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IMRB International has extensive experience in research on tobacco products. This experience has been built over the last thirty years across a very wide range of marketing issues; and across a large number of countries. The range of experience include:

  • Market measurement: This is not limited to cigarettes. IMRB also covers tobacco in the unorganized sector. The issues of non-admission of usage and under admission of depth of usage have been successfully tackled.
  • Segmentation of consumers: Segmentation is based on different consumer needs. Such segmentation has helped in more efficient portfolio allocation; identifying the needs for new brand offers; rationalizing the number of brands and paving the way for strengthening the brand in its consumer segment. Segments created through a segmentation study are then identified and tracked in brand health tracking. The findings have been aggregated across countries for developing regional strategy
  • Strategic brand health evaluation: Tracking brand behaviour continuously using innovative and cost effective sampling; extensive experience in issue based reporting
  • Qualitative brand audits to develop brand strategy
  • Periodic evaluation of blends among own and competition brand smokers to identify directions for improvement of blends. Innovative methods to weed out inconsistent evaluations by consumers have been incorporated. IMRB has been able to measure the ability of consumers to differentiate between products based on normative data.
  • Evaluating the effect of varying product specs on consumer perception
  • Model to understand the impact of product quality and the role of different elements that contribute to quality
  • Identification of action areas to strengthen trade marketing and distribution among trade vis-à-vis competing manufacturers and competing product categories. This customer satisfaction study involves identifying key drivers of satisfaction among trade and mapping company’s position in a competitive context.
  • The complete set of research studies to successfully launch new brands or re-launch existing ones that include:
    a. Identifying opportunities through existing databases
    b. Qualitative concept development – taking the idea forward
    c. Determining whether the blend developed is good enough or not
    d. Name or descriptor research using pseudo-product testing
    e. Developing packaging through qualitative research; testing the new packs to evaluate whether they are good enough to be launched; if not, to provide actionable areas for improvement – and eventually identify a winner pack that is good enough to be launched; pseudo-product testing to check the impact of packaging on product perceptions
    f. Decide on pricing based on market shares at alternative pricing options
    g. Simulated Test Marketing (STM) of the final offer to estimate the share of the new offer; understand what is driving the share –and, if low, then to recommend what mix elements need to be changed. STMs have also been conducted to identify the relative impact of alternative mix elements
    h. Post-launch evaluation, which, in the case of re-launches, is conducted using a short term pre vs. post panel. Innovative scales have been developed to clearly measure change in brand perception, as a result of the re-launch.
  • Evaluating the business impact of migrating from one brand name to another
  • IMRB has considerable expertise in pricing research for cigarettes. Techniques include Brand Price Trade Off (BPTO), Price Sensitivity Measurement (PSM); Choice based Conjoint (CBC). There is experience in handling different situations e.g. stick and pack price; different pack sizes; variants; differential pricing. IMRB has validated market share estimates and the learning’s have been used. IMRB has also successfully developed econometric demand models
  • Merchandising is another relatively unchartered territory where IMRB has introduced consumer research based evaluation e.g. in measuring reach and frequency in evaluating relative effectiveness of alternative merchandising.
  • Measuring the impact of marketing inputs
  • Economic impact studies of the tobacco industry
  • Research training and research protocols for client companies on tobacco-related research

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