Immersive depth to understand the world of interior decoration
In 2014 Asda brought their extensive homeware range under the George brand for the first time. Keen to raise the status of George Home, the team needed to understand the needs, motivations and interior decoration behaviours of Asda shoppers.
George Home, Asda
Innovation / Positioning, Strategy
LifeStream, ethnography, UX
Partnering with The Big Picture, the research unpicked consumers’ relationships with their homes.
How did they approach the process of decorating, furnishing and accessorising their home? How did the journey differ depending on their confidence, enthusiasm and means? What were the triggers and barriers within home decoration?
Together we devised an extensive programme of ethnographic consumer research and knowledge pooling, bringing together the expertise of researchers, insight specialists, designers, marketeers, buyers and merchandisers to build a set of consumer typologies.
Two key needs underpinned our approach. Firstly, we required a behavioural approach that would reveal the intricacies of consumers’ shorter and longer-term relationships to interior design, identifying both the aspiration and reality. And secondly, the output needed to help colleagues ‘live and breathe’ the consumer.
In the first phase, we tasked 220 Asda shoppers to share their homes and interior design aspirations using our ethnographic smartphone app, LifeStream. Photographing their homes and answering open-ended questions, this stage gave us the breadth to map norms and extremes. We collected over 4,500 photographs and documented 1286 rooms! Participants narrated these tours, describing their approach, picking favourite objects, identifying things they wanted to change and exploring their personal sense of style. This mixture of visual evidence and self-reflexivity gave us a strong basis for developing our typologies.
From here we began to hypothesise typologies to explore in depth as we moved in-home. We visited 20 Asda shoppers to profile them in ethnographic depth. We explored their homes, the extent of their interior design ambitions, sources of inspiration, and the practical barriers that inhibited their vision.
Finally, quantitative research validated the typologies, identifying the size of each segment and importance to Asda.
Great qualitative insight is about telling stories. Stories that inspire action.
The segmentation needed to work for stakeholders across the business. Designers needed to feel creatively inspired. Merchandisers and buyers needed to know the size of the opportunity. Marketeers needed to understand how customers saw themselves, and what they aspired their homes to be. Fundamentally, Asda colleagues needed to step into their consumers’ shoes.
Our in-house designer created bespoke illustrations for the typology guide and minisite. The minisite enabled Asda colleagues to study real examples of each segment. The Asda insight team then held an immersion day inviting teams across the business to visit a physical installation of each segment.