negative comments were from n=35 respondents or 26% of the sample who said they would not use it. This is not an insignificant portion of the sample, but the product is not expected to appeal to everyone. Comments included the following: Pointless, solving an issue which isn‟t there, maybe hard for old or disabled, solving a problem that isn‟t there, niche market, waste of time, crap.

Is it useful to consumers? When asked, most respondents who said they would use it, could think of at least one use for the product with only n=26 not reporting any. Uses included: tying bin or rubbish bags (this was shown in the video), tying freezer bags, cable ties, holding newspapers rolled, DIY, arts and craft pursuits, music equipment, keeping bread fresh and children‟s lunches. A large number of respondents acknowledged that it would be good for the manufacturer to „suggest‟ other uses with a label on the product. Is it helpful to the ‘host’ product or brand using it? In terms of it‟s power as a „halo characteristic‟ for the host product which is the primary purchase e.g. milk and for which the RE:tie may function as a „nudge‟ in consumer decision making, respondents were asked what a product like the RE:tie „says to the consumer‟ about the product which is carrying it? There was a clear majority of responses which included „environmentally friendly, eco-aware, green, re-cycling, re-usable‟ themes. This is encouraging as it is in line with the reducing waste motives for designing the product. Other themes included „caring for consumer, consumer aware, considering potentially elderly or disability consumers‟. Does it offer ‘pleasure in a product’? The above findings are encouraging as they relate to a number of levels of the hedonomics „pleasures in products‟ framework where consumers have „pleasurable responses‟ at more than functional or utilitarian levels. Typically, they move from a sensory response (feel and texture), to a social response (e.g. imagining the product in use for someone they know); next to a psychological level (where they imagine using the product themselves for a particular purpose) and finally to an ideological level (where they feel „good‟ about supporting moral or ideological values in re-use). From this, albeit modest sample, it would appear that the RE:tie starts from the „top down‟ in this framework and manages to meet two levels (psychological and ideological pleasure) consistently well, with the other two levels (sensory and social pleasure) to am lesser extent. This is what would be expected for a product which has been designed primarily with recycling motives through providing another use for an item that would otherwise be waste. It is not normally expected that any one product should meet all of the „pleasure‟ levels and the RE:tie appears to perform rather well in this respect. Examples of qualitative data at each of the „Four Pleasure‟ levels are shown below:

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Physio-pleasure – sensory: visual, touch, taste, auditory, smell, e.g. the tactile and olfactory or auditory properties of products It doesn't look like a cable tie, they are flat on one side and may not work ins ame way State that it is re-usable Prototype does not seem very secure Improve prototype, stronger, more grip, wider. Need to explain reasons for product Hole [on prototype] too big, could have text saying re-use and re-cycle Make it attractive


Socio-pleasure – enjoyment from relationships through status and image Benefitting people who struggle opening normal bottles Conscious of disabilities Conscious of environmental [issues] and the elderly Will be successful with families


Psycho-pleasure – cognitive and emotional reactions which facilitate a ‘good feeling’ & reduces stress About the product: Making life easier Multi-use Consumer conscious Consumer friendly Nice freebie Multi-use inventive Creative [plus data on uses for product suggested by sample referred to above] About the company: Entrepreneurial Innovative company


Ideo-pleasure – moral or personal values e.g. environmentalism, or high level of aesthetic appreciation Caring Environmentally friendly Reducing waste always good Caring, environment conscious Conscious of up to date issues Want all product parts to be used Green product, re-cyclable Environmentally friendly, trying to re-cycle Encourages re-using then re-cycling Want to plan for the future

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Can the RE:tie potentially increase sales of the ‘host product’? In terms of this as evidence for the „nudge‟ effect of the RE:tie, respondents indicated that if there were two products on a shelf and one had this RE:tie on it, significantly more (at least n=93) of them would choose that product over the other one with it. This is called „purchase intention‟ and is a commonly measured behavioural „proxy‟ in consumer research in the absence of actual sales data. We cannot measure these as the product is in development and may never be „on sale‟ as such. In this way we can begin to see the RE:tie potentially acting to „facilitate consumer decision making‟ and previous consumer research has suggested that the faster a consumer is able to make a decision when faced with competing choices, the better they „feel‟ about the decision. This reduces „cognitive dissonance‟ or unpleasant or confusing feelings about which product to purchase. What specific marketing strategies does purchase of products with the RE:tie on suggest? For low involvement products (typically low cost or repeat purchases), other factors act to moderate this relationship between product and consumer purchase behaviour as shown in the coloured slide in the literature review referring to the work of Ajzen & Fishbein, (1975) and Fazio, (1990), in particular: 1. which products or brands have been bought by family/parents and or significant peer groups and are the „subjective norm‟, or 2. which products or brands are motivated by „outcome beliefs‟ (what customers believe the product will do for them), or 3. which products or brands are purchased with „control beliefs‟ (the belief that you are capable of making an informed and „good decision‟ about product choice in this case This is referring to a well researched theory of human decision making. Thinking about the RE:tie, applying this framework has a number of potential outcomes: 1. Targeting „big brands‟ of groceries that are widely and repeatedly purchased would achieve status as part of the subjective norm. Additionally, targeting products in „green consumer markets‟ would appeal to the accepted „subjective norm‟ of environmentalism. This would also be consistent with ideas of product congruence for the RE:tie. 2. Demonstrating uses for the product, perhaps on a small leaflet attached to the RE:tie would allow the potential customer to „imagine themselves using‟ the product e.g. having a tidy rubbish bin, neatly stored garden canes, improving storage of hobby items and cables or well tied tomato plants and create facilitative outcome beliefs. 3. Targeting „niche market‟ product for users such as hobbyists, DIY-ers or hardware product users, who are more likely to be „experienced purchasers‟ of those items e.g. plant food etc. are conceptualised as consumers with with high Perceived Control beliefs about that area of their lives (Fazio, 1990). Targeting „niche markets‟ may additionally offer potential access of the RE:tie to primarily online markets e.g. specialist technology or hobbyist items for whom the „augmentation‟ of the RE:tie on the host product would be expected to appeal as its use creates an additional meaningful „nudge‟ in their consumer decision-making.

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Would consumers be prepared to pay more for the RE:tie? Perceptions of cost-value are on a sliding scale and in some cases, consumers will expect to pay more for an „augmented product‟ than its un-augmented competitor e.g. cholesterol reducing margarines are typically double the price of ordinary margarine. Thinking about the RE:tie, discriminations and differentiation will probably be closely linked with the concepts just discussed (the congruence and affinity of the product to the RE:tie augmentation solution offered, as well as the involvement status of the host product – is it expensive or something which customers invest „research‟ prior to purchase? Or, is it a habitual, low involvement or lowcost purchase? Even habitual purchases can e powerful e.g. supermarkets use milk as a „destination item‟ In this research these concepts were evaluated on the basis of the host product being a carton of milk. Unsurprisingly, whilst one or two respondents indicated they would pay e.g. 25p for the product with the RE:tie, it would be invalid to conclude that anything other than a clear and significant majority were keen to see it as costing nothing more or only „two or three pennies‟ on top of the cost of the host product. That the average was 2p suggests that respondents did however attribute the RE:tie with some „value‟. Were these grocery consumers shopping ‘green’? There were no significant differences either between the numbers of respondents reporting that they buy particular groceries because they were environmentally friendly (an almost equal split between those reporting yes or no). Nor were there any significant associations here with gender and re-usable or environmentally friendly product purchases. The „half‟ of this sample who said they did make particular purchases for this reason mostly referenced use of a milkman for re-use of bottles, refilling packets e.g. coffee and washing powder and being mindful of reducing packaging e.g. by purchasing loose fruit and vegetables. Perhaps surprisingly, there was no significant association between those reporting specific environmentally motivated grocery purchasing behaviours and store type. In other words, this was a random sample and not an especially „green‟ one. Does the RE:tie have a potential elderly or disability market? Again, comparably equal numbers of respondents either had or did not have someone in their family who was either elderly or disabled who might benefit from the reportedly „easier to use‟ tag to open the RE:tie (use of the RE:tie removes the need for the plastic, tamper-proof, peel-off seal on liquids). Looking at it another way, approximately half of the sample did suggest an elderly relative, disabled e.g. arthritic member of the family or even children, who they thought may prefer the use of the RE:tie to the plastic seal alternative (see raw data in appendices).

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What advice would consumers give to the small business of the RE:tie? Putting respondents in something of a „position of power‟ where they are „giving advice‟ can often facilitate more candid and useful insights relating to the potential customer perspective. It therefore functions as „defensive intelligence‟ to avoid surprises and to support any „hunches‟ about what might be happening with consumer demand (Bradley, 2009). Here, spontaneously produced comments in the main were positive, if brief. Examples of the main themes are show below and the first one in particular is quite telling in terms of assessing potential consumer‟s appraisal of the RE:tie device – they are asking for education about it:

Suggest extra uses on the RE:tie: Provide lots of ideas as there are only so many cable ties I need Need to advertise uses Advertise uses and re-cycling Need to explain reason for product Make improvements identifiable, target green market, larger than elderly. Good idea, really need to sell it and explain ways to use it Identify advantages Could put slogans on the tie, e.g. "tie me round your bin bag" The uses need to be everyday and not simply one off, such as tying cables as people will end up with many of these ties. Target specific markets: Target older people Aim at children and elderly Target the young Good for elderly, go for it. Target successful family [markets] Target elderly vitamin bottles. Needs a lot of promotion. Target specific brands: Target somewhere like [high end supermarket] where they care about the environment Should be put with a major brand to improve their products' packaging Aim commercially, aim at one brand. Price: Needs to remain competitive with regular products Price competitively Consider if this is financially viable?

These suggestions present a number of strategies to consider, relating to the analysis in general. Some of these maybe mutually exclusive, for example, a brand such as „Innocent™‟ may find a product like the RE:tie attractive as it is congruent with their brand and product values. However, a big brand may want exclusivity. A „destination shopping item‟ such as milk, may be targeted through the makers of the cartons‟, but ultimately its application may only be on selected brands as a „product differentiator‟. In this case and to create a „brand‟ for the RE:tie itself, perhaps it should be in a distinctive colour that consumers would come to recognise across the selected brands that came to host it. Differentiation in what we should remember are competitive and very stable markets such as grocery purchase (East, et. Al, 2008) in this case, maybe very valuable.

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Looking further at a selection of the less positive comments, this encourages reflection for product development: Constructive critique comments: Needs to be stronger, bigger, more grip, more uses. Make attractive. Don't bother, more useful ideas could be thought of. Find another idea. Don't think people would bother to save the ties Feel its fixing a problem which doesn‟t need to be fixed. People will just throw it away. Not suitable for arthritic as still small grip Needs to be stronger, more grip needed for people with arthritis Prototype does not seem secure Prototype not very tight and firm grip

As has been acknowledged, no single product is expected to have a universal appeal. Clearly, consumers need to „be convinced‟ that the product or its augmentation will be successful at what it claims to do e.g. to function as a re-usable cable tie. Here, some concerns were communicated about the strength and suitability of the prototype. The prototype used in the market research was engineered for the research, not as a product and was only meant to confer the idea behind the product to potential consumers. It was not formally manufactured for purpose. Additionally, for some consumers, the idea of the RE:tie knocked at their „threshold of indignation‟ and produced a candidly negative reaction, as they could not see a viable use for it. In such cases, a prudent first step in introducing a product to the market would be to „preach to the converted‟ elements of consumers on the grounds of product use or value congruence, rather than to attempt a „mass conversion‟. It is however, worth considering such comments rather than simply dismissing them as minority feedback. This reaction may indicate a gap in the „psychological journey‟ of the product‟s usecycle; it is less likely that consumers who purchase a product with the RE:tie on it for consumption outside the home (e.g. buying and drinking a bottle of smoothie for lunch) will take an extra step of retaining the RE:tie on their person, taking it home and re-using it as instructed. It is more likely that this link and therefore perceived additional benefit, will be activated on products which are likely to be consumed in the home or domestic environment close to where the re-use will occur. Finally, it is always good practice to include an open question to collect any other comments from respondents (Denscombe, 2003). This gives them a „good experience‟ of being involved in research and ensures they leave having felt adequately „listened to‟. The few who made additional comments added nothing new to data gathered in previous sections of the questionnaire, again, supporting its content validity and comprehensive but efficient construction.

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To re-iterate: It is entirely up to the client (Junkk) to decide which findings, if any, should be taken forward. To this end, the author is happy to discuss the content of this report following delivery of it. Capitalise on the significant respondent finding of „newness‟ of this re-cyclable „cable tie‟ product concept in marketing materials Ensure that potential uses are suggested to the consumer either at point of sale in the store or using a „neck tie‟ label at initial uptake on the product with images of different uses – this is a consistent finding from data in this market research – potential consumers can only attribute value when the use messages are clear It must be emphasised that the overall positive response to the RE:tie product in this market research was gathered ‘post explanation and demonstration’ through a video – without this, it is likely that feedback would have been substantively reduced For suggestions re use images see the content of the qualitative data reported in this document; in particular the use-value and „four pleasure‟ data Consider also the „psychological journey‟ of the potential consumer in images concerning storing and keeping the RE:tie product, prior to its re-use – show the consumer it is easily doable – if they never get as far as re-use, the differentiation or augmentation function will be reduced. As one respondent observed, “having these on high volume products such as milk, one could accumulate a lot of them” and their „added value‟ as a nudge factor may diminish. Consider use of generic point of sale (in-store) information such as an „I‟m with the RE:tie‟ slogan which could be used across products later on in product uptake Consider the extent to which potential host product choice indicates „congruence‟ with the target market for a favourable response to the RE;tie such that its presence can act as a differentiator and a „nudge‟ Clarify which marketing message is in use for each product: e.g. Environmentally friendly products that activate level four of the „pleasure in product‟ framework have more potential to work with high-involvement or higher priced purchases as well as habitual, high volume or repeat purchases For markets which operate in a more niche manner such as DIY/hardware products that would demand the use of a „cable tie‟ in a related activity associated with buying the product, consider „product affinities‟ or things that naturally „go together‟ e.g. plant ties on a liquid plant food container Capitalise on the significant respondent finding of the RE:tie as a potential product differentiator stable product markets, this may act to increase consumer decision-making in a situation of high competition The preference reported was for the RE:tie to cost no more than 2p extra on the host-product Consider collecting endorsement for new markets e.g. the elderly or with limited mobility use to ensure the ethical „green‟ attributes are consistent with ethical advantages to other consumer Page 16

segments – ensure it does what it says it will! Fore example: setting up „product clinics with AgeConcern members, employees or similar advocates with credibility for the particular market. The above point also necessitates an overall recommendation for the use of workable and robust RE:tie products. Some negative comments and problems were noted by respondents when interacting with the ones used in this research. Investigate the internet for other niche or brand communities that may relate well to this product by suggesting new RE:tie solutions and to open up potential routes to alternative dissemination markets

Future market research: A larger sample can always be helpful to conduct finer grained analysis e.g. breaking down results by age, gender and store location would help to specify market segmentation. However, it is clear that all of these categories contained individuals who responded positively to the product and so it is questionable how much new information would be gained from conducting such a study at this time. Consider re-conducting market research later in the product development and uptake process by using this data set as a „benchmark‟. This would generate the kind of „passive intelligence‟ recommended by Bradley, (2005). Any future research should utilise more robust and professionally manufactured prototypes to remove any confusion between potential consumers‟ reactions to the prototype instead of the product concept.

A closing comment… In a recent episode of „Dragon‟s Den‟, an inventor of a cable tie device which was non recyclable, caused quite a stir amongst the dragons and this suggests that such utilitarian devices are worth paying attention to as an investor. The respondents in this market research survey were consistent in response, with a product that offers a similar function together with an additional augmentation from its „green credentials‟. So long as product congruence and use messages are clear; knowing who you are marketing to, why and therefore saying what in terms of the product and the function of the augmentation, these findings overall bode well for the product concept of the RE:tie in both „green‟ and standard grocery market value.

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Market Research Questionnaire Report references

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Junkk RE:tie Market Research Questionnaire

Opening pitch: We are students from the UW looking at improving green-design, focussing on an award winning and new re-usable product – could you give us your opinion on a 30 second video about it please? OR: Do you prefer to buy brands that are more enviro-friendly? May we take a few moments of your time to ask about this? Record: Store: Location Play video: Circle approx. age range of respondent: Under 25 Circle gender of respondent: After showing video: 1. Have you seen anything like this RE:tie product before? ………………………………………………………......... 2. What did you think of that „RE:tie‟ product? ...……………………………………….………………….……………… (You may need to explain that it reduces waste by giving a new use to something throw-away – a tamper proof seal) 3. Would you use the cable tie as shown do you think?............................................................................................ 4. What do you think you might use it for? a……………………………… c…………………………………. b………….………………………… male and date 26 – 35 female 36 – 45 46 and over

d………………………… (may need to prompt: in the home/garden/hobbies)

5. Would you recommend this product to anyone you know who could use it? …………………………………………. 6. What does a product like this „say to the consumer‟ about the product e.g. milk which is using it?....................… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7. If there were two bottles of milk on the shelf in front of you, would you choose the carton of milk with this product over one that did not have this product on it, do you think? 8. Why/why not?..................................................................................................................................................... 9. How much would you be prepared to pay on a carton of milk, to have that re-usable product do you think? …………………………………………………………......................................................................................... 10. Who buys most of the groceries in your household? …………………………………………………..................... 11. Are there any particular groceries that you buy because they are re-usable or enviro-friendly? Circle: yes no can you give any examples?……………………………………………………...

12. Is there anyone in your family who struggles with opening these tamper proof seals – e.g. elderly or disabled? (prompt: it may help to explain that this tie removes the need for the plastic disc you have to peel off) ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13. What advice would you give to the small business who is developing this as a product for the global green market? ..........………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..… 14. Also record any other questions or salient comments that respondents note: ..........………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……
(if respondents are hesitant at any time reassure that you are looking for ‘honest’ or ‘candid’ feedback or perhaps explain that the university ‘helps’ local small businesses by undertaking independent market research on their behalf, so all feedback is really valuable)! Any probs, give them my name and 01905 54222

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