Your Product Performed Below Norms. Now What?

by Sylvia Baker
product performance below norms

Many goods and services receive high marks with our audience, but what happens if your product falls below our Moms Meet Norms? Does this mean Moms think your product is inferior to other products they’ve sampled? Not necessarily. In this installment, we dive into the different factors to consider if your product performs below one or more Moms Meet category norms.

When brands participate in our Group Sampling Programs, they receive detailed feedback from our Consumer Insights Division (CID) on how their products performed. This performance data is then stored in our Norms Database to provide context for interpreting future program results. Norms are calculated averages from programs that have been grouped together according to one or more points of similarity, such as product type, ingredients, or benefits. The Moms Meet Norms Database contains over 10 years’ worth of Group Sampling Program data.

Each program receives key product performance measures including product rating, likelihood to purchase, and likelihood to recommend. If the results of your Group Sampling Program illustrate that your product performs below norms, it’s important to consider the following:   

  1.     Your product may be unique and quite possibly a category disruptor. If your product is new or unfamiliar to consumers because of its form, ingredients, packaging, usage application, etc., consumers may just need time to build up familiarity and positive experiences with it. It may take consumers even longer to connect with and respond to your goods if your product falls into a brand new category.

Charts 1 and 2 illustrate norms comparisons from a recently completed Group Sampling Program. In Chart 1, the “top two box” ratings (combined excellent/good, definitely would buy/probably would buy, and definitely would recommend/probably would recommend ratings) for the three key performance measures are lower than the average ratings for similar products sampled by Moms Meet. This should not, however, be interpreted that the product sampled is inferior to similar products. In Chart 2, these same ratings are above products considered category disruptors by Moms Meet. 

Moms Meet category disrupter norms include products that created a new category or subcategory or are formulated with ingredients or packaging that were new to consumers at the time they were sampled. The product sampled in Charts 1 and 2 was indeed new and unique. Showing its ratings in context with other similar products and other category disruptors provides a more complete picture of the consumers’ opinions and expectations.

norms chart

  1.     Consumers may truly want to see changes made to your product. Moms Meet’s CID summarizes survey responses and applies additional analytical techniques to provide clear, actionable recommendations to clients. These results and additional analyses include the following:

Quadrant analysis, to identify which attributes may represent improvement opportunities

This analytical process visually displays in chart form the relationship between an attribute’s importance to category purchase and its degree of liking for your product. If an attribute is “very important” to the category but is below the average of “like very much” responses for your product, the attribute will appear in the chart’s “Improvements” quadrant. The location of an attribute in the “Improvements” quadrant may or may not represent a call to action for the brand, but it certainly represents a call to action for the CID to search for corroborating evidence elsewhere in the data.


Purchase barriers, to identify the reasons cited most often for possibly or definitely not purchasing your product 

Reasons selected by more than 10% of the groups, as well as reasons occurring with greater incidence than comparable categories, are highlighted as potential action items. The purchase barriers cited most often for all food and non-food products sampled by Moms Meet are “price” (too expensive) and “availability” (not available where I like to shop).

Sentiment analysis of open-ends, to obtain detailed and constructive feedback on product concerns and dislikes

There are two opportunities for Mom Ambassadors to provide open-ended comments in the survey. The first opportunity is after the Purchase Barriers question. Here, they are encouraged to provide specific product, packaging, and/or market positioning suggestions they think would increase their likelihood to purchase the product sampled. There is a second more general open-ended comment opportunity at the end of the survey that can also be a source of valuable feedback and suggestions.

Segmentation of users, to explore whether factors such as category usage, personal preference, demographics, etc. might be affecting consumer liking of your product 

For example, ingredients such as stevia, cilantro, and coconut, or properties such as heat level and texture, are known to be polarizing in overall product acceptance. Exploring whether or not there may be a minority of “dislikers” pulling down overall ratings can be very helpful in interpreting results and making next-step recommendations. 

Conversely, our Brand Champion Analysis identifies consumers having the highest opinions of your product. We know that Brand Champions are more likely than other groups in your Sampling Program to want to engage with your brand and advocate for your product. They are often open to promoting it on social media or participating in additional activities to drive awareness, trial, and purchase in particular retail locations or channels.

Chart 4 depicts the Brand Champion Analysis from a cottage cheese program conducted in 2018. These Brand Champions were contacted and activated six months later to participate in a coupon distribution campaign.

ven diagram

So, if the results from a Moms Meet Group Sampling Program indicate that your product performs below norms, you can be assured that such results will always be placed in the proper context for correct interpretation. Any recommendations for product changes will also be evidence-based from corroborating survey sources and multiple forms of analysis. 

Lastly, if your product falls below Moms Meet norms, and all indicators lead to a specific issue, Moms Meet can dive deeper into that issue for you through our custom market research programs. Want more Consumer Insights? Check out our first installment, “ Survey Results Database Helps Brands Interpret Consumer Feedback and Make Decisions.”   Interested in learning more about Moms Meet Consumer Insights Division, contact us.



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