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Given high flop rates re-positioning of well established brands is a challenging marketing task. The market share of the champagne market leader in Germany Moet & Chandon had stagnated for several years. A qualitative market research analysis was carried out in order to identify new growth opportunities. It was decided to start "right from the beginning." lf marketing wants to influence consumers' behaviour and choice of brands as well as usage frequency systematically by means of optimum product positioning and well-targeted communication, it must know the real causes or motives behind purchasing behaviour as well as its barriers. The rest should be seen for what it is – a lottery. (The so called trial and error approach is rarely successful).

Some of the key questions were: Why does the target group actually drink champagne and not sparkling wine? What exactly makes champagne so fascinating? Why do some consumers prefer Moet & Chandon, while others choose different brands?

Apparently simple and obvious as the requirement may seem to be, to determine the real – often unconscious - causes and barriers behind category and brand choice, it nevertheless presents marketing experts and qualitative market researchers with almost insoluble problems. Generally speaking, it can be said, that the real problem of market research is, that consumers most often do not know exactly why they behave in a certain way (e.g. purchase a premium brand despite of cheaper alternatives). – More than 95% of all "decisions" are taken subconsciously as recent brain research findings have proven. (Ariely 2008, Gigerenzer 2007, Kast 2007, California Institute of Technology 2006) - Therefore they cannot tell us their motives precisely.

It was decided to use projective techniques which permit in-depth research into emotional experience and feelings and makes them apparent to the observer. They dig deeper than traditional psychological methods to unearth "hidden knowledge" and "unconscious cause-and-effect-chains" – the underlying beliefs and feelings that influence the behaviour of consumers or of other stakeholders. Projective techniques such as the Limbique Emotional Explorer are designed to elicit rich data from this realm of unconscious knowledge and market drivers.

The new international "be fabulous" communication and PR campaign of Moet & Chandon addresses the core category benefits and market driver in a well-targeted way. Moet & Chandon's market shares increased significantly after some years of stagnation. Getting a thorough understanding of current and potential consumer (or other stakeholder) is not easy, but it is essential to gaining and sustaining competitive advantage.

Methods used: projective qualitative techniques

Publication: Mayer de Groot, R.: Effective Communication around the World Learning from Best Practice Examples, in: p&a international market research 03/ 2012.