#StrategyTalks: The Guide to IHUT Research – Part 3

9 March 2022

Here we are – part 3 of our guide to IHUT research. At this point, you should know what IHUT is, why you need to use it (and keep using it), what the different types of IHUT are, when to use them, and how.

Are you overwhelmed? Fear not – today, we will walk you through each step of IHUT strategy planning and execution from start to finish.

Robert is the Director of Global Business at Gold Standard Skincare, a popular Canadian skincare brand. Although Gold Standard is literally the gold standard in Canadian skincare, it is only starting out in China. At the moment, the brand has assembled its China team and is ready to launch its first series — its Rejuvena serum. However, Gold Standard still needs to determine whether the Rejuvena series in its current form is a good fit for the China market. Robert has been tasked with market research and preparations for an initial release at the end of the year. 

Gold Standard is a household name in Canadian skincare. Its products, packaging and appearance are designed with Canadian consumers in mind. As the brand coordinates its development in China, Robert is well aware of the need to localise its designs, branding and messaging to suit the tastes and preferences of Chinese consumers. In addition to physical appearances, localisation also entails presenting a product designed with the needs and preferences of local consumers. This includes naming, promotional messaging and brand positioning. To find the answers to these questions, Gold Standard opts to research their target market through IHUT.

First, Gold Standard and PJdaren work together to devise a comprehensive IHUT strategy plan to identify product wins such as consumer satisfaction, satisfaction by features (for example, texture, fragrance, packaging and efficacy) and purchase intent. Furthermore, Gold Standard wants to develop a localised product nickname derived from product buzzwords among consumers to facilitate product branding upon release. This plan outlines all the details of this IHUT program, such as the brand’s target audience and the budget for this IHUT. In addition, testing parameters are defined and survey questions are designed in accordance with Gold Standard’s needs and research scope before moving on to the next step.

PJdaren ships test samples to test participants in customised packaging

After defining Gold Standard’s needs, PJdaren’s IHUT team builds a portfolio of 1200 eligible test participants that match Gold Standard’s ideal consumers located in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities with skin concerns such as acne and dryness.

Next, Gold Standard delivers the 1200 Rejuvena samples to PJdaren and PJdaren uses its custom packaging to ship each sample to test participants. Once product testers receive their samples, they log onto the PJdaren mobile app to review detailed product information and testing instructions.

After 15 days trying the Rejuvena samples, IHUT testing is complete and product testers receive the experience survey through the PJdaren app. As test participants complete the survey, Robert and his team can log into the PJdaren platform to view survey progress and analyse responses as they come in.

User feedback reveals that the overall experience using the Rejuvena serum was satisfactory. However, when evaluating the product by feature, consumers were not satisfied with the packaging used. Respondents felt that the current shake bottle made it difficult to get the serum into their hands. In fact, some test participants felt the packaging was so user unfriendly that despite how much they enjoyed the effects of the serum, they would rather not buy it with this packaging. A vast majority of testers noted that they prefer a bottle with a pump.

Based on these results, Gold Standard decided to modify its product packaging for the Chinese market. Moreover, many respondents affectionately referred to Rejuvena as the “little gold bottle” (小金瓶). With this, Gold Standard opted to release the pump bottle version of Rejuvena using this product nickname.

Finally, Gold Standard has a complete, localised product for its China debut. Robert reaches out to PJdaren’s campaign services team to develop and execute an influencer marketing campaign for its Rejuvena Little Gold Bottle serum. Instead of focusing on executing a KOL-only or KOC-only campaign as many brands choose to do, Gold Standard opts to leverage PJdaren’s exclusive KOLC combination strategy to activate an even stronger campaign that combines the respective advantages of both KOLs and KOCs. Based on Gold Standard’s target consumer profile, PJdaren selects 1000 KOLs and KOCs from its over 4 million-strong influencer pool. Of these, 12 are top-tier KOLs, 28 are mid-tier KOLs, 55 are micro KOLs and 905 are KOCs.

PJdaren’s campaign team works with all 1000 KOLs and KOCs to deliver Gold Standard’s brand identity and product messages, monitoring all post activity and fine-tuning content for maximum alignment with Gold Standard’s needs. As the KOLC activation proceeds, PJdaren leverages its army of ordinary consumers to drive authentic reviews for Gold Standard on its Tmall, JD and WeChat mini-program shops.

All along the way, Robert and his team are able to view campaign data in real time to monitor performance and identify less successful strategies to modify and optimise the campaign as it progresses.

With PJdaren’s full-service product testing and campaign solutions, Robert was able to present one of Gold Standard’s most successful product launches to global executives at his next board meeting.

Find out how PJdaren can help your brand become the next gold standard of your industry!

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About 评价达人 – PJdaren:

Since 2016, PJdaren has helped some of the world’s largest brands build trust, collect insights and drive sales in China by engaging Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs) and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) through our state-of-the-art influencer marketing platform.

Our software and services connect brands with our over 4 million-strong KOC and KOL community. We facilitate targeted, authentic conversations and content, enabling brands to capture the market with measurable results.