Concept Optimization for Today’s Marketer: Cost Effective and Fast

Issue: A company that was established in food-based nutritional products was having an internal debate. Would consumers welcome their brand in the realm of dietary supplements, particularly omega-3s? Would current supplement users have a reason to switch brands? And what equity elements should they carry over from their existing lines?


Process: This was not a company with money to throw around. Our team was charged with finding the most cost-effective way to get the needed information, and the right depth of information, so it would be highly actionable. Using an online consumer community was the ideal solution to meet the learning objectives within a limited budget.


An online community was created among heavy users of omega-3s. A range of ages were represented, as were both men and women. There was a mix of geographies in the sample.



  • Specific claims that drove purchase were identified
  • Claims that could lead to switching were also uncovered
  • Identified the two competitors to beat
  • Specific certifications, like “Friend of the Sea,” lent great credibility regardless of the brand
  • U.S. sourcing could be a key differentiator
  • Fit with brand was high
  • The package with the most appeal and highest purchase interest had the more modern design. To maintain a clean look, much of the detailed information was relegated to the back panel


Why online consumer communities?

  • Cost-effective
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Can recruit respondents using existing CRM lists
  • Can also recruit category users
  • Ability to show a range of product concepts
    • Consumers can highlight, and then comment on, words and phrases they find appealing or unappealing
  • Ability to show a range of package designs
    • Consumers can highlight, and then comment on, imagery, words and phrases they find appealing or unappealing
    • The same can be done with package imagery
  • Can “dialogue” back and forth with any participant and participants can build on each other’s ideas as well


If you’d like to find a cost-effective solution for refining product concepts and packaging alternatives, we’d be happy to discuss how our approach can help your team.