Qualitative insights for Brezelkönig’s on-the-go customers


For more and more retailers around the world that feel the increasing pressure of Amazon Go and co. the question raises how to tap the power of new technologies to build innovative shopping solutions for their customers. If you are a big umbrella brand such as Valora, who owns many successful on-the-go convenience providers (such as kkiosk, P&B, Spettacolo, Brezelkönig, etc.) being at the forefront of the latest trends in retail, commerce and technology is an imperative. To generate and evaluate new digital business ideas for their one million customer contacts every day, Valora founded the "Valora Lab" located in San Francisco and Zürich.

Knowing that customers today are no longer just driven by a passion to consume but by a deep desire for more and better experiences, the Lab asked Spark Works to collaborate in the early development of a pre-ordering app for its Brezelkönig brand. With only limited quantitative point-of-sale data at hand, the prime objective during our project was to answer the following questions:

Who are Brezelkönig’s costumers? Are they mostly commuters or is the brand also attracting other type of clients? What are their behaviors, pain points and underlying needs? What motivates but also deters people from buying Brezelkönig products? And how could a digital innovation such as a pre-ordering app better serve these needs?

To answer these questions, we designed, planned and conducted a customer research study that applied various quantitative methods such as on-site observations, user and employee interviews, service testings and even context immersion by selling pretzels behind the counters. Having collected sufficient relevant customer insights, we went back to our lab to develop six retail archetypes that illustrated Brezelkönig’s customers and their needs. Archetypes are human-based models, synthesized from multiple customers into a single valid composite, evidence-based character that is representative of a type or category of users who share common attributes. Compared to classical market research which divides customers in market segmentations, archetypes are much more than a bunch of demographics: they are human beings with problems, needs, goals, habits, that live and move in certain environments.

With these retail archetypes as a basis we were able to envision and present digital concepts and potential features for a pre-ordering application that is truly aligned with the needs and desires of Brezelkönig’s customers and not solely driven by technology advances.

by Linda Armbruster, Design Partner


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