Consumer insight companies can be extremely beneficial for many companies across the globe. The extent to which they help a company can depend on what type of market a company is in, at what stage of a company’s lifecycle you find yourself in, and what type of business you are in the first place. For example, a sole trader that always has a large demand that outstrips their capacity would not have that much need for these sorts of insights – especially if they’re building their business through personal recommendations and connections rather than advertising to a broad market.
Yet as we move into more complex types of businesses, with varying levels of demands, the need for consumer insight companies grows rapidly. In short, consumer insights help a company find out certain things about potential customers. These can vary massively from where they prefer to buy their groceries to whether they have pets or not. It helps build a customer profile, rather than simply knowing whether they have bought a product or not. This allows a company to communicate more clearly to customers and understand how they can improve their brand to propel themselves toward new customers. It can help find out motivations, how spending habits are changing on an individual basis, how world and national events are shifting people’s purchasing behaviour and so on, taking in factors well within your control and broad global trends.
It basically comes down to understanding your market. The stronger an understanding you have of your market, the more effective you can be in providing solutions, services and products to people within that market. With this higher understanding, you can make your company more nuanced in how it responds to a customer’s (or potential customers) wants and needs. This in turn allows customers to feel a more personal relationship to your brand, as your customer insights allows your brand to overtake competitors who are not able to personalise their brand to the same extent.
Finally, consumer insight companies might seem worrying as they are separate entities from your own company. Founders and business owners tend to value control and independence, getting such important input from an external agency can feel like letting go of that control. In truth, no business owner has the time to be an expert in every area their company could possibly need and allowing external expertise into your decision making frees you up to take the high level decisions only a CEO can.