• Harshada Desai

5 Sources For Brand Insights

The pandemic has changed everything for us. This includes the way in which we are able to conduct research and gather data. All of us that rely on consumer research or qualitative data need to re-examine our insights supply chain.

There are obvious data collection methods such as online focus group discussions, diary study over WhatsApp, phone or Zoom in-depth interviews etc. After which you can mine for insights.

At theObservatory we have spent the time since the pandemic to be creative in our approach and seek out useful insight gathering sources, and we are happy to share these sources with you.

theObservatory's top 10 Sources for Insights:

1. Business Model. Like understanding the product, business model insights help to understand why consumers buy, or not buy a product, or how brands are reaching out to consumers and what are the main activities of the brand are helping them succeed. To discover this kind of insights we like to use the Canvas Business Model. We simply print these sheets out and use the brand website and social media handles to get an overview of what is the brand's USP or value proposition (You can use the Canvas Value Proposition model too).

2. Consumer Touchpoints. Customer touchpoints are the various stages or points where your brand interacts with customers from start to end. Consumer touchpoints can be divided into three basic categories: before purchase, during purchase, after purchase. Consumer touchpoints are the deciding factor for consumers along their journey from discovering your brand to becoming a loyal customer. There is no phase in your relationship with the consumers that do not involve touchpoints, so how brands plan and design experiences at the interaction moments can make or break your consumer acquisition and retention. This is why these touchpoints become important places for gathering insights. it is important to study the touchpoints. Some examples of consumer touchpoints are: online ads, social media, blogs, company website, press coverage and consumer reviews (we love this last one!)

3. Brand Personas. By understanding where your brand values stand and where your brand is positioned compared to the competitors in the mind of the consumer, is a great way to gain insights into the market. At theObservatory we do this simply by using the 12 brand archetypes wheel. We use these Archetypes to gain insight on and guide us to help strengthen a brand's story, establish meaningful relationships with current and future customers. It's also a great way to stand out from a busy marketplace and leave a lasting impression on potential buyers.

4. Semiotics. Understanding the symbols used in your category can provide insights into how consumers navigate options and interpret brand benefits and meaning. For example, the green square with a green dot on food packaging is a sign that means the food is vegetarian (in India also means it contains no egg). In addition to describing a brand verbally, visuals or symbols is also a way to describe a brand. For example, the visual of breaking noodles in half over a boiling pot of water is the symbol for maggie - the only way to put maggies in boiling water is in a steel pot over a gas stove. Exploring still photos, videos and graphics of your brand or of competitor brands can help give you understand your brand better and give you clues on how to build a stronger resonance with consumers. The insights from this can be worked into how you develop and design your products or how you present your services.

5. Competitor Intelligence. Competitor study is worth taking up because it helps you to understand how your brand can beat the competition. Through their website, customer reviews, social media content, blogs etc try to compare service, packaging, visuals, offerings, advertisement etc. and look for themes and patterns that you can exploit.

What is the role of researchers in 2021 (or till the pandemic lasts)?

Travelling and meeting your research participants is the best way to speak with consumers and efficiently conduct research to uncover insights. When appropriate in our near future, our projects will continue this process; however putting consumers, staff, and clients first, also means adapting our approach to reduce the health risks and put consumers’ minds at ease, in a way that will still maximise the chance of uncovering the insights our clients need to drive their business forward. If you want to know more about how qualitative research can help your business find an unfair advantage, contact us to discuss at harshada@theobservatory.co.in or visit our website.

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