Toyota Prius Qualitative Research Report
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  • 1. Qualitative Research Report Toyota Prius April 13, 2010 Account Planning 4316 Texas State University
  • 2. Table of Contents Research Objectives 3 Methodology 4 Focus Group Specs 5 Who We Talked To 6 Key Insights 12 Insights Summary 16 Appendix 17
  • 3. Toyota is currently experiencing a major PR disaster with it's recent product recall. To maintain brand loyalty and increase sales of 2010 models during this crisis, the Toyota Prius is launching an advertising campaign in May 2010. The purpose of this research is: 1. To gain consumer insights that will drive the advertising strategy for the Toyota Prius. 2. To supplement the previous secondary and survey research conducted for the Toyota Prius. 3. To explore why gas mileage and car prices are important to consumers.
  • 4. Methodology
    • One-on-one interviews.
    • 15-40 minutes in length.
    • 5 interviews.
    • Each member of Analytical Animals conducted one interview.
    • All interview were videotaped, one was conducted via skype.
    • Interviews took place in Austin, Houston, San Marcos, and via Skype.
    • Interviews conducted April 4 th -12 th .
    • Storytelling engagement technique.
  • 5. Respondent Specs We want our campaign to target males and females throughout the entire United States. These individuals will have at least a college degree and earn above $35,000 a year; their age range should be between the ages of 21 and 55. They probably own a home and may have children. Since they are educated, they will understand the importance of getting an eco-friendly car or they are aware of the long-term benefits of purchasing an energy-efficient vehicle. They are concerned about gas mileage so they will take trips or commute to work. If they care about the environment, their past times may include outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, canoeing, etc.
  • 6. Who We Talked To:
  • 7.
    • Alex, Prius Owner
    • Age: 21
    • Occupation: distributor for Papyrus cards, photographer, and student
    • Lives in Houston, TX
    • Plays golf
    • Drives long distances frequently.
  • 8. Catey, Intended Buyer Age: 22 Occupation: Teacher Education: bachelor of science in interdisciplinary studies (with early childhood through grade 6)  -Single, no children   -Average income of $35,000 per year -Long distance driver. -Socially active. -Bargain shopper.
  • 9. Kathy, Prius Owner Age: 53 Occupation: Writer and mother Activities: Being a mother of two college kids that live in different cities, very involved in the church, writes for a living, sports, gardening, traveling.
  • 10. Age 25 -Bachelor’s Degree -Income 45,000+ -Perspective Prius Owner -Mother of two -Married -Uses car for work, children, social activities and errands Rocio seemed to be very informed about the Toyota Prius and was very involved environmentally. She feels by buying the Prius she will be doing her part in helping with ‘going green’. While money is not the main option in buying this car, it is important, but she feels it will pay off in the gas she will save in purchasing the vehicle.
  • 11.
    • Kerry
    • Age: 51
    • Occupation: Medical Transcriptionist
    • Description: Self-described
    • “ Baseball Mom”. Conservative,
    • Financially Responsible. Home-owner.
    • $80k income. Bargain Shopper.
  • 12. Key Insights
  • 13. Gas Mileage
    • Each of our drivers stated that one of the main reasons they purchased/would be interested in the Prius was because of the great gas mileage.
    • Most of our respondents went on long distance trips several times a year.
    • With the rising gas prices, many of our respondents were proud to have a car that received over 45 miles MPG.
    "I really love that the Prius gets such good gas mileage, it's a huge factor in my decision on buying a Prius." Respondent- Catey
  • 14. A Unique Experience
    • Many of our drivers explained that the Prius was different from any car they had previously owned.
    • One of our respondents mentioned that they even had to take a Prius class to learn how to operate the car.
    • Many unique characteristics of the car were mentioned during the interview, such as the quietness of the Prius when it is running.
    • “ The Prius was so different from my previous car, I’m still getting used to it.”- Respondent Kathy
  • 15. Recall-Initial Concern
    • Both intended buyers and owners were initially concerned about recall.
    • Several respondents did research that calmed their fears. Some fears subsided due to Toyota’s actions and others because their specific car was unaffected.
    • All respondents did research into the recall.
    • No respondents had worries post-research.
    “ I was worried at first but Toyota seems to have it under control now.” Respondent- Kerry “ I wasn’t as concerned once I found out that my year model wasn’t affected.” Respondent Alex
  • 16. Insight Summary
    • Gas Mileage
    • -Priority for most respondents.
    • -Most respondents take long distance trips regularly.
    • A Unique Experience
    • Most respondents agree that the Prius is unlike any other car on the market.
    • Recall-Initial Concern
    • -All respondents did research into the recall
    • -All respondents’ fear subsided post-research.
  • 17. Appendix
  • 18. Screener
    • Who do we want to talk to? We want our campaign to target males and females throughout the entire United States. These individuals will have at least a college degree and earn above $35,000 a year; their age range should be between the ages of 21 and 55. They probably own a home and may have children. Since they are educated, they will understand the importance of getting an eco-friendly car or they are aware of the long-term benefits of purchasing an energy-efficient vehicle. They are concerned about gas mileage so they will take trips or commute to work If they care about the environment, their past times may include outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, canoeing, etc.
    •  
    • Research Objectives After reviewing the results of our secondary and survey research, our team identified several key areas to build our qualitative research around. We hope to learn the reasons why gas mileage and car price are so important to consumers. We aim to learn the reasons behind the obvious budgetary concern so our advertising can reach our consumers on a more personal level. To do this we will need to research the consumer's qualitative demographics such as lifestyle, life-cycle, activities, and social interests. We also want to learn about our consumers media usage to identify the best medium to reach them. Our research determined that Toyota's recent series of recalls negatively affected it's brand image. We need to find out what actions the consumer believes Toyota needs to take to restore their brand image.
  • 19. Screener Cont’d
    • Screener
    •  
    • Hello my name is _____ from 4316 Market Research. We are looking for participants to take part in a focus group and we would like to ask you a few questions. We are not selling anything nor will we follow up with any sales calls as a result of this study. The information you provide will positively impact many products and services offered to people like you.
    • Q1. We're looking for people who work in certain industries. Have you, your family, or any of you close friends ever worked in the following industries?
    • Advertising agency/Public relations
    • END
    • Marketing research/Product development
    • END
    • Press/TV/Radio
    • END
    • Automotive Sales
    • END
    • None of These
    • Go to Q2
    •  
    •  
    • Q10. Do you own your home?
    • (End if not a home owner.)
    • Q11. How important is owning an eco-friendly automobile to you?
    • Very important. (Continue to Q12.)
    • Somewhat important.(Continue to Q12.)
    • You care about the environment, but it won't affect your buying decision.(End.)
    • It doesn't matter to you.(End.)
    •  
    • Q12.Imagine now that you would travel for one day into another time with a time machine. Which decade or century would you like to see? What would you experience on your trip?
    • _________________________________________________________________
    • (Recruit participants who are imaginative and speak English fluently.)
    •  
    • Q13. Think for a moment about your personality and comfort level in a group situation, which of the following statements best describes you?
    •  
    • I am extremely comfortable sharing my opinions just about anywhere, to anyone (Continue to Q14)
    • I am very comfortable sharing my opinions in a group setting.(Continue to Q14)
    • I am somewhat comfortable expressing my opinions in a group setting.(End.)
    • I am somewhat uncomfortable sharing my opinions in a group setting.(End)
    • Expressing my opinions in a group setting makes me very uncomfortable.(End.)
    •  
    • Q14. What is your profession?
    •  
    • _______________________________
    • (Ok to recruit students/part time workers. Recruit a good mix of people.)
  • 20. Screener Cont’d
    • Q2. Do you currently own a Toyota Prius??
    • Go to Q5
    • Q3. Are you currently shopping for a midsize hybrid sedan?
    • Go to Q5
    • Q4.When did you last participate in market research?
    • __________________________________________________
    • (If less than 3 months ago, please end. If more than 3 months ago, continue to Q3)
    • Q5. What was the subject of that research?
    •  
    • _________________________________________________________________
    • (If automobile related, please end.)
    •  
    • Q6. Please indicate your age.
    • |__|-|__| (End if age <21 or >55)
    • (Mix of ages between 21 and 55, more if possible at younger end.)
  • 21. Screener Cont’d
    •   Q7. Please indicate your gender.
    • 1. Male
    • 2. Female
    • (Recruit a 60/40 gender split) 
    • Q8. Is your current income over $35,000 a year?
    • (End if less than $35,000) 
    • Q9. Do you have a college degree?
    • (End if they do not have a college degree.)
    • Q10. Do you own your home?
    • Q11. How important is owning an eco-friendly automobile to you?
    • Very important. (Continue to Q12.)
    • Somewhat important.(Continue to Q12.)
    • You care about the environment, but it won't affect your buying decision.(End.)
    • It doesn't matter to you.(End.)
  • 22. Screener Cont’d
    • Q12.Imagine now that you would travel for one day into another time with a time machine. Which decade or century would you like to see? What would you experience on your trip?
    • _________________________________________________________________
    • (Recruit participants who are imaginative and speak English fluently.)
    • Q13. Think for a moment about your personality and comfort level in a group situation, which of the following statements best describes you?
    • I am extremely comfortable sharing my opinions just about anywhere, to anyone (Continue to Q14)
    • I am very comfortable sharing my opinions in a group setting.(Continue to Q14)
    • I am somewhat comfortable expressing my opinions in a group setting.(End.)
    • I am somewhat uncomfortable sharing my opinions in a group setting.(End)
    • Expressing my opinions in a group setting makes me very uncomfortable.(End.)
    •  
    • Q14. What is your profession? 
    • _______________________________
    • (Ok to recruit students/part time workers. Recruit a good mix of people.)
  • 23. Discussion Guide
    • Discussion Guide 1- Prius Owners
    •   Total Time for 1 group: 30 minutes
    •   1. Intro (10 Minutes)
    •   A). Explanation: Welcome everyone, thank you for coming. What we’ll be doing today, for the next 30 minutes or so is asking for your help. We are seeking information and wanting your input on the Toyota Prius, as a brand.
    • B). Rules: Keep in mind there is no right or wrong answer.
    • C). Explain the technical set up. -The room, videotaping, mirror, others in back room, and introduce the technical assistant sitting in the focus group room.-
    • D). Quick introduction/warm-up
    •   Please tell me a bit about yourself:
    • Name, age profession, what you like to do in your spare time, your living situation- apartment, house, alone, with roommate, etc. Also tell me about your current car situation.
  • 24. Discussion Guide Cont’d
    • 2. Lifestyle: General (10 Minutes)—Both Owners and Intended Buyers.
    •   The following series of questions are for understanding consumers’ lifestyle and to get to them on a more personal level. Keep this portion of the discussion to 10 minutes. 
    • You mentioned (insert: ____) I’d like to know more about this… 
    • Are you married?
    • Do you have children?
    • If so, how many do you have?
    • What do you like to do for fun?
    • Do you spend more time watching the television?
    • If so, what shows do you like?
    • Do you enjoy surfing the internet?
    • What websites?
    • What’s your most common destination when driving?
    • How much time do you spend in your car each day?
    • How many miles do you drive a week?
    • What do you spend a majority of your money on?
    • How much money would you spend on a purchase like a car?
    • Is gas mileage important to you?
    • Why is gas mileage such a budgetary concern for you?
    • How does your Prius fit into your lifestyle?
  • 25. Discussion Guide Cont’d
    • 3. Prius Experience and Recall (10 Minutes)---OWNERS ONLY. Skip to Part 4 if interviewing intended buyer.
    • The following series of questions are to discuss how the owner feels about their Prius with the state of the recent recall. Keep this portion of the discussion to 10 minutes.
    • What did you drive before the Prius?
    • How does it compare to the Prius?
    • How long have you owned your Prius?
    • What attracted you to the Prius?
    • What kind of research did you do before purchasing your Prius?
    • Did you buy your Prius new or used?
    • What was your experience like purchasing the Prius? (dealership, test drive, etc.)
    • Are you satisfied with your Prius?
    • How do you feel about the price of the Prius?
    • With the recent recalls of the Prius, how do you feel about your car now?
    • How did you feel about your car before the recalls?
    • Do you feel safe driving your Prius?
    • What can/should Toyota do to make their customers feel more at ease?
    • Would you purchase another Prius?
    • Would you recommend the Prius to a friend? 
    • Thank you very much for your time. You were very helpful. Please let me remind you signed a non-disclosure agreement. As you read in the agreement, you have legally agreed NOT to discuss the nature of this device with friends or family for two years. This is highly confidential and you are legally prohibited from sharing any information about this.
  • 26. Discussion Guide Cont’d
    • 4. Current Car and Prius Recall (10 Minutes) ---Intended Buyers
    • What kind of car do you own?
    • What do you like/dislike about it?
    • How does it fit into your lifestyle?
    • What attracted you to the Prius?
    • What kind of research have you done about the Prius?
    • Have you test driven the Prius?
    • What do you like/dislike about it?
    • How do you feel the Prius compares to other cars you are looking at?
    • How do you feel about the price of the Prius?
    • With the recent recalls how do you feel about the Prius?
    • How did you feel about the Prius before the recalls?
    • Are you more likely or less likely to purchase a Prius since the recalls?
    • Do you feel that the Prius is a safe car?
    • What can/should Toyota do to make their customers feel more at ease?
    •  
    • Thank you very much for your time. You were very helpful. Please let me remind you signed a non-disclosure agreement. As you read in the agreement, you have legally agreed NOT to discuss the nature of this device with friends or family for two years. This is highly confidential and you are legally prohibited from sharing any information about this.
  • 27. Engagement Exercise Narrative
    • Do you have a funny story about driving your Prius?
    • Can you tell me about a time when you needed your car to get better gas mileage?
    • Do you have any interesting stories that involve driving your Prius?
  • 28. Best Respondent Engagement Exercise
    • “ The gas engine shuts down and it’s running on an electric motor, so there have been times where I thought that my car shut off on me. I’ve also had situations where you’re a stealth car in a parking lot. I’ve had a small child who just ran into my car and their parent almost did too.” Respondent-Kathy