In order to support SBM in decisions about the future of its brands, Mobas delivered a holistic approach to understand the category and the needs of gardeners. Our recommendations were used to inform a major product rationalisation for the company and a planned extension of high-performing brand ranges.

Insight into SBM

Following a number of acquisitions and mergers, SBM has gained a diverse brand portfolio, covering houseplant and outdoor plant care, pest/disease control and weedkillers. Some of their brands supported product ranges, whereas others were focused on a specific task.

SBM approached Mobas during period of change within the organisation. They needed to make decisions about how best to restructure the brand portfolio to focus investment on those brands with the greatest potential.

Operating through retail, SBM had limited visibility of how its products were viewed by the end consumer, and the team was at risk of making poorly informed decisions which could have negatively impacted sales.

This required robust insight into the purchase behaviours, motivations and attitudes of gardeners towards SBM’s brands and those of competitors. With a view to enabling SBM to invest in those brands which hold invaluable customer equity and can deliver the maximum return.

Research techniques 

Our approach drew multiple techniques to provide deep, holistic insight upon which to base business decisions. These included the following stages:

  • Existing insight review: drawing on sales data, category research and competitor analysis to understand current market behaviours and trends
  • Qualitative accompanied shops: following real shoppers as the navigated a store and made decisions on which products to choose, thus providing deep insight into how consumers use and navigate the category
  • Quantitative online survey: providing robust data on category usage and attitudes, awareness and perceptions of SBM brands vs. competitors
  • A strategic workshop with the client, delivering the combined insights from the above stages to spark discussions and aid decision-making around how to rationalise the brand portfolio

Implementing the insight 

Our mixed-method approach provided a full picture for the client on how to face the challenge ahead, enabling them to make informed decisions with confidence.

The insight review highlighted key category trends, including the increased focus on gardening for physical and mental health post-COVID. The online survey provided us with clear data on which brands had the greatest potential and loyalty. When combined with the accompanied shops, this provided a deep understanding of the factors impacting purchase behaviour and the challenges of creating standout at point of purchase.

With such a wealth of data and insight, we facilitated a workshop with the SBM team. The outputs from this interactive session were a recommended portfolio structure, with clear guidance on which brands to keep, lose and extend.

Following this session, Mobas harnessed the insight to create updated pack designs for the refreshed product range, addressing the issues that had been identified in the research as causing the under-performance of key lines. A follow-up round of consumer testing was carried out on these new pack designs to understand the strength, appeal and elasticity of these prior to launch.

The outcome 

The insights from this study gave SBM confidence to undertake a major product relaunch, creating a portfolio of string brands which was more easily managed and cost effectively supported.

In conclusion

At Mobas we champion informed decision making. Only by fully understanding the attitudes and behaviours of customers can we maximise the potential of product brands. In this case, the research revealed untapped opportunities and also brands which were unlikely to succeed however they were promoted. This project demonstrates the importance of multiple insight sources in providing a holistic view to inform brand transformation. Each element had a clear role to play, and together, they provided powerful data on which to base decisions.

At Mobas, we tailor-make each project to meet the unique needs of our clients.

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