Case studies

Baines Associates was set up in November 2007. However, Paul Baines has worked for a number of clients over the last fifteen years. A brief selection of these clients are included in the following short case studies:

A Start-up Private Jet Service

A start-up private jet company operating out of Cranfield airport managed to obtain investor funding to launch a new private jet airline service, principally operating from the UK to Europe at the customer’s choice of time and locations (inbound and outbound). Before the launch, Baines Associates was commissioned to find out about type of flight service potential customers want, to allow the company to develop a promotional approach to developing awareness of the new service, as well as to custom- design the service to meet customers’ needs.

Through a process of in-depth interviews with potential customers, particularly high net worthindividuals, we helped the company identify an important feature of the new service – the use of a new breed of very light jets (VLS), typified by the Cessna Citation Mustang, which are cheaper to purchase, maintain, and operate and which met best with customers’ needs. We recommended that the service be positioned just above first class (in flexibility, comfort, and convenience) and around business class (in terms of in-flight services such as meals and entertainment) when compared to existing scheduled airline services.

A Start-up High-tech Company

One of our clients, a start-up high-tech company, is looking to exploit new engineering technologies (Combined Heat and Power systems) by developing a domestic micro turbine unit that uses natural gas or any other fossil fuel (apart from coal) to produce domestic heating and electricity. The unit a much higher thermal efficiency than existing systems, allowing customers to make savings in energy costs and carbon emissions. Because this innovation could create a new market appealing not only to the residential market, but also oil, gas and utility industries, the company wished to understand who its potential customers might be; and their likelihood of investment in this product from big players in oil, gas and utility industries.
 
Baines Associates was commissioned to conduct research to help the company understand how customers would perceive this new system and its performance; when/where/how existing boiler (including services) are bought including the price that they're prepared to pay; and the relevant factors they consider when choosing a particular supplier. In addition, we undertook in-depth interviews with potential technical partners on what opportunities exist to invest time or money in this new system; and what features of this product were perceived to be the most attractive.

Scoping Studies for a Government Department

When a UK government department wanted scoping studies undertaken to evaluate how marketing theory and techniques might be used as a means to influence foreign target audiences, it commissioned several research projects from Baines Associates over a number of years. Using a combination of literature reviewing (to identify the current evidence base), depth interviewing of subject matter experts and practitioner workshops, we were able to produce comprehensive reports and presentations outlining how particular communicational appeals might be used, under what circumstances they are likely to be the most effective, and with which target audiences and segments. We focused in particular on how psychological dimensions of communication science could best be leveraged to enable more effective future behavioural interventions.

A High Profile Football Club

 

We worked with a football club to design several supporter loyalty surveys for their matchday attenders, members of a special club and their season ticket holders, during a period of changing ownership. The new owners were particularly keen to identify how to build loyalty amongst their fans. As a result of the market research work, undertaken the club was able to substantially increase its matchday ticket prices and therefore its gate receipt revenue, identify new opportunities for product and service development, and more closely target its supporters in direct marketing and loyalty programmes.

In later work, the club developed a set of brand values and a branding campaign to develop its relationship with fans further. Through a series of focus groups with a variety of season ticket and matchday supporters, the club’s intended brand values were tested with a predetermined set of values identified by the supporters. In addition, through the groups, we were able to identify what supporters most liked about their club. The project allowed the club to press ahead with its branding campaign, secure in the knowledge that the campaign was focused around the right set of values.

A Large Aerospace Company

When an aerospace maintenance company approached us to design a market research survey to track the effectiveness of their magazine advertising, we jumped at the challenge. The programme required us to undertake telephone interviews with a sample of senior procurement and engineering decision makers in firms across a range of European countries. The company was particularly concerned with understanding how it was positioned in the minds of decision-makers and what it needed to change in order to ensure a more favourable perception of its services. We were able to provide the company with an understanding of how frequently certain industry publications were read, what knowledge they had of our client’s full support offering, the level of awareness of the company’s advertising, which companies they regarded as providing the highest level of quality of service, and ratings on specific service offering characteristics such as cost effectiveness, flexibility, customised solutions, customer service, value for money, technical expertise, quality, experience and quick turnaround time. Our study indicated that although the market had a broadly favourable set of associations for this firm, that the company needed to make headway on a number of levels if it wanted to compete more effectively. with its main challengers.

An Awarding Body

A specialist awarding body required a training and development programme in strategic marketing for its senior executives to inform the development of its corporate plan. After a three day staff workshop where the fundamentals of marketing planning were outlined, and a session with the organisation’s trustees, the organisation was able to develop detailed marketing and operational plans and a corporate plan outlining its strategic objectives for the next five years.

In later work, Baines Associates was commissioned to consult on how the organisation could reorganise its marketing and research and development functions in order to ensure that a larger number of product and service development initiatives were undertaken in any given year. After extensive interviewing of staff within the organisation, comparison of competitor organisational structures, academic studies on new product and service development, and secondary data studies, we provided a set of options for how the company should reorganise the marketing and research and development teams and made a variety of recommendations as to how the organisation could develop its operations in the light of best practice.

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