Seven ways to supercharge research and get closer to consumer truth

05 November, 2019

There has never been greater need for consumer insight. And it has never been so hard to discover what consumers really think. This paradox is driving changes in the way research is conducted, so we can get closer to consumer truth. Increasingly, it involves understanding behaviour – considering what people do, as well as listening to what they say.

Our Head of Consumer Science, Emma Gubisch, says fundamentally ‘consumers are just people like us with all our contradictions and inconsistencies’. In this paper, she considers how to get to know them better.

Consumer insight has always been fundamental to product development and marketing. Understanding what people want, when they want it and their perception of existing products is vital. It means goods can evolve for ongoing relevance, effectiveness and enjoyment. However, in the digital age, market research often falls short.

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With the rise of social media, consumer empowerment has reached new heights. One person’s opinion can quickly elicit an avalanche of comments from others, which can have a huge influence on a company’s reputation, for better or for worse.
Then there’s the issue of digital disruption. Many sectors are being shaken up by the arrival of new businesses that are more in-tune with what consumers want.

Each of these scenarios can quickly damage brand equity and market share. Tackling their cause - generally rooted in poor consumer insight - is a more effective strategy than trying to stem the symptoms. So, how can brands ensure consumer research is fit for purpose in the digital economy?