I thought I would share a recent MROC case study from an event I highlighted in one of my previous entries. These are the main points of a presentation from Rich Keller, the global business director of Godiva. The real kicker in this story is that Godiva doesn’t even have a research department. The research fell to marketing, and one very passionate leader in Rich. He made concerted efforts to socialize his findings and his vision at every step of the way in order to convince top executives that long-held traditions about what the Godiva product is and isn't just weren't working anymore.

Late last year, the company launched a brand new product extension in an effort to get people eating it every day, instead of just on special occasions. And the impetus for the launch was based off of conversations within its MROC of 600 women — a mix of both Godiva loyalists and those who are aware of, but don’t always eat Godiva.

The background: In a world where premium chocolate as a category is still growing, even in the recession, Godiva learned in its community that their brand was still a want, but not a need. Furthermore, because of the recession, consumers were generally looking for luxuries – like chocolate – in small bits. Last, because Godiva competitors had expanded into more convenient locations, consumers satisfy their chocolate cravings by picking up a little bit the grocery store, the drug store, or other locations that are very different from Godiva’s traditional mall boutiques. According to Rich “No one wakes up in the morning and says:  ‘I’ll be right back, I’m going to the mall to get a truffle.’”
The challenge: Godiva recognized that it needed to find a way to make the brand literally more accessible, but not less special. Accessibility meant both more convenient to buy, and also more convenient to share with others. Through more traditional survey research, they learned that the brand truly has cache as a romantic and distinctive gift on occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and anniversaries; and the company didn’t want to lose this equity.

The execution: Based on this research and knowledge of their industry, Godiva committed to delivering a new product that would meet these new needs. The process, though, involved testing ideas along the way, and again the company turned to its MROC. Here, community members provided their feedback on packaging, colors, and other concepts in order to provide a gauge on what would resonate with customers old and new, all the while promoting Godiva’s brand values.

The result: New Godiva Gems, what the CEO calls ‘the most significant global launch we’ve ever undertaken.’ Yum!