Whilst ‘Agile’ thinking and product development might suggest there would be an increasing number of new products hitting the supermarkets… the reality is somewhat different. Indeed, the number of new products being launched by manufacturers into UK retail stores is falling significantly according to an IRI study in August 2016.
The retail research shows that whilst major retailers like Tesco cut their ranges to remove slower selling items, resulting in 1,000 fewer packaged grocery items on shelves (a drop of 6.3%), the study also shows that 13% fewer new branded items were launched in 2015 compared with 2013. These figures suggest that brands must be thorough in their NPD and ensure failure is not an option.
In today’s affluent society people are no longer driven by needs and necessities, they are driven by desires and whims – a world where ‘emotions’ are dominant. So how do you fulfill customers’ demands, maintain customer loyalty and grow your customer base in the fast-moving world we live in today? Ultimately understanding the customer and what influences them is essential to brand survival in the modern world full of so much choice.
Getting the best customer insights is the domain of market research and insight agencies. These professional market research agencies can help brand owners improve their business by listening to their customers. Their expert insights are invaluable and provide the cornerstone for any strategic decisions critical for a company’s long-term survival and success.
The Wisdom of Crowds
Research is extremely powerful and has been shown to be more powerful than any expert individual. One reason for this is that research builds on the proven notion of Crowdology and the wisdom of the crowd. As Marcus du Sautoy proved in his BBC documentary “The Code”, the crowd know far more than individuals.
Du Soutoy, repeated previous studies by taking a large jar of jellybeans and asking 160 people to guess the number of jellybeans in the jar. There were 4510 jellybeans in the jar and answers varied from 400 to 50,000, yet the average of the 160 answers was 4515, amazingly only 0.1% off the correct answer. This goes to show the importance of listening to customers.
Customer Centricity Breeds Success
Analysis of the world’s most successful companies has demonstrated that they have one thing in common, they all have a customer centric approach to their brand, product development and marketing. Whether you’re Apple, Coca-Cola or just starting up – it’s clear that strategic decisions need to be customer led. Whilst research often comes up with the unexpected, the benefit is that a good insight agency will always have the knowledge and ideas to help build a better future.
How Research Helps Build Strategy
Research and insight have many uses, but overall some of the Key Benefits of market research, is to help:
- Identify market opportunities
Awareness enables gaps in the market to be spotted and capitalized upon.
- Guide and improve your communication
Knowing the best way to interact with customers will ensure your brand makes an impact.
- Minimize risks and avoid costly mistakes
With detailed knowledge of what customers are looking for there is less risk of going in the wrong direction.
- Measure satisfaction and your reputation
The importance of listening to your customers so you can plan and react accordingly cannot be underestimated.
- Measure Brand Equity and market positioning
Pinpoint where you stand in the market and determine the potential for growth in market share and the market as a whole.
- Discover customer typologies and segments
Age, gender or hobbies can all influence spending habits. Recognize factors that affect purchasing decisions.
- Better understand your competitors
Keep a close eye on them. Learn from what they do well and what they do badly.
- Make informed decisions
Quality data will provide the tools to create a strategy for a successful future.
Professional researchers know other people’s hearts and minds at a level that most of us can only aspire to. It is easy to see why as these researchers spend their lives talking to people delving into their conscious and subconscious minds – investigating anything and everything from religion to the internet.
Good researchers will find you the most fitting method of data collection relevant for the job in hand, be it quantitative or qualitative research, or a combination of the two. Quantitative research provides facts and figures while qualitative research is more subjective but provides deeper thoughts and ideas that are ideal for discovering new solutions that can transform your business and marketing.
‘Research is an Investment’
Market research is an investment and minimizes risk. Successful management of a brand or product involves deep knowledge of customers and competitors while looking forward.