PERIOD: 2016


To stay at the forefront of its segment, SEAT decided to address the needs of a more urban and progressive target group with a new positioning and clear product USPs based on solid research and in-depth consumer insights.


One challenge the client had when deciding how to define the USP features for the next Leon was to identify the right methodology. On the one hand, SEAT wanted to base the future product USPs on solid consumer research, especially as it needed to gain in-depth understanding of a new target group. On the other hand, SEAT was skeptical as to whether consumers could come up with new feature ideas and evaluate their importance and uniqueness in 2020.

A further challenge was to involve stakeholders from multiple departments – ranging from market intelligence, innovation management, and research and development to product management – to not only combine their expertise, but also find consensus throughout the process.


TD Reply’s Data-Driven Innovation Team came up with a multi-method project approach that combined state-of-the-art digital research methods, such as online buzz analysis (scraping and analyzing conversations of consumers in social media) and research communities (asynchronous online focus groups) with design thinking principles and real-life co-creation workshops across Germany, UK, France, Spain, and Italy.

Status quo analysis: Identification of best cases within the mass market and premium segment matching the targeted positioning of the new Leon.

Buzz analysis: In-depth quantitative and qualitative analysis of online conversations in social media around car models and features across EU5 countries to derive the strengths, weaknesses, and potential USP features based on unbiased consumer discussions.

Co-creation workshop: Identification and recruiting of automotive/non-automotive experts and lead users coupled with a co-creation workshop to develop positioning concepts and feature ideas by applying design thinking principles and methods.

Research communities: Validation and enrichment of prioritized USP features and positioning concepts with consumers over the course of one week in asynchronous online focus groups across EU5 markets.

Transition workshop: Synthesis of overall research results and selection of USP features for the launch in 2020 as well as definition of a USP feature roadmap that will inform the product lifecycle strategy.