A lesson in successfully reaching "hard-to-reach" populations

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Sleep Innovations, a mattress and speciality sleep product company, recently faced a challenge when it came time for the company to obtain consumer feedback in order to best facilitate new product brainstorming.

As a sleep product company, it was hard to engage with specific users since there's no directory of people based on their mattress brand, nor is there a list of consumers who have brought new mattresses in X time period. However, in order to grow the company and make new products, this is exactly what Sleep Innovations needed to do; they needed to reach a hard-to-reach segment to uncover new user insights through consumer's attitudes and usage towards sleeping products.

Knowing that this segment would be hard to reach, Sleep Innovations created online surveys to pre-identify the brand's purchasers and purchase intenders. This extra work out front in pre-identifying their sample ended up saving time and money in the execution of the company's actual "Sleep Talkers" panel community.

The panel community has been successful in gaining consumer insights as the pre-selected consumers find the information relevant and are encouraged to take photos of their "sleep experience," post on community discussion boards, and are invited to partake in more traditional research methods, like concept testing and new product screening.

Sleep Innovations even developed an additional online survey template that was able to track responses over time. In one instance, this additional survey led to an important insight that one of their mattress brands was not selling well in a certain region because the brand's perceived image was too high for its low price; Sleep Innovations raised the brand's prices and watched sales increase.

Overall, Sleep Innovations was able to successfully reach their "hard-to-reach" population by implementing a step-by-step approach that used custom screening to pre-identify the users for whom this information would be the most relevant and interesting, prioritize the actual research activities over the company's own product development goals, establish clear research objectives for the panel to get the most directed feedback, and use visuals to gather feedback.

Check out the whole case study here.

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This page contains a single entry by corey031 published on November 30, 2012 9:05 AM.

Excavating insights in practice was the previous entry in this blog.

Can observational research ever trump experimental research? is the next entry in this blog.

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