Here is the hard truth: Consumers are never going to approach a brand and say, “You help me live well.” But they will absolutely quiet quit a brand that doesn’t do just that.
There are two key factors in play here that marketers need to understand:
- Consumers are calling the shots now. They are living life on their terms and supporting brands that share their values and help them achieve their goals.
- Consumers are loyal to their favorite brands. They are fiercely passionate about them, but they rarely know why.
Sure, they know what they like. Maybe a product smells nice or tastes good or is consistently reliable. Maybe an experience is exciting, relaxing, decadent, or even mind-blowing.
At the end of the day, though, those qualities are simply wants or must-haves. They are not driving factors.
To succeed and authentically connect with their consumers, brands must know what drives their consumers’ decisions. The problem is consumers don’t typically know why they make the choices they make. You can ask them directly, but they won’t be able to tell you.
Direct questions / misleading answers
For example, what if I asked you, “Why did you choose that restaurant?” You might say, “I was craving Mexican food.”
That is not the truth. There are 30 Mexican restaurants; there is a reason you chose that one. There is something about it that matches your lifestyle, values, and/or aspirations. If I ask for more details though, you won’t tell me your values. Instead, you will tell me about fajitas and guacamole.
Direct questions in market research studies result in misleading answers, however honest and helpful the respondents are trying to be.
To learn consumers’ values, or the driving factors behind their decisions, we need to help them reveal the attitudes and emotions that they aren’t aware of or can’t articulate. We do that with our Living Well lens.
Living Well lens
To really dig deeply into living well, we approach a topic from an indirect perspective. For instance, if we are doing a study on restaurants, we might ask people about their values, emotions, or personal tastes.
It seems counterintuitive, but those “unrelated” questions help reveal what people truly value. We are able to analyze their answers and learn what consumers want from a brand and, more importantly, why they want it.
This is how we help brands find the sweet spot between their authentic identity and their target audiences’ authentic drivers and motivation.
When brands operate in that sweet spot, consumers won’t tell them, “You help me live well.” But they will become fiercely loyal and authentic brand ambassadors, which is about as sweet as it gets.
This blog was written by:
Michael Vazquez Jim Harper
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