Helping a Tech Start-Up Expand to New Markets

Leveraging observational research to gain fresh consumer insights into the product purchasing decision process.


A highly-valued tech start-up operating in a complex industry was looking to expand its market share through new market entry, as well as to increase engagement after purchase. The company hypothesized that each market had its unique characteristics and wanted to understand the drivers of consumer behaviors to tailor its offering and messaging more effectively.


The company was able to determine the best way to engage new markets, through messaging and placement, and supporting their ambitious revenue goals over the next three years.

Key Activities


  • Data Synthesis and Secondary Research
  • Internal Subject Matter Interviews
  • 30 Consumer Interviews in Three Markets
  • Research Synthesis + Opportunity Generation

Key Deliverables


Current State Journey Map


Key Personas


Research Report with Key Insights on Purchasing Behaviors and Key Messaging


Recommended Opportunities for Improvement


As a fast-growing tech start-up, our client was uncertain of how to move into new markets in ways that aligned with the needs and expectations of new customers. We knew that only in-depth, qualitative research would give them the kind of insight that would lead to a genuinely market-differentiating entry and meaningful early engagement. Over the span of six weeks, we completed secondary research and conducted SME expert and internal client interviews. Most importantly, we traveled to three markets to conduct observational consumer research, sitting next to potential customers as they navigated the online shopping experience and then interviewing them on the how’s and why’s of their choices. To design the most meaningful messaging, we identified which product and service attributes mattered most, how to stand out from competitors, and how to create the “wow” factors that would lead to purchase and post-purchase engagement.


Through our consumer research, we learned that differences in geography had an even more significant impact on shopper behavior than anticipated. At the same time, brand recognition carried a lot less weight than other factors. Even though our client’s product is a highly personal purchase, identity markers were far less influential on the purchase decision than previous experience using similar products (early adaptors), comfort level with technology, and the ability to navigate the online shopping interface.


As a fast-moving start-up, our client can now rely on fresh and powerful insights to drive the execution of their new market entry strategy. Fueled by consumer insights, our client is now well-positioned to successfully tailor their product to their new consumers’ needs, as well as finetune messaging and placement.