A business’ most important job is to know its' consumers.

A business’ most important job is to know its' consumers.

Last week (January 19, 2022), Strategy magazine published an article titled “Consumers don’t think brands understand their problems”. 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 them.

So why is this, after all, most companies do make a concerted effort to understand their consumer. 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 do not quite know what to drill down for, or do not have sufficient training or tools to do so.

Gencher Insight uses a Target Consumer Understanding Profile tool (TCUP), that mines all consumer information and data and distills it into a two-to-three-page summary of the most important information about the target consumer. It covers all the demographics, and (more important) the psychographics, it includes information such as demographics, attitudes, lifestyle, needs & motivations and consumption behavior, cover connection, media usage, etc.

This tool brings the target consumer to life for anyone who works on the brand (externally or internally) and ensures that all activity, messaging, and media used reaches and resonates with the consumer, when they are open to your message and achieve the intended purpose.

Now I stated that “many” companies don’t know how to develop a deep consumer understanding, however what about those companies that do know how? Well, that’s an easier question to 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 documents need to constantly change and evolve as time and situations change.

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