Consumer perceptions, behaviours, and buying patterns have all changed dramatically in the last year, forcing companies to adapt quickly. Though transactions are still mostly driven by basic needs, people are becoming more aware of their purchases, purchasing locally, and embracing digital commerce.
To have the best chance of recovering the economy, brands must be more linked to their customers than ever before in order to satisfy current demands and thrive in the new world.
What Do Consumers Want?
Consumer needs are centred around ease, value for money, and efficiency, according to the Global Web Index report "Connecting the Dots 2021." When it comes to purchasing decisions, consumers are increasingly conscious of green credentials and eco-friendly goods. Since the initial global lockout in 2020, the normally muggy canal waters of Venice cleared up for the first time in years, and fish and dolphins were observed swimming due to the dramatic decrease in water traffic, this knowledge has been gradually brought to the forefront.
Positive employee treatment within a company was also cited as a factor in maintaining customer interest in a brand. A company that treats its employees well demonstrates by behaviour that they care about more than just income, and as a result, they may care more about them as well. Staff care, combined with proactive sponsorship of local vendors and assistance with COVID testing times, is a winning combination for gaining public favour. Above everything, a successful online service is one of the most significant things that customers look for. This aspect will continue to be the most popular purchasing method in the future, so brands must have a positive online customer experience if they want customers to return.
What Do Brands Want?
Brands must go out of their way to find their target customer audience, potential consumers, and the general public, and learn what it's like to think like them and resonate with their hopes and fears. The goal is to gain enough insight into them to be able to differentiate between the three parties and then tailor the brand experience to each.
Brands should strive to find captivating new ways to connect and interact with their consumers in order to balance their tastes and preferences when making potential decisions. Working collaboratively with customers to eliminate guesswork on both sides of the coin and ensure that customer expectations are met and the brand can expand in line with its target market.
The automotive industry is an example of an industry that has recognised its demand and behaved wisely during testing periods. They engaged, listened, and understood this new generation of consumer, successfully reinventing the customer experience at the retail level. Taking steps to include virtual car tours and online Click and Collect for buyers through the internet. Consumers have been effectively re-engaged and demand has been reignited thanks to this convenient new service. Bringing success to an industry that has been on the decline.
Empowering Stakeholders and Satisfying Consumers
As insight professionals, we recognise that brands have modern and nuanced requirements, and that there are a range of resources available to help insight teams meet those requirements. When the right tools are stacked and used, insight professionals can build a wide variety of interaction initiatives to address each issue, collect data and insights, and communicate with customers directly. The right tools, approach, platform, and insight team will help bridge the gap between brand and customer awareness.
Market research that is flexible and user-friendly results in effective customer interaction. The most effective and accurate analysis uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods; having access to both qualitative and quantitative resources that function together allows insight teams to dig down into the nitty gritty to find the insight gold they're looking for.
For example, taking a smaller cross-section of respondents to dig further with more detailed questions using a qualitative video tool that shows emotion and physical reaction after conducting a quantitative survey with a larger number of participants enables the survey data to be infused with rich qualitative contextual understanding, resulting in deeply impactful insights. These insights have the ability to change brands in the ways that customers want them to be transformed, ensuring that brands prosper and consumers are rewarded with companies that are responsive to their needs and expectations in a long-term manner.
Creating an array of research tools in one toolbox would allow insight professionals to bridge the gap and eliminate the guesswork, whether it's a new product in development or customer profiling over a longer time span. With factual data, organisations can save time, resources, and be future-proofed.
The Caravan and Motorhome Club's market research on the InsightHub platform is a clear example of how market research will help with future decisions. The Club wanted to know if their members wanted sustainability to be incorporated into their programmes and campsites.
When it comes to developing innovative services, insight teams understand that making educated guesses is impossible without first communicating with respondents. With image-based stimuli, the Club undertook an agile three-day focus group analysis with their own participants, yielding a large number of actionable observations that informed both short- and long-term decisions with immediate effect. The Club realised they needed to upgrade their facilities, so they planned an entirely new test campsite to accommodate the increasing number of hybrid and electric vehicles expected to hit the roads in the next 20 years.
Closing the Distance
Closing the distance between brands and customers is the future, and market research programmes and insight-driven decisions will pave the way. With case studies like the Caravan and Motorhome Club, it's clear that engaging existing buyers, target markets, and whoever the next decision would have the greatest effect on will help brands connect better with consumers and make better long-term decisions.