When it comes to selling fast moving consumer goods like fragrances how can a company use youth marketing research to sell its products? It’s an interesting question because it illustrates how important market research is whether you are selling pharmaceuticals, financial services or lust.
Axe makes body sprays for young men.
With a $2.5 billion global brand and enormous growth they have a knack of creating marketing that is relevant yet raunchy enough to appeal to their target audience. When you go to their website, the first thing you see is a humorous environmentally friendly pitch asking if you are ready to save water.
Referring to this as Showerpooling they suggest: firstly, installing a water-efficient showerhead; secondly, limiting shower time to 5 minutes; and lastly, inviting a friend to get into the action. What’s cheeky and brilliant about this campaign is that the advice really does help the environment. More importantly for Axe though, is that every time a teen or twenty something male comes to their website and sees the Showerpooling graphic, they are sure to have a plethora of reactions ranging from fantasy to pure unadulterated testosterone driven lust.
So how does Axe conjure up these male fantasies in fast moving consumer goods market with an ever changing demographic? Every year more boys turn into men, yet what speaks to a college aged fraternity brother in 2010 is not going to capture the imagination of this year’s freshman. Axe’s foresight is that they understand how to use market research in a very creative way to monitor shifts in the youth culture. They know that the essence of their brand remains constant so they don’t have to reinvent it. What they have to do instead is understand the evolving emotional and cultural interactions between guys and gals.
Axe's researchers take youth marketing field trips to the campuses, bars, and clubs of America’s college towns to determine what makes their customers tick. They sort of use market research hound dogs to sniff out the current hormonal scents of their target audience.
According to its research, they found that the majority of college-aged males and only about a quarter of females consider themselves more attractive than average. This is valuable information that Axe can act on. They not only want to understand the desires of young men but also how they try to fulfill them. After all, the fulfillment of desire is what they are selling even more so than the scent.
Axe’s research shows that their young target audience is most concerned with trendiness. They prefer a strong scent, an image conscious brand which defines their personality and approval from friends.
It’s important to know that market research can provide valuable analysis for any type of product or brand. Just because you might be selling passion, doesn’t mean research isn’t key to your success.
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