12 Dec

How to optimize your preference mapping and segmentation ? RECO#3

Better understand and target your preference segments

Preference mapping or prefmapaims to establish links between the objective sensory characteristics of products (judged by a panel of experts) and consumer preferences.

This approach helps identify consumer segments with specific sensory preferences, reflecting diverse market expectations. These studies provide precise recommendations for ideal sensory profiles and assist R&D teams in developing formulas tailored to each of these consumer segments.

But how can you ensure a comprehensive understanding of these consumer targets beyond their sensory preferences? Who are these consumers, how to communicate with them, and how to develop an appropriate marketing mix to guide them toward their preferred products in the market?

Precisely qualify each segment and define specific personas

To achieve this, we recommend re-interviewing the most representative consumers in each preference segment from the prefmap study (those with the most pronounced sensory preferences in their segment). Through in-depth qualitative individual interviews, we explore their profiles, personalities, sensitivities, attitudes, and expectations, both general and related to the tested products. This includes:

  • Their psycho-behavioral profile
    → For example, for a food product: the type of individuals, their relationship with food in general, food preferences, their relationship with health, well-being, pleasure… their concerns, needs, beliefs their brand relationship, the messages and the reasons to believe (RTB) that resonate with them, etc.
  • The sensory-emotional perception of their preferred products
    → For example, the experience with the tested product (sensations, benefits, peculiarities), associated imaginary worlds (emotional messages, implied values), drivers and context of the projected consumption, positioning compared to usual practices and habitfs, etc.
  • Sensory and emotional cues that would better tell the product’s story
    → For example, which visual, olfactory, and keyword elements to communicate about the preferred product (materials, colors, sensations, etc.), promises and emotional benefits provided, etc.

Through this in-depth analysis, we can highlight the personas and unique characteristics of each consumer segment, as well as their expectations.

A goldmine to help you define a marketing strategy tailored to the sensitivities, aspirations and requirements of each target, and thus maximize the effectiveness of the marketing mix and communication to reach them in a targeted way.

Going further : Build a screening model to target these segments specifically

Once you have developed the optimal formula and ideal mix for each preference segment, you may wonder how to test them among the intended target without having to redo the prefmap study to determine their sensory preferences.

This is where the construction of a screening model based on key declarative questions comes into play. This approach consists of re-questioning all consumers who participated in the prefmap study, asking them to position themselves on a hundred profiling, attitudes and behaviors dimensionsidentified during the qualitative profiling phase. This approach quantitatively and statistically validates the discriminating criteria of your preference segments. Thanks to this statistical model, you’ll be able to predict in which preference segments a person belongs to, based on just a dozen questions.

This screening model will be easy to implement to screen new consumers and define their preference segments. Thus, you will have the opportunity to test and validate your developments among their intended targets, ensuring their performance.

Also, see our other recommendations for optimized prefmap studies:



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