Discovering customer needs through research
A Barclays case study

Page 1: Introduction

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Barclays is a global bank. It provides a range of financial services in 56 countries. Barclays provides retail banking services to customers, whether they are individuals or businesses. It offers a broad range of financial products and services including current accounts, savings accounts and general insurance. Within the UK, Barclays communications are designed to help customers 'Take One...
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Page 2: Purpose of market research

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The purpose of market research is to gather data on customers and potential customers. The collected data aids business decision making. This therefore reduces the risks involved in making these decisions. In order to create a product proposition that would attract new student accounts, Barclays needed to understand fully the needs of this target market. Before engaging on external market...
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Page 3: Types of market research

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Barclays began a process that involved both primary and secondary research. Primary research Primary research involves finding out new information. It finds the answers to specific questions for a particular purpose. These enquiries may take the form of direct questioning. For example, it may include face-to-face surveys, postal or online questionnaires, telephone interviews or focus groups...
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Page 4: Research findings

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Numeric data gives a factual basis for planning - a snapshot of a situation. On the other hand, qualitative information can find out the things that really matter to consumers. For example, 80 out of 100 consumers questioned might say they preferred one brand of coffee over another. However, more valuable information comes from understanding what it is they prefer. Is it the smell, the taste...
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Page 5: Implementation and evaluation

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In 2009, Barclays set up a working group to oversee the setting up of the new student proposition. It used the insight from the research to establish the key features and benefits of the student account. These features are valid for the life of students' studies: no monthly fee to keep costs down for students an interest-free overdraft facility of up to £2,000 from starting the...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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The Barclays student account proposition shows how it is crucial for a business to listen to its market. To do this effectively means targeting specific market segments to discover their needs. Barclays' new student account proposition was an 'insight-led' approach. Using carefully constructed and phased market research, the bank was able to gain an overall insight into the thinking of...
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