The notion of a new year brings a sense of a fresh start, a chance to start anew.
This is the time of year when 45% of US adults will think about their lives and imagine what they want most to happen in the next year as they make New Year’s Resolutions. These resolutions are really about our aspirations.
- What do we wish were different about our lives?
- What do we want to achieve?
- What do we wish we did less of?
- What do we want to do more of?
Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions and Consumer Aspirations”
It is common knowledge that emotions are powerful drivers in the purchase decision process. Forging an emotional connection with customers can lead to big payoffs for companies. Consider this example: a major bank launched a credit card that emotionally connected well with Millennials, increasing use among this segment by 70% with 40% new accounts being opened. “The New Science Behind Customer Emotions,” published in Harvard Business Review, details research across hundreds of brands that uncovered ten common emotional motivators behind consumer behavior. Companies that understand their customers’ emotional connection to their brand and their emotional motivators generally will better attract and keep customers. While there are hundreds of potential emotional motivators, here are ten common emotional motivators:
Understanding the Specific Emotional Motivators in Your Product or Service Category
In order to make an emotional connection with potential users of your product or service, it is important to understand the distinct emotions in the context of when your product or service is used.
Continue reading “Common Emotional Motivators Behind Consumer Behavior”
Reasons for Using a Professional Moderator for Your Online Research Project
Using a professionally trained moderator increases your chances of uncovering business-building insights during your research project because the moderator will:
- Establish actionable objectives
- Create an effective research design
- Bring an unbiased perspective
- Probe and effectively guide the discussion
- Focus solely on the research
- Summarize the key insights
Establish actionable objectives
A trained moderator will begin by first understanding the business need or opportunity that has prompted the research. Next, they will want to know the objectives of the research. A good moderator may ask, “What does success look like at the end of this project?” This question at the start of a project will help your team clarify what really needs to be learned. Establishing clear, actionable objectives will identify the key topics and help to frame the design of the research.
Continue reading “Should you use a professional moderator for your online research project?”
- What emotions do your consumers experience in the context in which your product or service is used?
- Do their emotions change before, during and after an experience with your product or service?
In order to build lasting relationships with your target audience, you first have to understand them. Learning how your consumer feels in the context of using your product or service goes a long way in making a meaningful connection with them. You must then demonstrate you understand their needs through product / service design and your marketing communications to ensure their loyalty. Ideally, you would want your customer to say after using your product that this brand/company understands me. Continue reading “Creating Products that Resonate: Feel Your Customers’ Emotions”
In-Context Interviews (ICI’s) take place in the context of where a product or service is used or purchased. A key objective in choosing this methodology is to observe and understand the habits, practices and motivations of your target audience as they are using or choosing your product or service. They are sometimes called in-home interviews when they take place in a consumer’s home or in-store interviews when they take place in a shopping location. They can be as brief as a ten minute conversation at a store-shelf or as long as a three hour discussion in someone’s home. Learn More (Case Study)
Helpful Hints for Successful In-Context Interviews
- Be curious – don’t be afraid to dig around and ask the obvious question. A question to which you think you know the answer may uncover a valuable insight. Usually the individual you are interviewing wants to help you and is willing to explain their motivations, behaviors and rationale.
- Video and audio tape the interviews – this practice provides a record of the interview and allows you to go back and review. Be sure to ask permission before you start the cameras rolling. Having access to editing equipment can allow you to add video clips to your summaries and presentations.
- Male / Female Teams – this is a good idea for in-home interviews. Two males entering a woman’s home could make her feel uncomfortable. Also, men and women approach situations differently; the diversity in the team can be helpful for uncovering insights.
- Check directions and have a phone number – facilities usually do a good job at providing accurate directions. However, in a few situations, we had trouble finding someone’s home and needed to call.
- Be a good guest. Lastly, remember you are a guest in someone else’s home. Be kind, considerate and gracious.
Continue reading “Get to Know Your Consumers in their Environment”
“Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.” Anonymous
Much of my work depends on listening well, whether it be to a client describing a business need or to a consumer talking about their experiences. Over the years, I have learned about the importance of listening and how listening well can yield important insights, both professionally and personally. My favorite listening tip is to reflect back what you have heard. This forces you to make sure that you really hear what the other person is saying. Plus, this allows the other person to know that they have been heard or to clarify what they are saying if you have not heard them correctly. When someone is talking, resist the urge to formulate a question while they are talking. Then, your mind is not on something else while they are talking. Instead, listen to what they are saying and focus on being ready to reflect back.
As an insights provider, I try to keep abreast of recent articles related to listening and communication. Here are a few tips I have found useful:
- Be truly present in the moment. Ask open-ended questions to more fully prompt open conversation. Be interested in other people. Truly listen with the intent to understand, and really pay attention to what the other person is saying, instead of focusing on forming a reply. These are tips from “10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation,” a TED Talk by Celeste Headlee.
- When trying to convey a concept very familiar to you, remember that sometimes you are too close to your idea. You might communicate in a way that is too abstract and skip steps in explanations. I have seen this with project teams using jargon when writing concepts or advertising with which the consumer will be completely unfamiliar. Run your idea past someone removed from it to see if it makes sense. Choose your words carefully, trying to make them as simple as possible. From “The No. 1 Communication Mistake That Even Smart People Make“
I am often asked to design qualitative research to provide my clients with insights about their customers’ reactions to their new prototypes or products. I enjoy designing and conducting this type of research because I am able to leverage my experience as a former product developer for a Fortune 100 company. I believe what sets me apart from other qualitative research consultants and moderators is that I have actually designed products that have gone to market. This issue of The Insight will highlight some of the ways I have used qualitative research to help my clients design winning products.
Continue reading “Evaluating New Product Ideas”
Understanding the Ideal Experience
An understanding of your target audience’s ideal experience can set the direction for future marketing and product development efforts.
Throughout my career, whether developing products at P&G or helping clients gather insights about their target audiences, understanding what the consumer believes would be the ideal experience has been crucial for business success.
Begin by identifying and understanding the context in which your product or service is used. Continue reading “Understanding the Ideal Experience”
Consumer delight should be the driving force or the high bar that marketers and product developers strive to achieve. A delighted consumer is a satisfied consumer; a long-term consumer is a more profitable consumer.
Consumer delight is the moment that occurs when someone using your product or services finds their emotional and physical needs well satisfied and their expectations well exceeded. Delighting your customers usually requires doing something they did not think possible or delivering a level of service not expected. It will result in your consumers being so thrilled with your product or service that they may tell others about it. Continue reading “Delighting Your Customers”
Is it possible to truly connect with my target audience through online research?
When we say “connect,” we mean truly hear and understand the thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes of your key customers. We believe the answer is yes! You can get in-touch with your customers and gather deep understanding by using creative assignments to allow your consumer to take you into their world.
Creative assignments also make the experience more fun for participants. When respondents are engaged, they provide you with more information and are more willing to share more of their lives with you during the research, thus helping you gain deeper insight.
Continue reading “3 Ways to Get More Out of Your Online Research”