Going Bold? Get the Facts First.

Ready to roll out that new, industry-changing product, service or advertising campaign? Well, you’d better make sure that the industry is ready for you first. That’s the value of research.

A good case study is Dr Pepper’s recent introduction of its new anti-diet soda, Dr Pepper Ten. Positioning itself against a bevy of zero-calorie sodas, Dr Pepper Ten boasts of “10 Bold Tasting Calories.”

Why? That’s where research comes in.

According to Dr Pepper’s research, many men age 25 to 34 were not satisfied with the taste or image of diet sodas.  Hence Dr Pepper Ten, a drink with 10 calories and two grams of sugar, and still having a taste close to the full-flavored, regular Dr Pepper.

But the manliness doesn’t stop there. The ad campaign for Dr Pepper Ten is decidedly non-women-friendly, with a very un-subtle tagline of “It’s not for women.” One spot depicts an action movie where a man in the jungle battles snakes while being shot at by lasers. He goes on to say:

“Hey, ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda … You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good.”

Risky? Of course. Untested? Of course not.

According to Dr Pepper Executive Vice President of marketing Jim Trebilcock, the drink and marketing campaign were tested in six U.S. markets before being rolled out nationally. Trebilcock goes on to say that, in their findings, women were not offended and represented 40% of consumers who tried the new product.

While the ultimate success of Dr Pepper Ten remains to be seen, the important takeaway here is that it’s not always a good idea to go running straight from the brainstorming session directly into market. What may seem like a good or even revolutionary idea internally may well be met quite differently in the broader marketplace.

Researching the market’s attitudes and pre-testing creative executions can save your company time, resources and, in some cases, the embarrassment that comes with completely missing your mark.


This article was written by Kirsty Nunez.  Kirsty Nunez is President and Chief Research Strategist at Q2 Insights. Q2 Insights is a market research consulting firm with offices in San Diego and New Orleans. Kirsty can be reached at (760) 230-2950 and kirsty.nunez@q2insights.com. 

This entry was posted in Value of Research and tagged on November 1, 2011 by Heather Hatty