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Durham, NC 27707
W5 can support your team to identify market opportunities and leverage strengths to create meaningful differentiation. Whitespace Innovation initiatives combine primary research to understand current consumer perceptions as well as strategic initiatives to brainstorm future opportunity.
W5 will often leverage unconventional research approaches to elicit compelling ideas for how your brand can innovate within the category.
W5’s Whitespace Innovation projects can help you:
Playbooks tell a visually compelling story, distilling research findings for the highest possible impact across your organization. W5 develops Playbooks to simplify and communicate research learnings into an action plan that is entertaining, easily digestible, and understood by all.
These deliverables distill traditional detailed research reports into engaging narratives, stirring conversation and hypotheses.
Research Playbooks can help you:
Research Activation Workshops are interactive sessions that encourage your team to understand and then apply research findings to strategic initiatives. These sessions use research engagements as the springboard for internal collaboration and engagement.
W5’s ideation facilitators start with a presentation of findings and then use creative exercises to elicit new ideas from participants. Each engagement ends with a prioritized list of action items to explore in the short and long term.
Research Activation Workshops can help you:
Personas are tools for understanding and empathizing with consumers, clients, or end-users. They present a complex marketplace as a series of archetypes with names, faces, and perceptions, offering a shared foundation for teams in all parts of your organization to understand what your customer wants and needs.
Personas allow designers, marketers, product developers, and other internal teams to empathize with consumers and understand their needs in an easy-to-understand manner leading to smarter products and services.
Personas can help your organization:
Read our White Paper on Personas
W5 can review existing primary and secondary research to develop a custom report centralizing understanding of your brand to springboard further strategic thinking. This provides your team with a cohesive understanding of the market and brand performance, adding richness and important context to research results.
Often organizations have a repository of research reports that are not acted upon. W5 uses these data points to summarize and tell an otherwise buried story. Resulting reports are eminently more readable and actionable.
Meta-Analysis approaches can help you:
Read our Thought Piece on Meta-Analysis
Read our Case Study on Meta-Analysis
W5’s strategy practice works closely with qualitative and quantitative researchers and client teams to transform Consumer Journey research into engaging and lively visuals.
This collaboration combines research analysis with the design and visualization process. W5 produces detailed Journey Maps that clearly plot major touchpoints, key moments of truth, journey barriers, and the emotional steps of purchasing a product or service.
W5 can help your team:
Read our White Paper on Consumer Journeys
Read our Case Study on Consumer Journeys
W5 works with you to create Interactive Presentations for sharing research across your diverse internal audiences. These presentations distill reports into key themes and ideas presented alongside charts, video, images, and quotes.
These deliverables are more dynamic versions of traditional research reporting by leveraging illustrative tools to tell a more compelling story.
W5 can develop Interactive Presentations that help you:
In creative problem solving, the quality of a solution depends on the ability to generate creative and strategically sound ideas. W5’s Ideation Workshops use creative activities, lateral thinking, and brainstorming to inspire new ideas and solutions.
Our facilitators cater discussions to your organizational goals ensuring tangible strategic actions that can be applied immediately following the session.
Ideation and Co-Creation Sessions can help you:
W5 produces and edits research videos that illuminate consumers’ lives through stories and scenes, with a goal of encouraging consumer empathy and understanding translating into better products, communication, and stronger brand equity.
W5 also produces short films that summarize findings in the voice of the consumer. These 3-5minute stories encapsulate research findings and provide an easy way to understand your consumers’ mindset.
W5’s video deliverables can help you:
Read our Thought Piece on Video Ethnography
W5 can create a complete picture of the competitive landscape, highlighting current category trends and alerting you to future developments. W5 leverages multiple methodologies to assess the Category Landscape, including social media synthesis, online trend analysis, expert interviews, and primary marketing research.
W5 can help you:
Artifacts and Installations include any method of communicating research findings that goes beyond the standard research report. These elements challenge expectations through novel presentations and unexpected media.
W5 creates deliverables that can take many forms, custom designed to integrate into internal spaces and attract stakeholder attention.
Incorporating these deliverables can help you:
Read our White Paper on Design Driven Deliverables
The marketplace is constantly evolving and there are times in every industry when it is necessary to assess your pricing strategy. Price Sensitivity research is valuable in gaining perspective into the optimal price-value balance. W5 typically uses the Van Westendorp pricing model to efficiently evaluate client pricing.
The Van Westendorp technique applies four simple questions regarding a product or service, requiring survey respondents to rate each price in context with product/service offerings and perceived benefits. This method yields clear and intuitive data that identifies the range of acceptable price points, providing a solid basis to assess pricing strategy.
Understanding consumers’ price sensitivity can help you:
For more in-depth information on pricing analyses, W5 recommends Conjoint Analysis.
A Brand Health Assessment includes evaluation of consumer awareness, consideration, and engagement with a brand to generate insights on market positioning. Through a quantitative survey featuring validated brand metrics plus custom questioning, the “health” of the brand is measured and compared to key competitors.
Through a W5 Brand Health Assessment you gain perspective into your consumers’ relationships with the brand beyond awareness, to explore their past, present, and future experiences with the brand.
Brand Health Assessment can help you:
Brand Equity is focused on consumers’ perceived value of a brand, beyond just their opinions of products or services. To understand brand value, an exploration of brand equity includes more than an assessment of current brand health and image. A forward-looking perspective is necessary to guide business strategy.
W5 Brand Equity Explorations include brand health (i.e., awareness, consideration, engagement) and brand perceptions (i.e., overall image, brand performance on valued attributes, etc.) but also the call-to-action of the brand. The call-to-action assessment often includes personal (i.e., consumer research, purchasing) and social (i.e., recommendation, social media advocacy) aspects.
Brand Equity research can help you:
Product Development is rarely a straight line and can present stops and starts throughout the process. Product Development research can be leveraged to evaluate initial renderings or ideas, test prototypes, optimize features and benefits, test products in natural contexts, and gauge related communications.
W5 works with clients to employ both online and in-person approaches. In-person approaches are appropriate for hands-on elements or testing functionality and form factor, while online approaches can help narrow options and gauge overall reactions to attributes, design, and messaging.
Product Development research can help you:
Audience Identification and Profiling research paints a detailed picture of a core market―their demographics, basic category behaviors and attitudes, psychographics underlying those behaviors and attitudes, and opinions of the marketplace. This method is a critical step when introducing a new brand or product and can be a cost-efficient alternative to a segmentation.
Beyond basic statistical profiling, W5 explores the relationship of consumer lifestyles, life stages, beliefs, and habits to define their potential engagement with the brand and/or product. Audience Identification and Profiling is best used to identify a target audience for a product, service, or message. This strategic market insight will help you:
Attitudes and Usage (A&U or AAU) research answers essential questions of “what?,” “where?,” “why?,” and “how?” around consumers’ decision making within and across market categories. W5 A&U studies provide a robust and reliable snapshot of consumer sentiment and behaviors at a moment in time but can also be conducted to inform future strategy. They are a valuable tool for market hypotheses, exploring brand and product appeal and opportunity, and identifying the impact of recent or forthcoming marketplace changes.
Attitudes and Usage research can help you:
Product and Positioning Concept Testing provides insight on how a product, service, or branding can cut through competitor offerings to fit consumers’ needs and desires. Thorough and strategic testing of proposed concepts will ensure success by identifying consumers’ rationale for specific likes and dislikes.
There are many ways to accomplish a concept test―monadic testing, paired comparison, proto-monadic evaluation, concept screening, etc.―however, not all techniques are applicable in every situation. W5 builds a custom approach based on the number of concepts, depth of presentation, selected audiences, and needs for comparative insight. A strategically designed research study will reveal resonant winners and relative losers and can help you:
The Message Testing process begins with creative stimuli and copy and ends with a refined message. Quantitative research plays an important role to ensure message effectiveness by eliciting consumer feedback on appeal, relevance, and call-to-action.
W5’s approach to Message Testing provides multiple viewpoints on stimuli through a proto-monadic survey design where copy variations are assessed independently and randomly before comparative questions are asked. The result is dual perspectives on clarity, appeal, relevance, and call-to-action of each stimulus providing context and support for winning concepts.
The goal of Message and Copy Testing is to illuminate the best path forward for marketing and advertising. Armed with this insight, you are better positioned to:
The identification of different consumer groups in the market is a powerful tool for identifying target audience characteristics beyond basic demographics and category behaviors. W5 views Segmentation as the study of consumers’ responses to specific attitudinal, behavioral, psychographic, and category- and brand-related questions. During analysis, consumers with similar attitudes and thought processes are bundled together to create an audience ‘segment.’
Segmentation is beneficial for those seeking a reliable understanding of consumers based on stable, real-world criteria. W5 leverages a mix of applied approaches to ensure resulting segments are actionable and capable of informing product/service refinement, brand positioning, and communications strategies.
W5’s approach to custom, strategic segmentation research will:
Read our White Paper on Segmentation
Read our Case Study on Segmentation
Conjoint Analysis explores the value consumers place on your products or services and their features. Through a series of conjoint (two or more parallel) questions in an online survey, consumers evaluate different sets of attributes (and the various attribute options, or levels) and make “trade-offs” between services or features. Response across scenarios generates a robust data set processed using sophisticated modeling techniques. W5 can then gauge your consumers’ priorities, identify optimal bundles with market relevance, and explore demand and price sensitivity related to variations in marketplace offerings.
Conjoint Analysis can help you:
Strategic Tracking research monitors a brand’s perception and strength over time through industry-specific metrics. Through a periodic or continuously-fielded quantitative survey, consumer insights are measured and compared to track changes and guide decisions based on past activity and predictions for future activity. Strategic Tracking supports decision making by examining market changes from one measured period to another.
W5’s approach to Strategic Tracking goes beyond measuring brand and advertising awareness to explore an evolving marketplace, bringing depth and context to consumer behavior and attitudes. Strategic Tracking research reveals understanding of the relative health of your brand and scratches below the surface to determine its fit in the marketplace.
This in-depth ‘state-of-the-brand’ understanding can help you:
Read our White Paper on Strategic Tracking
Read our Case Study on Strategic Tracking
Shopper Insights reveal how consumers interact with products and brands within retail environments, both online and in-store. It focuses on every aspect of the shopping experience, from store selection to purchase decision. W5 views shopper insights as a nuanced and complex study of the retail environment, in-store behaviors, in-aisle decisions, and messaging.
Understanding shopper needs and motivations can transform your approach to products, packaging, displays, promotions, experiences, and interpersonal interactions for both brick-and-mortar and online/mobile shopping. W5 leverages a mix of ethnographic techniques to capture insights throughout the consumer journey.
Exploring Shopper Insights can help you:
Read our Case Study on Shopper Insights
Online Discussions are comprised of relatively new qualitative research tools that can provide broader access to participants (over both time and geographic areas) without limiting the quality or type of feedback.
These conversations can take place as Bulletin Boards, Online Journals/Diaries, or webcam-enabled IDIs or Focus Groups. The online platform incorporates rich response and reaction tools that allow participants to communicate via text, simple surveys, images, or video. This enables W5 to employ an activity-based approach to asking research questions where participants not only tell you, but show you how they behave and think.
Clients can also be more involved by observing responses in real-time, suggesting follow-up questions as they happen, contributing to an ongoing discussion among observers, and tagging responses to highlight in reporting.
Online discussions can help you:
Mobile Ethnography is one of the most flexible research tools available, allowing W5 to connect with a wide array of participants spread across time zones and geography via a smartphone app or mobile platform.
Mobile Ethnography allows researchers to virtually accompany consumers in their natural environment. Throughout the process, W5 integrates mobile-enabled activities to increase consumer engagement and generate insight. This may include exploring product usage, daily rituals, shopping experiences, etc. by capturing media and providing feedback in real-time.
Mobile Ethnography is an efficient and minimally invasive way for consumers to share their thoughts and experiences―a multi-sensory landscape of a consumer’s world that can help you:
Read our White Paper on Ethnography
Before your brand messaging meets the market, qualitative research can provide valuable feedback to ensure relevance. Message Development research can be conducted throughout the process to develop initial ideas, test individual ideas/campaign concepts, or evaluate campaign material or concepts for consistency.
W5 uses both online and in-person approaches to evaluate messaging. In-person approaches benefit from a flexible forum for developing ideas or exploring initial reactions, while online approaches can incorporate evaluation tools such as heat mapping that identify positive and negative associations with specific elements.
Message Development research can help you:
In-Depth Interviewing (IDI) is an intimate conversation between a moderator and an individual or small group of participants. It is a preferred approach when research topics are sensitive or more detailed feedback is needed.
Semi-structured, the approach allows conversations to flow naturally, with the spirit of the conversation guiding the questioning and its order. W5 views IDIs as offering several methodological advantages including building a strong rapport and leading to more detailed and evocative feedback. The approach is often direct and focused, with minimal distractions, allowing for more genuine, thoughtful responses.
In-Depth Interviews can help you:
Focus Groups, a moderated discussion held with pre-recruited participants, are the most widely used and familiar qualitative research tool. They are especially powerful for conducting exploratory research, messaging evaluations, product development, or brand positioning and strategy research.
Their familiarity does not mean they are a tired approach. W5 incorporates creative exercises and activities to challenge participants to think critically and creatively about research questions. New technologies feature a host of multimedia tools that further creative thinking.
Focus Groups can help you:
Executive Interviews are in-depth, one-on-one discussions with professionals, often in specialized industries or roles. Unlike consumer interviews, they require qualitative researchers attuned to industry language and practices who can approach the conversation with an understanding of their specialization and tie their perspectives back to the research goals.
W5 approaches executive or professional interviews by staying flexible in both timing and means of communication, conducted via telephone, webcam, or in-person to accommodate participants’ schedules.
Executive interviewing can help you:
Read our Case Study on Executive Interviewing
Consumer Journey maps are tools for visualizing how people interact with your brand, most often in the realm of retail and/or online shopping experiences. These maps diagram each interaction with key behaviors, considerations, and potential barriers that lie between an initial trigger to consider and final purchase.
Qualitative research is instrumental in capturing the defining moments of the process. W5 designs Consumer Journey research to be immersive, incorporating in-person or mobile ethnographic approaches to shadow the consumer during each step in the process. The learning that comes from better understanding the experience as a whole can help you identify specific pain points and barriers and create a strategy to connect with consumers at the most opportunistic touchpoints.
Consumer Journey maps can help you:
Ethnography is a qualitative research approach that produces a real-world understanding of how lifestyle, culture, behavior, subconscious motivations, and social context influence product selection and brand interaction.
Ethnography is immersive, putting researchers in the consumers’ world to observe how they behave and interact with their environment and how they feel about the experience. W5 ethnographers can expertly evaluate consumer behavior in detail, identifying meaningful patterns and themes that emerge from their explicit and implicit attitudes and needs. Ethnographic research can take place anywhere (home, store, restaurant, etc.) and employs a mix of virtual and in-person approaches.
Ethnography can help you:
Read our White Paper on Ethnography
Read our Thought Piece on Video Ethnography
Concept Development begins with an idea and ends in your consumers’ hands as a product or service. Concept Development research ensures the final result meets their expectations and needs.
Initial exploratory research helps create empathy and understanding of consumers’ specific needs. From there, the customer can become part of your development team, providing qualitative feedback with each iteration. By embracing Concept Development qualitative research, you are embracing a customer-centric design process that will make for more successful product launches.
W5’s Concept Development and evaluation research can help you:
Brand Positioning is a strategy to identify competitive advantages and help your brand connect with the right people, in the right way, at the right time. It assumes your brand and competitors occupy the same “space” based on subtle differences in audiences’ rational and emotional preferences. Exploratory, iterative, and interpretive, qualitative Brand Positioning research is ideally suited for understanding these nuances. W5 can help you uncover both rational reasons for brand preferences as well as hard-to-define emotional factors.
With knowledge of your current position and what’s important to your audience, you can clarify your brand’s meaning and adopt positioning strategies that offer long-term strategic value.
W5 can help your brand: