A Business’ Most Important job is to Know its' Consumers

Brian Gencher  /  March 2, 2023 15:12 EST

In January of 2022, Strategy magazine published an article titled Consumers don’t think brands understand their problems1. I found this interesting as the internet, business journals, and publications are full of articles that highlight the importance of knowing the customer and their buying behaviour, to effectively sell a product or service and drive growth.

Although I found it interesting, I did not find it terribly surprising as this sentiment has been around for quite some time. In 2015, IBM and Econsultancy conducted a study that revealed that nearly 80% of consumers felt that the average brand doesn’t understand them2.

Most companies make a real effort to know their consumers, so why don't they truly understand them? There is no easy answer to this, but in my opinion, it’s because many companies do not know how to develop a deep consumer understanding, they don't know what aspects of the consumers' life to drill down on, they don’t ask the right questions, or they don't have sufficient training or tools to do so.

Gencher Insight puts the consumer at the heart of everything we do. We develop and document a deep understanding of the consumer, who they are and what makes them tick. This deep understanding enables us, and our clients, to uncover and apply insights, the deep underlying motivations behind consumer actions that are used to drive growth.

Though a Target Consumer Understanding Profile tool (TCUP), we mine and consolidate all consumer information and data, distilling it into a summary of the most crucial information about the target consumer. It covers all the demographics and (more important) the psychographics, including information such as demographics, attitudes, lifestyle, needs & motivations, consumption behavior, media usage, etc.  This tool brings the target consumer to life for anyone who works on the brand (externally or internally), ensuring that all activity, messaging, and media used reaches and resonates with the consumer, when they are open to your message.

Now I stated that many companies don’t know how to develop a deep consumer understanding, but what about those companies that know how? That’s easier answer, it’s important to keep in mind that a companies' understanding of the consumer is like the consumer itself; a living breathing individual that changes over time, and the consumer understanding document needs to change as the times and situations change.

Those companies that are constantly looking and listening to their consumers and have a deep, continuously evolving understanding of them, are those that will have a competitive advantage over those that don’t.

(1) https://strategyonline.ca/2022/01/19/consumers-dont-think-brands-understand-their-problems/
(2) https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/marketing/2015/05/why-most-consumers-think-brands-misunderstand-them.html#:~:text=A%20recent%20study%20from%20IBM,is%20based%20on%20two%20studies


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