Field Research for a Cookie Company
Problem area: The need for cookies and care packages around college towns.
College students like getting care packages but sometimes it is difficult to send food long distances. Parents and friends can gift these freshly baked cookie packages as well as buy them for a study break.
How can I have parents send care packages through this company, people send gifts or buy cookies for themselves?
· Do you purchase things on phone apps? If so what kinds of things?
· What do you look for in a food purchasing app?
· Tell me about a time you bought something on an app that you found really efficient?
· What apps have you found to be the best for food purchases?
· Which do you think are the best and worst websites out there?
· Do you buy cookies?
· When do you buy them?
· How many would you say you buy each time?
· Do your parents send you care packages?
· Are there cookies in these?
I asked 8 people formal questions and about 7 more informally.
· Harvard Students and two University of Texas students
· Ages: 18-23
· From: Australia, US (California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Texas)
· Apps and Websites most used: Uber, Amazon.com
· Reasons for shopping online: Convenience, delivered to your door.
· Food App used: Seamless, Dominos
· Best designed websites for shopping: Amazon for being easy. Etsy and Shopbop for design.
· Worst designed websites for shopping: Target, Lulu, Toby
· App must haves: Be able to save information if you want to. Account history to see previous purchases. Straight forward design but with many options for customizability.
· Credibility: Achieved through word of mouth.
· Need for cookies: It is seen as a treat. Some people wont go out of their way to buy cookies when the dining hall provides them. Some wait for care packages from parents and roommates’ parents to indulge. Others buy cookies regularly and prefer higher quality bakery cookies (Crema Café, Finale) to dining hall cookies and eat them over a period of a week.
· Care packages: Some parents send Oreos and pre-packaged goods while others send freshly baked cookies. The farther the parents live, the less likely they are to get care packages. UT students receive cookies on a regular basis from a similarly intentioned company called Tiff’s Treats.
· Cookies: Same day delivery would be ideal. Choosing packaging and customizing would be great for gifts.
Initially, I approached the field research thinking that people would buy the cookies for themselves but it seems like people would use this service to provide cookies to others. Student group leaders would bring them to meetings. Parents send them to their kids as care packages. Friends send them to others as birthday gifts or pick me ups. It is a one size fits all gift that anyone would like.
The barriers to entry are the current competition. Insomnia Cookies delivers warm cookies until 4:00 am and Finale and Crema Café sell high quality cookies. This company would need to differentiate itself through the cookie quality and the convenience of having them delivered to your door. Additionally, female students interviewed would like to be able to choose packaging and write notes on gifts to send friends. This would personalize the gift and give them more reasons to use this service.
Further fieldwork is needed but at this point I would divide clients into gifters and personal consumers. Those who want to send a thoughtful gift and those who have a cookie eating habit. Their packaging needs and delivery options would differ.