Sparking M&S customer closeness

Challenge

Two years of tough sales figures for M&S Womenswear convinced the new management it needed a fresh, in-depth perspective on shoppers – one that helped M&S more accurately target a very diverse audience and gave clear, insightful guidance on range improvements.

Approach

Our 3-stage study began with focus groups - rooting all in customer thinking. We selected ‘model shoppers’ who epitomised segments and combined these with stakeholders in a 5-hour workshop - an immersive, playful exploration of needs/opportunities. A WhatsApp-community provided a uniquely instructive window on shoppers’ lives.

Outcome

Research proved transformative. Stakeholders’ model shoppers have become guiding lights. Customer WhatsApp groups still hum with talk of life and fashion! Shoppers have reviewed ranges at Head Office and a ‘Customer Bible’ encapsulates lifestyles and buying behaviour.