Boosting concept scores and interest among MTV generation teens

By Patricia H. Chapman ~ President & Founder of Stone Soup Marketing

Two concepts, written for an identical, mythical cola product, featuring exactly the same benefit and descriptive words.

Two different layouts and personalities. One plays it straight. One plays it funky. Still the same product, with exactly the same claims, name, and package graphics.

Which one scored 20 percentage points better in one-on-one intercept with kids' aged 12 to 17? The funky-sounding, more visual one, of course!

Verbatim testimony gives some hints as to what came across differently that may have affected the purchase interest among our brand and image conscious teens:

For the standard "Introducing" format

"I buy name brand sodas, not generic colas."

"It looks cheap. I wouldn't think it would taste good."

Fair comments, and not surprising. Coke and Pepsi are pretty hard to uproot. Except that no such comments turn up in the story concept format, with a playful headline, and photo in the background.

And the final result, in a monadic test, was 67% purchase interest among 12 to 17 year olds for the story concept, more visualized format. And 45% for the traditional quantitative concept format. Just by adding a headline with personality, and a visual, interesting layout instead of a standard block of text.

There were slight differences in age groups from 18 up to 50, but none so dramatic as the teens. And it's not until you hit the over-40's that the traditional format does better for generating purchase interest.

Also of note: Registration of key nutrition benefits are equally strong from both formats with the story concept format more successful in registering additional details. For instance, both concepts communicate "vitamins" equally, yet the story concept is better to communicate "vitamins B,C & D." For getting the benefits across, it seems nothing is lost, and 20-percentage points of purchase interest are gained.

Food for thought. From the visual, multi-media, MTV generation and your friends in market research at Stone Soup.

Note: Cola Nut concept and idea is a fictitious concept created by Stone Soup for purposes of this communications test. Any resemblance to other concepts, living or dead, is strictly coincidence.


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