Understanding consumer preferences and sentiment is a difficult, lengthy, expensive process involving  many hours of analysis of experts resulting in only a partial understanding. Due to technological, budget and time limitations, what has become accepted the reality for consumer brands is they can come to understand consumer preferences for around just 5-10 aspects of a consumer product or service.

Search online for “top factors consumers consider in a product” will produce a long and varied array of “5 factors” or “top factors” or even “top 10 factors” articles.

All of this often doesn’t reflect reality. In real life consumers are much savvier today and typically consider 40-60 (and sometimes more) different aspects of a product or service as part of their experience. Even if a specific consumer cares about just 10-20 aspects, they are not necessarily the same as another  consumer. As a group, consumers might even care about many aspects of your products or services that you are not necessarily aware of.

 

Why brands miss out

The short answer is that until recently available Consumer Insight solutions were expensive, complex and ineffective. These solutions required your IT experts and data scientists to work with the solution vendors’ experts to configure the solution and integrate it with your internal systems. Because of this the total costs were very high, going well beyond the price of the solution itself. Additional hidden costs were incurred during implementation, customization and integrations because of the high level of human involvement.

Due to the centralized nature of such a project, involving executives and experts, once a traditional Consumer Insights system was up and running, stakeholders had to wait for weekly or monthly reports, meaning longer decisions cycles, and longer time to validate the decisions with market data. With this type of a centralized service organization, changing or adding a report required a request to IT and a long wait time to implementation, in a best case scenario.

All of this leaves operational roles in consumer brands without granular data, long decision cycles based on sometimes dated or inaccurate information.

 

The easy, common, themes consumers care about

The common themes that consumers care about when considering goods and services are repetitive and are typically along the lines of:

  • Price
  • Value for money
  • Quality
  • Loyalty (existing customers)
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Free shipping
  • Availability
  • Samples and promotions
  • A friend recommended  

 

And now for the cool examples…

Let’s pick a few industries for some fun examples of what consumers care about when taking an interest in a product or a service. For these the data came from public online sites for ratings and reviews in the United States.

  • In the paper care industry, spanning paper towels, toilet paper etc. look at some fun topics from the top 10 things on consumer minds:
    • Softness (Ranking #3 in importance/volume)
    • Size (Ranking #7 in importance/volume)
    • Economical (Ranking #8 in importance/volume)
  • In the smartphones industry (based on 2016 data, which is a bit dated but gives you the overall sense) see some fun topics from the top 10 things on consumer minds:
    • Battery (Ranking #3 in importance/volume)
    • Stability (Ranking #4 in importance/volume)
    • Size & Weight (Ranking #9 in importance/volume)
  • In the razors and blades industry see some fun topics from the top 10 things on consumer minds:
    • Free samples & coupons (Ranking #8 in importance/volume)
    • Skin sensitivity (Ranking #9 in importance/volume)
    • Handle (Ranking #10 in importance/volume)

 

These are just some examples for topics that are important to consumers that you may not have guessed are in the top 10 list. When you consider consumers typically care about 40-60 topics for a product/service, you can see how many of them you will miss when relying on guesswork.

 

Conclusion

A consumer-focused product or a service can fail even if just one specific aspect does not meet expectations. (See the not too recent example of Samsung Note 7). Your job as a brand is to make sure you know ALL the aspects that are important to your consumers so that your bases are well covered.

As consumers become more sophisticated they tend to become more demanding. This increased sophistication combined with the available online outlets to express opinions, creates a huge mass of data available today. With most existing methods of analysis, drawing out accurate, timely, actionable intelligence in an economic fashion has become a herculean and almost unattainable goal.

On the other hand, economically mining meaningful insights from the masses of data available today is now possible and even easy. Revuze is here and is offering the first self-service consumer intelligence solution. Revuze offers the first self-training, no touch solution that can mine consumer data automatically and report back on all areas needing feedback. This is why it’s much more granular, economic and timely, typically delivering 5-10X the insights compared to any other solution, and without requiring ongoing interaction with IT or Data Science experts.

 

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