General Mills

Discover how in just three days General Mills used Recollective to better understand the needs and evolving expectations of hotel guests at breakfast.

General mills logo vector

How do you engage with someone first thing in the morning to understand their breakfast choices? And how do you do this with busy individuals staying in hotels that are constantly on-the-go?

By using a convenient and collaborative Recollective community, the General Mills Convenience & Foodservice team worked with STAGE 6IX Consulting, Inc. to better understand how their breakfast products meet the needs and evolving expectations of various consumer groups within the hospitality segment. The project resulted in the groundwork for an entire profile design that highlights various key guest channels, mapping out each of their meal-time musts.

Background

Hotels are a unique setting that brings people from all over the world into a single environment. In order for General Mills to grow their business in this industry sector, they knew it was important to understand the subconscious drivers of service satisfaction important to each of the many hospitality consumer groups, how these could be articulated upon with their product offerings and to get at this information in the moment - breakfast.

Challenges

The Convenience & Foodservice team at General Mills needed a way to optimize and grow business that went beyond looking at product order numbers and totals. The team wanted an approach that would cultivate a level of cognizance in consumers at breakfast and gain their real-time feedback during breakfast to get closer to the top of mind drivers behind their choices.

More specifically, General Mills wanted to know how people make their breakfast decisions when traveling and across different consumer types:

  • What do the different consumer groups eat?
  • What are the reasons behind their choices in that moment?
  • What impacts their choices in terms of their consumer context (e.g. business traveler preferring smaller or packaged meal options that can be taken to-go)

To make things convenient for the research participants, the client also needed a platform that could easily be accessed across different devices (e.g. mobile, tablet or laptop) with an intuitive interface and user experience.

Solution

Being able to engage and collaborate with people at breakfast while they were travelling provided the best lens into the psychological and circumstantial considerations that surrounded the choices made by hotel guests.

After mapping out the requirements to achieve that, STAGE 6IX Consulting, Inc. proposed a short online community built on Recollective. This online community approach created a much larger geographical reach for participation, allowed people to answer general questions as well as ones that were more specific to their identified hotel consumer group, and most importantly, engaged people in real-time while they were having breakfast.

Since the content and questions were able to be customized for each customer group and dynamic situational elements, there was no need for separate projects or even community spaces. That kept all the data centralized and enabled comparative analysis efforts.

Running a Recollective community also allowed General Mills to directly talk to their participants, diving deeper into their needs while they were travelling and leading to more accurate and timely results.

The lack of geographical restraints, added flexibility and cost savings of this approach helped turn a complex project undertaking into something that was amicable to manage. Beyond that, the data accuracy benefits borne out of capturing responses in the moment also yielded insights beyond breakfast. Everything from hotel cost constraints, location, comfort considerations, service staples and functional focuses of these customers were explored, providing fertile ground for products to be optimized based on these channels and contexts.

Outcome

The knowledge that STAGE 6IX Consulting, Inc. gathered through the Recollective community gave the General Mills team a true depth of understanding on the emotional and functional needs across different types of leisure and business travellers. From a short three-day community, General Mills is now armed with:

  • Consumer comprehension - the project insights resulted in a deep understanding of changing contexts, evolving expectations and consumer needs across traveller types
  • Detailed guest channels - beyond traveller type and demographics, the study resulted in detailed customer categories as it pertains to breakfast decision making (e.g. essential, functional and emotional outlooks)
  • Meal-time musts - synthesizing the knowledge about the traveller types with the information from the different decision making perspectives created a list of breakfast must haves for an array of different consumers and circumstances
  • Intelligence for growth - the results from the community have fed into refined strategies for strategic growth in hospitality that reflect the nuances of that business area (instead of a one size fits all solution)

Using Recollective, the General Mills team was able to rapidly tap into their customer needs on a very deep level. In addition, the in-the-moment nature contributed to a tremendous depth of understanding and inherent genuity of the data. The results from the project have contributed to the development of an ongoing framework from which to build future products and offerings with precise knowledge as to what variables to account for in the respective channels.

Downloads

Stage 6IX: Understanding Breakfast Decisions

1.27 MB

Download PDF

Ready to get started?