At The Garage Group, we believe that consumer research should never aim to look at just a moment in time. Our approach to research is centered on learning iteratively and building a growing body of evidence with multiple consumer touch points. To us, it’s about building a story over time with insights that, when weaved together, point to longer-term solutions.
We hear you when you ask, “Will doing research right now turn up insights that are lasting or will it just be wasted effort?” Engaging in consumer research amidst the pandemic will not only allow your business to build a more powerful story over time, but also rise to the forefront of today’s rapidly changing world. Here’s why we believe now is the best and most exciting time to capture consumer insights:
1. Ripe Opportunities for Brands
The world has changed forever and many of the ways it’s changed (e.g., accelerated digital transformation, evolving demand for sustainability, shifting focus on health and wellness) will not go away when the pandemic threat is over. These needs have been around for a while, but the expectations consumers have for brands relative to these needs have shifted. There are more opportunities than ever for brands to break away with solutions that meet shifting consumer expectations and needs. Companies and brands need to maintain a pulse on their consumers now in order to come out on top.
“We’re hungry to look for new opportunities; new customer and consumer pain points that we can help solve because we realize that many of them that we uncover during this time are going to be lasting. So it’s been actually a really fun time to work in insights and innovation in our company because that’s the mindset that we’re modeling. Busier than ever, as a result, so it feels good.” – Kristen Oeltjenbruns, Innovation and Insights, Cargill
Check out more insights from our Battle-Tested Lessons Learned conversation on virtual innovation with Kristen & two other leaders from General Mills and RB. We discussed why and how their teams are leaning into consumer insights during this uncertain time.
2. New Lasting Habits & Behaviors
While we recognize that some current consumer behaviors may revert once the threat of COVID has passed, many of them will remain. TGG conducted research at the beginning of the pandemic to uncover emerging consumer needs and opportunity spaces, and our findings hold true today. Understanding which habits and behaviors are lasting will ensure companies do not get left behind in the wake of these shifts.
3. More Engaged, Thoughtful Consumers
TGG has conducted many qualitative and quantitative research studies over the last seven months in which we’ve seen consumer engagement jump. The recruits are more engaged in the activities; more willing to spend time really digging into the questions; and are sometimes even open to taking us on in-store shopping adventures. We’ve never seen consumers reflect as thoughtfully on their attitudes and behaviors as they are right now. We believe capitalizing on this leads to deeper, richer insights for brands.
How is your company leaning into consumer insights and innovation in the current climate and continuously? Get in touch with The Garage Group if you’re posing this question internally and need a partner to think through it with you. We’d love to have a conversation about your current goals and priorities, and share more about how we can tackle your innovation and/or strategy challenges via startup-inspired approaches.