Finding New Consumer Insights

Insights, or consumer insights, are one of the key building blocks for a company to generate ideas for new products or new services.

Insights, or consumer insights, are critical to the innovation process.  They are statements that capture a clear and deep understanding of a consumer’s attitudes and emotions, and they are one of the key building blocks for a company to generate ideas for new products or new services.

Insights Defined

“Insights are short statements based on a deep understanding of consumer attitudes and beliefs.”

“Insights are unknown or overlooked knowledge about consumer behaviour and attitudes.”

“Good insights are short statements that reflect a deep and clear understanding about consumers using words that a consumer would use.”

“A great insight is a “deep discovery” about our consumer that can be leveraged to change behaviour or to grow a business.”

“Good insights help to establish a connection between brands and consumers in fresh new ways.”

“A great insight often gets the reaction – thank goodness, somebody finally understands me”.

How Do I Get Insights?

1. Know what you are looking for – understand and be clear what insights are and what they are not.  Use and agree on good examples with support from market research professionals.

2. Define the focus for “insight mining” – decide what you are looking for and agree the areas of strategic interest and focus e.g. attitudes of 18-34 year olds to sun protection when they are on their beach holiday.

3. Get help from market research professionals – this doesn’t mean that you can’t look for insights yourself, but use professionals to guide and help you.

4. Use different tools – there are many ways to find new insights. For example,  consumer observation in homes, accompanied shopping trips, focus group observations, one-on-one meetings, reading relevant consumer magazines, visiting online chat rooms, talking to trend experts, talking to category experts, re-reading market research reports with fresh eyes etc.

5. Get closer to your consumers – meet them and get close to your target audience; observe and understand the choices that they are making and not making.  Try not to hide behind focus group mirrors!

6. Read between the lines – you are probably sitting on lots of insights from old market research reports.  Read them again and read between the lines and ask why why why?  Challenge and come up with your own theories that you can then test and explore.

7. Look below the surface – avoid taking the first answer you hear from a consumer as gospel.  There are often big differences between what people say and what they actually do. Try and dig deeper and understand why a consumer makes the choices they do.

8. Explore the differences – look for differences and contradictions between one research report and another.  Explore differences between different consumer behaviors. Have a challenging and questioning mind on your insight journey.

9. Look for quantity – once you get started, brainstorm potential new insights in a specific area and don’t judge your efforts too quickly…our experience indicates that you need to generate and write 20 potential insights to produce 2 or 3 that are really meaningful.

10. Keep discovering – finding insights doesn’t stop, so keep looking.  Have a regular program in place to find new insights and give yourself time at the start of the innovation cycle to do this work.  Consider using online tools to help capture and database new insights on a regular basis.

This content was originally published by Ideas First . Visit their website at
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