PepsiCo wanted to (re)connect the Ruffles brand with the Turkish youth. For six weeks a ‘Market Research Online Community’ (or ‘Consumer Consulting Board’) was the central hub in which the dialogue between Gen Y, the Ruffles brand team and the advertising agencies of PepsiCo took place. In three sequential stages we moved from generating insights into Turkish youth’s everyday life and their aspirations over testing and fine-tuning activation platforms and campaigns to creating an understanding of the role of social media in brand activation today. To enhance decision making, we wanted to connect all stakeholders to a maximum extent with the target group. To realize that, we created several touch points between the consumer world (the research results) and the business world (the marketing team and their objectives) while sharing our research results: online and offline consumer immersion exercises with all stakeholders, intermediate debriefs and workshops, a creative brainstorming session and a live chat session with members of the community during that brainstorm. This paper gives insights into the power of using research communities to deeply understand a target group and in the value of ‘triangulation’ in qualitative research (tackling the same issue from different angles and with different eyes). It also illustrates how creating several touch points between the consumer world and the business world can deliver bigger impact on marketing thinking.
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