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Enabling Unilever’s Consumer-Centric Strategy

Unilever partnered with to garner voice of consumer insights and keep these at the forefront of their decision-making process.

Editor’s Note: Every year, participants in the GreenBook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) Report survey vote for the most innovative companies in market research. In Insights That Work, these top companies share the real-life challenges and solutions of their biggest clients.

Research Challenge:

Unilever has a long-standing commitment to keeping consumers at the core of their business and decision-making. However, budget limitations make it challenging to build one-on-one connections with consumers who live outside of their teams’ immediate geographies. Thus, teams across Unilever were looking for solutions that enable them to be consumer-centric, while avoiding the cost and hassle associated with frequent travel.

Exploring a new retail channel, a CMI team at Unilever needed to gain a better understanding of the shopping behaviours of consumers in the UK who purchased a particular Unilever product. These conversations needed to happen within a short time-frame, as they would be leveraged during an upcoming strategy workshop. And it was critical for the team members to engage in these conversations first-hand in order to build their own understanding of the consumer so they could participate in the discussions in a more informed way.

  • Consumer connection is critical, but budget and travel limitations make it challenging
  • Unilever teams needed to find an innovative workaround
  • Consumer perspectives can be used in the front-end of innovation to inform future strategies


Research Solution:

Unilever used to recruit and host these conversations on their live video platform. Over the course of two weeks, 30 members of the CMI team engaged in one-on-one conversations online with consumers. Since these conversations were conducted from consumers’ homes and not central locations, was able to recruit from a more representative swath of consumers dispersed around the UK, not only those located in metropolitan areas.’s end-to-end solution enabled the team to engage directly with consumers themselves in order to hear first-hand how consumers went about the shopping process. Following the workshop, the team compiled a highlight video of the findings, allowing the insights to be shared and rewatched repeatedly. provided an end-to-end solution that allowed Unilever to talk to 30 consumers in the two weeks leading up to the strategic workshop


Client Result:

Having connected directly with consumers beforehand, the brand managers joined the workshop equipped with relevant perspectives, personal stories and insights, which they shared throughout the day. It made for a workshop that was energized and externally focused, rather than corporate and insular, and made it feel as if the consumers were right there in the room.

They were able to further infuse this energy throughout the organization by clipping together highlights from the sessions in a reel. Leveraging the video recordings allowed them to keep the voice of the consumer alive long after the workshop and influencing future decision-making. Unilever’s long-standing mission of developing consumer-centric strategy was accelerated, simplified, and made scalable by partnering with

  • The team came to the workshop energized and with a consumer-centric perspective
  • Attendees cited and shared clips from their conversations with consumer
  • The workshop resulted in a strategy and direction influenced by an understanding of the consumer

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