Every business has a product/service/experience that it wants to offer. But how does one know, if the product has appeal, and can generate an intention to purchase or have their brand in the main consideration set of the consumer?
In the modern world of brands, a brand manager marketing to their audience in today’s world has a tough job. The consumers are a complex mixture of several generations, called the Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z. Each has its own set of aspirations and jobs to be done. This generates opportunities and challenges for Marketers. The challenges vary from customer segment to customer segment. Consumer Insights play an important part in identifying opportunities and solving marketing challenges. Consumer insights are important be it selling digital product like NFTs to something as common as soap.
What is a consumer insight?
There are several ways to define consumer insight. A Consumer Insight is a specific revealing fact or information about attitudes and resulting behaviors of consumers that a marketer can use to improve positioning, product or communication. A good consumer insight not only will it reveal what the consumer does in great detail but tell you why they do it and what they will do in the future.
Consumer insights can stem from consumer visits, interpretation of already available customer data or a formal market research. Consumer insights are much more than just spotting patterns. It reveals in great detail why people act a certain way and more crucially what needs to be offered to them to win them over functionally and emotionally.
Where all can you use Consumer Insights?
Consumer Insights are relevant to all parts of consumer journey. This is the era of extreme competition, amongst brands, and channels, brand touchpoints, experience and now metaverses. Brands need to know the best route to building a relationship with the consumer by being worthy of association or aspiration through the personality, values and traits it claims for itself in the delivery of the brand. Consumer insights decompose all these elements’ impact on consumers and how consumer use their resources to navigate through the complex set of choices to finally buy what they want. Consumer insights can give answers for questions like
· Why are sales down for a particular product or why some products are selling fast
· How is your brand perceived by your audience vis a vis competition and why?
· How likely are you to succeed in a new target audience?
· What do customers think of a new or a potential new product?
· How can we inspire customers to purchase more of same product, purchase adjacent product, or sell more expensive products or sell upgrades add-ons to an existing product?
· What are the key points to talk about while communicating product or service to your customers?
· What can you do to increase conversion rates of marketing campaigns through various channels.
The application of consumer insight in not limited to particular product category or Industry. Also, consumer insight applications are not just limited to B2C but also amongst B2B business categories.
Some real good examples of consumer insights in action
1. How Walmart found their product Strategy
Sam Walton of Walmart learned very early from consumer insight that shopping is all about convenience and cost. So they went exclusively for strategies that allowed them to address the heart of the matter. He first started with vast stores, in remote places to cut costs, but the key to this lied in the insight that the interstate roads were being built in the USA thanks to Eisenhower Highway bill.
By building vast stores, in places where it was easy to build, they came into a very convenient reach of all their stores. Being on highways and due to new highways the cost of transporting goods came down. Sam Walton understood that people were willing to travel more kilometers for a good and complete shopping experience at market-beating rates.
This was the insight that propelled Walmart to the giant that it is today.
2. How Dove connected with ‘The Real Woman’
The DOVE “Real Women” campaign is a great example of using the consumer insight that women are turned off by beauty product ads that consistently feature women that do not look like 95% of real woman.
They understood through research, that to appeal to women, you had to feature compelling women that looked like them. This is an iconic campaign that not only has won numerous accolades from the ad industry, but has repositioned the DOVE brand as a brand for today’s woman (regardless of the age) and one that is supported and beloved by women around the world.
3. How Kodak appealed to a new consumer segment
Kodak was entering the market of Digital camera but the new digital SLR camera release saw women drop out from the camera usage.
What they found was Surprisingly nearly 75% of pictures are taken in the world by women. Because they are the memory makers and creators and preservers for the family.
With the old camera, It was easy, click and give the roll to develop, print as many copies as you want to distribute or one for the self. Consumer insight revealed that Women found clicking pictures with digital SLRs technically difficult, as there were too many things to do and too many buttons. They also found that after clicking the photos the process of transferring was too complicated. Owing to these issues women were not using digital SLRs.
This is what leads to the creation of the easy share camera. The accessible share gallery features turned out the fortunes of the camera because now, they could not only click what they wanted but was also really easy to share and this bought back women to the digital SLR.
4. Selling fitness products around Olympics
In the 2012 London Olympics, Nike lost the endorsement deal to Adidas.
Nike came up with idea that shifted the spotlight from celebrity athletes to normal consumers by the campaign of ‘Find your Greatness’.
It is not just the championship athlete or record breaker that aspires to push their limits. It is also the everyday athlete who strives to excel on their own terms, to set and realize personal goals and achieve their own moments of greatness.
The campaign featured a 105 Kg Nathen Sorrell as overweight common kid.
This inspired people to find their own greatness” encouraged people to be the best version of themselves and keep pushing the limits.
There are several brands and categories who have exploited the power of consumer insights, get closer to their consumers’ minds and hearts and won in marketing battlefield.
Consumers will tell you what they need, if you are willing to listen. Because as someone says about customer insight: “It’s about walking in the customer shoes, but first you have to take off yours.”