SPOTLIGHT: Exploring Consumer Identity in Social Media

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. The following project leveraged W5’s strategic resources to contextualize the social media content of a key consumer audience.

Understanding identities and lifestyles through online interaction 

The advertising agency of a major automobile manufacturer wanted to understand how target consumers were using social networks to communicate values and interact with brands, products and peers. The findings from this engagement would be used to refine the tone and voice of future communications.

User Expirience UIUX


W5 followed twenty-five target consumers on a popular social network, examining conversations, forms of creative expression, and relationships with brands and media as cultural and personal identifiers. W5 also performed daily audits on member profiles, and posted comments to further analyze spoken and unspoken lifestyle aspirations.


W5 identified five major lifestyle trends among the target audience. Results were communicated through a playbook that illustrated the distillation of findings. The client used the research to guide future advertising initiatives, and to check against commonly held assumptions about the target’s lifestyles and brand relationships.

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