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Portfolio: Case Study

Linking Consumer ‘Demand Spaces’ To A Confectionary Portfolio

Up Close & Personal With Human-Scale Research

Respected Client
  • Scope: Our client’s confectionary portfolio is expansive, and they’d done the work to know something about when and why consumers reach for a treat. We knew that while high-level insights were serving big picture decision-making, our job was to bring nuance and granularity by exploring each products relationship to each moment in which a confectionary was desired (a ‘Demand Space’). Our goal was to continue enabling solid business decisions, but to also make each and every one of their products sing in the hearts of snackers.
  • Engage: In a 2-phased approach, we began with a wide group of participants that we equipped with digital tool sand guides for a virtual auto-ethnography of their homes, shopping trips, family dynamics and to uncover the unique moments/occasions in which they reached for a confectionary. With a rich base of insight from the auto-ethnography, we (and our clients!) joined a star group of consumers int heir homes for a very up close & personal observational experience to further explore their demand spaces by deploying all our senses.
  • Contextualize: We worked with photographs, reflections, conversations, observations, and our own sensory experiences of consumers’ homes to illustrate the unique attributes of 5 KeyDemand Spaces. We uncovered the role of different confectionary products within each and how we could make each product truly fuel and fulfill its most suitedDemand Space.
  • Experience: Our clients’ engagement in the fieldwork had them successfully empathizing with consumers, understanding the various Demand Spaces and the role of each product within that context. Visual and video-rich reporting allowed wider stakeholders to digest learnings, and concise takeaways surfaced the most salient points efficiently to senior decision-makers.
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A Brand’s Embodiment Of Good

Future-Proofing Through Brand Purpose

Respected Client
  • Scope: As the Canadian populous grows and evolves, what it means to live and belong in our society is changing. This socio-cultural intel was seen as essential for our client to ensure their brand retains its current consumers and forges new relationships to remain relevant in the future. Sylvestre & Co.’s mission was to empathize deeply with newcomer Canadians, building a foundation of insight to inform the redevelopment of the brand’s new purpose-led persona. 
  • Engage: We spoke with newcomer families from a mix of origin countries, immigration experiences and settlement destinations across Canada deploying a journey mapping exercise to comprehensively discuss their integration into Canadian society. We did so in deeply personal and private 1-on-1 settings as we wanted to honour each individual journey and create safety as a prerequisite for authentic sharing. 
  • Contextualize: As key themes, mindsets, needs and ‘wins’ emerged, we followed up with immigration experts such as academics and newcomer resource centre counselors to layer in their decades of observations on societal and structural trends in integration.
  • Experience: The Sylvestre & Co. team narrated the findings in a work-shop style experience to ensure the insights became embodied learnings for our client group. Opportunities for the brand to meet needs and reflect the experiences of newcomers were explored, equipping clients with motivating bits of knowledge and ‘aha’ moments to position their brand as not just a product but an entity that can ‘do good’ for all Canadians. Once in market, regular message testing will ensure our client is consistently evolving, earning brand love and future-proofing their business.
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Staying Ahead Of Emerging Competitors

They Say It Gets Lonely At The Top. Our Client Would Beg To Differ.

Respected Client
  • Scope: Our client has been in the Canadian Health & Wellness + alcoholic beverage space for almost a decade now. However, this space is trending upwards steadily, and new competitive threats continue to emerge in the hopes of stealing market share. In this environment, it is imperative to understand how to beat new entrants while also carving out distinctive lanes for our client’s brands that truly connect with Canadian drinkers.
  • Engage: We knew a digital, activity-based approach would enable a fun, visual experience for participants that matched their preferred ways of communicating. Over the course of 3 days, we engaged Canadian drinkers with interactive tasks and prompts to paint a vivid picture of their aspirations for Health & Wellness in their own lives alongside their perceptions of the Health & Wellness + alcoholic beverage category.
  • Contextualize: By uncovering the higher-level lifestyle aspirations of drinkers, we situated their preferences and desires for innovation in the alcoholic beverage space in their big picture Health & Wellness goals. We learned about the holistic ways they approach Health & Wellness, what motivates their efforts and which aspects have a natural tie to drinking occasions. We discovered different moods and states drinkers were trying to achieve and which beverages help them or could help them get there.
  • Experience: To bring it all home for our clients, our storytelling began by unpacking lifestyle insights and consumer motivations underpinning their goals to allow our client to see the forest through the trees. Then we made it tangible and actionable by defining 3 key consumer pillars for Health & Wellness + alcoholic beverages. In providing both the macro and micro lenses, our client was able to pivot marketing to meet current expectations and connect with consumers, as well as fuel product innovation for the future to remain ahead of the competitive pack!
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We’ve Got Your Back

Rapid Research To Stay Relevant In A Pandemic

Respected Client
  • Scope: Amidst a global pandemic (or should we say THE global pandemic!) an essential food operator was pressed to stay current and meet swiftly changing needs and expectations of food service. In this prolonged crisis, staying up to date wasn’t just about relevance, it was about being seen as trustworthy and a good citizen! Getting it wrong could have negative long-lasting brand impacts.
  • Engage: With close partnership and specific parameters from our client, we tailored and adapted research structures to allow for a research phase to be briefed, fielded, and reported upon within a week’s time! This allowed dozens of phases of research to happen over the span of a few quarters, which kept our clients constantly in-the-know with consumers. 
  • Contextualize: With heightened emotions during this time, we grounded our insights and recommendations in how different segments (impacted by the pandemic in different ways) were feeling. This created insights that were sure to not underestimate fears and anxieties, but also were able to highlight opportunities to provide joy, relief, safety and certainty to consumers.
  • Experience: Galvanized by the strength of partnership and dedication to deeply human insights, our concise reporting frameworks offered quick, timely and bite-size actions to keep the client teams in step with consumers and have the operations and communications match the swiftly changing societal expectations.
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We Are Better Together

Many Talents Make For Smart Work a.k.a. “This report is badass!!!!”

Respected Client
  • Scope: Seasonal chocolates add festivity to specific times of year and our client knows this well. The challenge before us was to extend a brand’s relevance beyond just a couple of weeks. To solve this, Sylvestre & Co. wanted to deeply unpack the target’s lifestyle and relationship to chocolate in a typical, non-festive, week and unearth opportunities for a seasonal chocolate brand to earn additional love throughout the year.
  • Engage: As we do, the team took a step back to thoughtfully cast our team to bring the most apt and relevant skills and perspectives into the project. For this project we knew to draw on a visual thinker, a business savant, a distribution and retail expert, a social scientist and a seasoned filmmaker to bring our best work to this difficult, but creative and exploratory, challenge. On the methods side, a Bulletin Board Focus Group with meme, text, collage and video submissions made for rich and sensorial responses.
  • Contextualize: Our inter-disciplinary team worked in clusters to crystalize different types of relationships to chocolate and discover how a variety of brands (including our client’s) delivered unique emotional, functional and sensorial benefits to suit moods and occasions across a full year.
  • Experience: Working closely as a team we made sure our final debrief was rich in multi-media formats and layers of expertise while being simple and seamless for the client group. To best showcase the results and take advantage of each contributor’s knowledge, we presented this project as a moderating team rather than a single lead. Safe to say, it was a win!
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Podcast: Insightful Inspiration

Conversations with the mosaic of brilliant individuals that help shape the insights industry.
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