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Rebranding Charmin: A case study in semiotics
Rachel Lawes and Neil Blackburne, Market Research Society, Annual Conference, 2011
This paper describes the challenge faced by SCA Hygiene Products when it purchased the European rights to Charmin toilet issue from Procter & Gamble.
This paper describes the challenge faced by SCA Hygiene Products when it purchased the European rights to Charmin toilet issue from Procter & Gamble. As part of the purchase, SCA had to change the name of the product to Cushelle and avoid using the Charmin mascot. The authors describe how, by using a semiotics approach, SCA was able to create a new mascot and migrate loyal Charmin customers to the new product.
Fiona Jack and Greg Bohlen, ESOMAR, Marketing Research Congress, Paris, September 1999
Describes research to help Kimberley-Clark to develop a revolutionary range of washroom hand towel dispensers.
Describes research to help Kimberley-Clark to develop a revolutionary range of washroom hand towel dispensers. Concept development and the design process are covered: the target market is very conservative, and reliance was therefore not placed on them to come up with design features. Green Light then investigated specifier reactions to the new designs, to ensure functional negatives were eliminated (qualitative methods described in detail). The approach sought to tap into emotional responses as well as rational ones. Findings: it became clear that the new designs did not appeal initially, but that a certain `bedding in' period was necessary in which they would `grow on' people. Two designs were eliminated for functional reasons. Unobtrusiveness was considered an important feature. Inappropriate designs would be a source of embarrassment to specifiers, as well as a source of extra work (hard to clean, etc.). The designer was rebriefed and the new design tested. General lessons drawn about researching design: 1) be bold: in spite of the unpromising market, innovative designs were produced. 2) creative input at the outset from the client is important, with full involvement of the client with the research company in the whole process. 3) involvement of designers at first hand in the research process. 4) methodological considerations: need for appropriate research methods for the project objectives and sample ; need to gain understanding of emotional responses to design, however rational the product is on the surface; need for new designs to be allowed to `settle', and to allow respondents to revise their views in a non-threatening way; aesthetics are just one aspect of the product's appropriateness.
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