Management at Personal Finance Center (PFC) had grown concerned that the company was not as attractive to younger customers. The fear of such perceptions about the brand could have limited the company’s growth over time. They sought the opinions of their consumers to help the company gain insight regarding the veracity of their concerns and how PFC’s consumer appeal may be limited, possibly impacting the future growth of its customer base. This decision coincided with an effort to refresh the company’s brand image. Overall, management was interested in better understanding consumer receptivity to the changes being contemplated.
The MR&D Approach
There were three components to the research: consumer focus groups, an analysis of existing customer data, and employee discussion groups. The first component involved conducting two focus groups consisting of PFC and non-PFC customers between the ages of 24 to 40. These focus groups helped determined PFC’s current market position and brand perception among its consumers. In the second component, MR&D analyzed existing PFC customer data. This data collected by PFC provided a granular perspective of PFC customers’ profiles, behaviors, and habits. The third and last component engaged PFC employees to explore how they felt about the brand and to examine their perceptions of how customers they encounter feel about PFC.
Three distinct “points of view” were used to estimate and give insight to where PFC stands in the market in terms of customer satisfaction and brand relevance, as well as what opportunities for growth might exist. PFC was made aware of its position in the market as a financial services company. They gained an idea of the perception consumers have of their company and brand. MR&D provided three areas of concentration that appeared important in terms of expanding PFC’s customer base.