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SPOTLIGHT: Consumer Empathy Through Personas

Every once in a while, we like to share what we’ve been up to, including how our research engagements have helped our clients achieve their business goals and some of the lessons learned. This study highlights W5’s role in assisting an appliance company in empathizing with their consumers through Personas research.

A leading home appliance distributor sought a better understanding of the marketplace to identify the perceptions, attitudes, motivations and unmet needs of category consumers. Ultimately, the client intended to use the research to inform both product and category innovation, and to improve the related retail experience.

APPROACH

W5 recommended developing behavior and motivation-based consumer personas following extensive in-depth qualitative research. Persona research was conducted in the form of hour-long in-home interviews with a diverse representative selection of appliance consumers. In preparation for the interview sessions, each respondent completed a comprehensive diary exercise exploring the emotional, functional and social aspects of recent appliance use to help stimulate thoughtful category engagement.

RESULTS

Based on this extensive in-context research, W5 developed and presented consumer personas to the client, each with unique lifestyles, product usage behaviors, product research and purchase behaviors, and category opportunities. Personas embodied the in-depth research findings as a memorable, accessible tool that operational units across the organization could use to anticipate consumer needs and desires, based on an empathetic understanding of their conscious and unconscious behaviors.

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