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Global leader in small domestic equipment, Groupe SEB set itself the goal of making consumers day-to-day lives easier and more enriched. This clear goal necessitates an astute understanding of consumers aspirations and lifestyles, requiring constant dialogue to create new experiences and anticipate their expectations.

In the face of increasingly hectic lifestyles, the Group remains mindful of the world around it and must be proactive in its innovative approach. This entails close collaboration between the marketing and research and development teams right throughout the process to ensure relevant products: the right product, the right target market, and at the right time…

For each step of this value chain, the Group has implemented mechanisms to facilitate exchange with consumers in order to learn about their experiences and to better understand their needs. This structured approach, which constitutes a regular and ongoing relationship with the consumer, is vital to the Group and its design of our product offering.


In the exploration phase, the Group focuses on understanding domestic equipment user behaviour and on determining enriching product mix, be it in terms of technology or marketing.

Ethnography: Observing in-situ use

For an in-the-field approach, the Group focuses on observing living conditions and identifying real use of the products in the daily lives of defined populations in their homes. These in-situ studies allow us to describe and analyse in depth usage styles and contexts, while learning about local cultures and needs. This approach helps us identify unmet consumer needs and product development opportunities (technology, design, ergonomics…)

A few examples of local specificities:

• The smaller size of Japanese kitchens or the area for ironing call for compact products that afford consumers handling flexibility.

• Ease of cleaning is a key criterion in certain emerging countries where there is often no sink in the kitchen.

Usage and Attitude Study: Mapping out a market and establishing consumer types

The “Usage and Attitude” studies carried out by the Group in collaboration with specialized organizations bring to consumer behaviour to light in the contexts of product category uses. They allow us to get a precise picture of consumer attitudes (what they want, what they think) and their uses (what they do) while also allowing us to establish profile types according to product categories, or on our market as a whole in a more cross-sector manner.

The data gathered, along with its evolution over time, is vital in identifying market opportunities and in guiding innovative strategy through a more targeted and segmented approach.


Groupe SEB regularly seeks out its consumers to involve them in every step of product development, in particular when working on new ideas. These exchanges take different forms depending on the project in question: validation of concepts, in-house studies, thoughts on design or ergonomics, feelings on prices, reactions to advertising campaign projects…

  • 150 studies carried out each year
  • 65% of studies are carried out at an international level spanning 21 countries
  • 40 partners worldwide


Shoppers Studies: Studying the act of purchasing

70% of buying decisions are made at the point of sale. In a store, the consumer is faced with a huge amount of information that renders their decision-making slower and more complicated. Staying with the consumer right up to the point of purchase is, therefore, a key factor in the Group’s marketing approach.

In this context, studying the shopper is a vital phase in marketing a product, to provide relevant information that will affect their decision: shelf layout, in-store advertising materials, product packaging…

For this purpose, the Group is taking an interest in what the consumer does before making a decision to purchase: the role of the internet and social networks, the effect of advertising, other influences… Besides, the Group is setting up in-store observation points, complimented by on-the-spot surveys, to better understand the motivations for purchase. These studies, shared with distributors, are an excellent tool for the improvement of our distributor relationships and category management.

In 80% of cases, consumers buying our products have previously consulted the internet (for information, comparison or direct purchasing)

Bench tests: New products enter the frame

The launch phase of a product is a very important step for the Group and initial consumer feedback is vital, in particular in the case of major innovations or first offs (new uses, new technologies). The Group is therefore implementing bench tests that consist of distributing product samples to the target market and gathering their thoughts in terms of satisfaction and uses in their familiar domestic environment (initially and then regularly over the first year of use). This approach allows us to learn valuable lessons regarding product performance and quality, while also permitting us to adjust our marketing strategy accordingly.

• The use of Air Force upright vacuum cleaner showed a clear trend toward minor day-to-day housekeeping tasks. It has a second appliance that is complementary to the canister vacuum, despite its top quality vacuuming performance.

• Tests carried out on Freemove allowed us to see the need for a very short recharge time on the stand.

Targeted initiatives to get closer

Consumer behaviour has changed significantly, creating new opportunities for the group. Constantly reinforcing influencing realms on the internet (social networks, brand internet sides, product comparing sites…) therefore opens new paths of study, which the Group can activate in a targeted manner. We are, therefore, prompted to offer product testing on our sites or to create innovative user communities with profiles, to continue getting to know our consumers.

This extremely wide range of methodological tools affords the Group the opportunity to converse with its consumers and to gauge the relevance of its products and concepts. This will ensure each key innovation passes through the prism of consumer studies several times.

After sales service: a direct dialogue

Since consumer satisfaction is key, the Group commits to providing quality products and a high-quality after sales service: high quality control right from the design stage to production, easy-to-use products and quality of results obtained, repairs available in one of 3,000 service centres approved by the group and 2,400 by Supor.

Apart from technical and usage questions, the after sales service’s direct dialogue with the consumer constitutes an additional opportunity to extend our knowledge of consumer expectations. Feedback is delivered to the appropriate teams (marketing, R&D, quality)…) and integrated into the Group’s virtuous circle of innovation. In this way, dialogue with the consumer never ends, regardless of where we may be in the world.