Communispace offers a unique process for administering market research. It offers a view into the minds of the customers of a brand by building brand-focused online communities in order to enable members to communicate with each other and generate focus groups to discuss the product. A community is built as a long-term project; it continues to produce valuable information for companies over the course of its existence. The business model utilized by Communispace helps to provide facilitation and management powered by technology and innovation. Communispace differentiates itself by focusing on the strategy of building online communities that act as an invaluable resource for testing ideas, generating feedback and exploring customers' mindsets. Communispace can begin its analysis within 24 hours of launching an online community as it reaches out to a particular subset of people that would be most interested in commenting on and speaking about a particular product.
A Word of Mouth campaign utilizes a different strategy. A targeted community would receive the product in the mail and would then ideally spread word around about the product to friends and neighbors. This campaign, while a beneficial tool for market research, was not a tool that Communispace utilized. There were many competitors that were better at this method. Simmons is a highly recognized FMCG company holding 20 brands that are found in over 95% of US households. Simmons wanted to promote its new organic product for weight conscious consumers via Communispace using word-of-mouth. The business problem being faced by Communispace was that it could not determine whether it would be undermining its strengths and strategy by taking this type of project or whether it would be detrimental to turn such an influential client down.
The case states the communities are built on the foundations of sense of trust and the feeling that their contributions are really making a difference for the company....
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