share this icon

A story about walking in an older customer’s shoes

2011-03-03 00:00

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY | Anastasia Shchukina, Business analyst marketing & sales at SCA in Munich, Germany participated in a research project for SCA’s TENA incontinence care products. In a video she tells about how she got the opportunity to get a first-hand look at how older customer see and interact with the product pack and display.

Here comes a transcript of Anastasia story, which is part of an internal project to express SCA’s corporate culture with the help of story telling.

"Earlier this year I took part in a very interesting project which helped us to understand the challenges and difficulties that older consumers experience when shopping and in everyday life.

When we all get older, our bodies start to react differently - so we're not the same anymore. That's why, for most TENA shoppers it's part of everyday life. We really need to understand it. We can't say we understand just because we ask them.

It's also very important to be in their shoes and to draw some conclusions from it. That's why we organised a workshop this year.

We contacted a company called Age Explorer. They provide suits that imitate ageing. You look thirty years older than you really are.

You just put the suit on - it has weights on the hands and legs. It actually restricts you from moving fast, you become really slow. They put gloves on your hands to make it look like you have arthritis.

You put on a helmet that restricts your eyesight and changes your colour perception. When I first put it on, I thought: The world is not the same anymore. It was a totally different experience.

The world is not the same anymore. It was a totally different experience.

I looked at the pack on the shelf and tried to grab hold of it. I couldn't see what was written on it because the letters were too small.

I kept dropping it because of the problem with my hands. I tried to move it around the shelf to observe the pack but it wasn't that easy to do.

I was very happy when I finally took the suit off and went back to being twenty-five again.

For most of our consumers and shoppers, that's not an option. For me personally, it was very important to really try to understand those people. I became more patient. I don't jump in front of old ladies when I'm rushing for the train in the mornings anymore.

I wish we had done that before.

For SCA, it brought a lot of insights because we improved our packaging to make it user-friendly for everyone.

We added "open here" tags and we increased the size of the letters so that they can read, understand and choose the right product.

At the end of the day, a lot of my colleagues said: "I wish we had done that before." It's really stepping into the shoes of the consumers understanding their needs and what they actually experience."