A vitamin and supplement company wanted to take its growth in the consumer market place to the next level by garnering first hand consumer insights about the various products, value propositions, brand identities, and supplement benefits in the competitive space at the time. They hoped for insights to inform future product rollouts, guide creative refinements, and direct marketing initiatives.

CSA designed and executed a two-stage qualitative research plan to (a) unpack the underlying attitudes, preferences, and opinions that shape how consumers shop for multi-vitamins and then (b) uncover the most effective ways to get shoppers attention and encourage consideration and purchase. A panel of 40 respondents were first given cash to purchase a multivitamin or supplement from one of several retailers that carry the company’s products and were asked to document the shopping process through a series of “selfies.” They were then asked to participate in a series of mini-focus groups in which they could share experiences with each other, discussing their assessment of the competitors, and respond direct to the client’s product alongside of four competitors.

The research highlighted the extent to which consumers of supplements are looking for empowerment-in-the-aisle. They don’t want to be sold, so much as they want to be equipped with solid information to make good choices. Ultimately, the client was able to obtain from the consumer feedback and more clear understanding of its own perceived differentiation in the crowded vitamin space (“superstar ingredients”) and the allure its own unique brand identity.