Innovation that incorporates consumer insights allows brands to offer greater value at every point of contact with consumers. Today, technology facilitates the task of collecting these insights, either from clients or elsewhere, at a low cost and on a massive scale. From there, organizations can turn information into action.
Listening to what consumers want is an important step in the design of products and experiences that consumers find enjoyable.
And the benefits are greater if listening is taken beyond the mere collection of data from consumers, by also compiling what consumers think (and desire).
This exercise in empathy with consumers opens the door for brands to create a relationship where consumers identify with the brand. This is not trivial, given the importance of emotions when making purchasing decisions.
Insights vs traditional market research
Traditional market research provides valuable information like the size of a market, the profile and number of consumers, or the number of competitors.
This data and the use of statistics produce competitive intelligence by showing a snapshot of the market and of what happens within that market.
Apart from its competitive element, capturing consumer insights also gives brands greater capacity and resources for innovation.
Consumer perceptions, concerns and ideas provide a why: this data is enriched with a narrative that presents the keys and points to concentrate on to improve consumer satisfaction.
Download the free ebook:
“How to capture valuable consumer insights”.
That said, let us go from theory to practice by observing some of the applications and main advantages of capturing consumer insights:
- They favor the emergence of market trends through the observation of the consumer’s voice and discourse on a large scale, as is the case with more traditional market research.
- Along those lines, they also show the (as yet unfulfilled) desires of consumers and provide new opportunities through business innovation.
- They transform data into action: consumers are not passive, they become empowered and participate in brand building, they can provide their ideas or even co-create the products they want to consume together with the brand.
- They contribute to consumer engagement and create brand loyalty, through active listening and debate.
- They allow brands to gather information on consumer pain points in each stage of the customer journey and they also provide relevant information (why) to solve them.
- They open the door to better knowledge of the brand; the brand is open to listening to large collectives and audiences.
But, how can brands get to know their consumers on a large scale, beyond the data, by capturing their emotions?
Success stories (pdf): innovation around consumer co-creation.
– Hotusa Group: consumer insights at the center of innovation.
– Vicky Foods: co-creation with customers in the consumer sector.
– Alain Afflelou: innovating with the consumer’s voice.
Communities to innovate with consumer insights
The use of technology in our daily activities has changed how we relate with our surroundings, and with brands.
For example, for over a decade social media has allowed consumers to communicate with companies on the same level.
Is this enough to meet consumer demands for brands? Many consumers wish to participate even further in the decision-making process. And many brands wish to take things beyond social media in their relationship with consumers, to avoid a supersaturation of messages and lead the discourse in their field.
The use of vertical communities provides a meeting point for brands and consumers around the themes that both are interested in, and are the right channel to capture relevant information that can produce ideas–alone or with consumers–and competitive advantages.
It is time to build a relationship based on trust with consumers, that is fruitful and durable.