Approached by international event management company Nine Yards, we were asked to devise a ‘trend trek’ event for their client, Axfood. One of the largest food retailers in Scandinavia, Axfood provides good, sustainable food to both the low cost and premium end of the market. Keen to keep ahead of the curve, Axfood tasked us with developing an engaging and interactive market research challenge, to help 120 of their top managers better understand grocery retail market trends.
The game would ask teams to visit a diverse assortment of Stockholm stores, perform tasks and question shoppers on their buying decisions. A range of stores would be chosen, from budget to high-quality, with specific questions devised for each. The whole activity would be closely linked to the company’s core values, as teams were asked to identify the correlation between them and market trends.
Coined the ‘Axfood Challenge’, the basis of the game was a scavenger hunt – a variation on the Green Hat People Challenge. 100 fun challenges were set, to be completed via tablet. These tasks ranged from taking a picture with a tourist, to finding the price of a coke in the local mini-mart.
Next, the teams were directed to five symbolic locations, all situated in a trendy quarter of Stockholm. Axfood chose the trends that they were keen to explore, and Green Hat People chose the venues that best suited those trends. It was agreed that this wouldn’t only be important in terms of market trends, but also for competitor analysis too, as they would be asking the questions outside competitor stores.
One of the trend discussions was around sustainability. For this, teams visited second-hand store, Stadsmissionen. The teams were asked to speak to customers in store and ask them questions, the purpose being to understand what drives second-hand buying behaviours. Once the data was collected, they then needed to link to one of the company’s core values and explain why.
Another trend discussion was around wholefoods. At this chosen store, customers were asked why they chose to spend money on more expensive food. What value did they see in paying extra for the products, compared to more affordable produce? The task allowed them to gather real-time feedback and get authentic answers.
All feedback collected throughout the activity was inputted into tablets. Post-event, Axfood then held a detailed debrief with their managers, to better understand the data and discuss its importance.
The whole event was considered by both employers and employees as hugely successful. In terms of satisfaction, 5.5 out of 6 was the average answer to the question ‘what did you think of the experience’.