Synergos Technologies, Inc. - Birchwood Resultants

Birchwood Resultants

Birchwood Resultants Beats Chain Average with PopStats

In 2015, La Madeleine, the popular Country French café bakery chain, decided to make two significant changes to its business operation, including an updated store design, opening new stores, and expanding into new regions. To achieve these goals, La Madeleine called real estate modeling company Birchwood Resultants to conduct its research.

To ensure its research produced the ideal results for La Madeleine, Birchwood Resultants called on STI: PopStats and STI: LandScape datasets. The consumer research and real estate modeling company knew it could depend on this data to deliver the demographic accuracy its customers demand.

“La Madeleine is a very successful, long-running bakery-café chain, predominantly in the Southwest region,” stated Bill McClave, co-owner of Birchwood Resultants, along with co-owner Lissy Bethmann. “With a new remodel program, they wanted to move into new regions beyond their stronghold in the southwest to broaden and deepen their appeal to their target customers.”

PopStats and LandScape Support La Madeleine’s Expansion and Upgrades

To help the restaurant chain determine which stores to remodel first and where to open new stores, Birchwood Resultants created a new set of real estate analytic models. The company also identified the chain’s brand-critical consumers and created a profile that represented the vast majority of its customers.

With the new models and customer profiles in place, Birchwood Resultants conducted its market analytics in three major steps:

  1. Using Landscape, they evaluated all 210 U.S. DMAs for their alignment with La Madeleine’s targeted brand critical consumer profile.

  2. Then they mapped La Madeleine’s highest priority DMAs for the trade areas that have the highest densities of La Madeleine’s ideal brand-critical customers.

  3. The final phase involved modeling new sites identified in the field to build out the targeted trade areas.

So far, the research has pointed La Madeleine to several ideal new locations and remodels for the restaurant chain. For example, it identified an optimal new location in a Houston, Texas market. “Today that store is beating the chain average,” said Mr. McClave.

Data Accuracy is the Key to Market Research Success

Birchwood Resultants speaks highly about the accuracy of PopStats and LandScape data. Particularly because as a real estate modeling company, it has faced the same problems experienced by every other location-focused company — population data estimates have higher variance the further they get from the decennial U.S. Census. As a result, most population counts become less accurate and less dependable every year until the next Census.

Referring to his past experience, Bill said, “It’s easy to have accurate population counts the first year after the Census. But thereafter, traditional estimates deteriorate every year.”

Accuracy is the main reason Birchwood Resultants began using PopStats several years ago and continues to depend on it today. “We’ve tested PopStats against other vendors’ population data and it’s extremely accurate,” noted Bill. “PopStats is a very solid database to use in building real estate models.

The company also gains a significant advantage when using lifestyle segmentation in the real estate models it builds. “Understanding a company’s ideal consumer lifestyle is an absolutely critical step in identifying consumer pockets within trade areas,” noted Lissy. “When you look at correlation, everything pales in comparison to consumer lifestyle segmentation.”

Bill concurs. “Alignment with consumer profiles is a must-have. It gives us much higher correlation to brand performance than demographic data alone because it groups people based on how they live their lives. The ideal scenario in all of our market research projects is to have both PopStats and lifestyle segmentation powering our research models,” concluded Bill.


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