Buzz Franchises are the owners of the Mosquito Joe pest control and Pool Scouts pool cleaning services in Virginia Beach. They approached BCF with the desire to break into the home cleaning service industry, but lacked the experience or knowledge to get started in the field. They turned to BCF to help set up a new brand for them by studying the competition and what consumers wanted. As an independent contractor, I was brought in on this project by BCF in order to assist in developing this new brand/
Based on research provided by the client and through further analysis, I defined the competitive landscape for Buzz Franchises's project. The matrix I developed placed the biggest competition on a scale based on their length of time in the industry (long vs short) and the demeanor they present to potential consumers (as a “professional” cleaning service with polish or as a more “personal” cleaner with a casual personality).
There was a clear space for someone who combined the newcomer's approach with a personal, welcoming atmosphere.
Working with BCF, I helped to develop a pair comprehensive interview guides for a series of interviews with both current cleaning service customers and lapsed/non-users across the country. The interviews were all conducted by phone and asked a wide range of questions (cleaning routines, reasons for using/not using a service, biggest selling points, past experiences, how much they'd pay, etc.). In the end, 33 non-users and 17 current users were interviewed.
We found that the non-users often found themselves too busy during the day to think about cleaning, and those who did were concerned about trustworthiness with cleaning services.
Even amidst the four separate targets, certain messages carried across both user and non-user interviews. Although cost was a major factor with both elements, we also found that multiple methods of scheduling, employee transparency, and consistency with who arrived to clean each time ranked highly for both sets of people.
Non-users often cited a lack of trust in quality as their reason for not yet hiring a cleaner.
"They don't clean as well as I clean, and when I pay money I want it to be fruitful and I want it to be really good."
"No one can do it more better than me. I recently just went through a remodeling and I wouldn't want anything to happen to my stuff."
Meanwhile, current users often cited a lack of time as the reason for hiring someone, but often praised the ones who did personal projects or went the extra mile for them:
"She treated that place like it was her own. She would come every two weeks, and each time she would have a special project. One time she came in and took everything out of the refrigerator and cleaned the bottles. Completely spotless."
"They're able to do something I am no longer able to do. That is without a doubt the most value part of it. We discussed together what needed to be done when they first came in. She does it perfectly."
These findings then allowed us to craft personas for the target audience.
Given the wide scope of those interviewed, we ended up developing four target personas: Two for Users, Two for Non-Users. It was imporant to capture both groups, particularly in building trust for non-users.
Our first non-user target was dubbed the "Wiped-Out Parent"
Our second non-user target was dubbed the "Cleaning Veteran"
Our first user target was dubbed "The Indie Fan"
Our second user target was dubbed "The Settler"
The insights I helped find then lead to the development of Buzz Franchise's new brand, Home Clean Heroes, stationed in Virginia Beach.
Their mission statement reflects the insights we gathered:
"Our mission is to defend your free time—
So you can spend it on the things that matter most"
This was a terrific experience working directly with an agency for the first time, and it showed me that a target or user base can often be more complex or diverse than one initial imagines. On top of that, it was an excellent chance to help a brand develop a new business and directly communicate what their target wants and needs to help them find the particular niche that would help them succeed.
John Runberg (Managing Partner, BCF)
Greg Ward (Partner/Account Group Director, BCF)
Jeff Robertson (Asst. Account Executive, BCF)
Nilesh Patel (Account Supervisor, BCF)