A large, wholesale grocery business enlisted MDRG to explore the purchasing journey of coffee consumers. Within that journey, they wanted to know how branding impacts their decision process, and, ultimately, how purchase decisions are made.
MDRG conducted a mobile ethnography study. This included 23 telephone in-depth interviews before and 23 telephone in-depth interviews after the mobile ethnography component. Half the respondents were from the New Orleans market, and the other half were from the other key markets in the South.
Initial interviews were conducted to draw out the initial findings and engage participants. The mobile ethnography then built upon those findings by allowing participants to share their coffee buying and drinking experiences in-the-moment. Through a mobile app, these respondents delivered videos, photos, and texts that provided intimate glimpses into their attitudes and behaviors. After the two-week mobile ethnography period, we conducted another set of interviews to follow-up on the behaviors and habits we had observed.
Our research indicated that coffee purchases are regular rituals that are difficult for brands to disrupt – and yet there were opportunities in the market for our client to cultivate brand loyalty.
Our research showed that preferences for local brands are tied to assumptions of quality and ethics.
We discovered that consumers tend to be most loyal to brands they had been exposed to in social settings – work, school, etc.
Though our client’s coffee packaging was appealing to consumers, they were more visually drawn to a primary competitor.