Spotlight: Maintaining Brands Across Categories

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 digital ethnography to inform brand growth strategy.

Leveraging brands in new categories

A national breakfast company struggled to extend a brand into a new category while still maintaining beloved brand attributes. The findings were used to strengthen the brand’s presence in the category and convince consumers of the brand’s commitment to its original attributes.


W5 developed a two-phased qualitative approach that investigated product likes, dislikes, experiences, and preferences. Consumers took part in Online Discussions where they uploaded videos of them trying and rating the product.

The most thoughtful respondents were invited to take part in the second phase: In Depth Video Interviews. During the Interviews W5 asked questions to shed light on previous insights and conclusions synthesized from the amalgam of respondents.


Using ethnographic analysis to evaluate the data, W5 extracted key aspects of the brand experience that could be leveraged in a brand extension. The Final Report revealed how different contexts for consumption changed expectations for the product and brand experience and offered product design and merchandising strategies to encourage trial and raise awareness for the brand in the new category.

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