This pioneering study combines anthropological thinking and good ethnographic practice to reveal a different slant on cultural insight - one which has had a dramatic impact on GSK healthcare brands in India and China.
The key was to make GSK staff at Weybridge understand – and experience – what made consumers use and choose brands in the Oral Care market, involving 152 of them to first analyse, and then workshop the insight. It delved into cultural practices, category choices and product hooks.
It showed why Oral Care is linked to spirituality in India, boosting sales of Paradontax to a predicted £13.2m by Year 3, and blending the past with the present in China to launch Sensodyne Herbal infused with Centella, forecast to deliver a £15m increase in sales by Year 3.
All this has come from a project called Silk Road which has turned GSK's Western-centric model, where innovation and marketing claims are designed and tested in the West, then exported to emerging markets, on its head.