New Research Techniques focused on Consumers

As a consequence of the emerging focus on innovation, values, touch-point management and experiences, new research techniques have attracted new attention aiming at uncovering today’s complex consumer behavior.

An example of a research technique that has gained much attention is Ethnographic Research. Ethnographic research enables companies to create the right experiences, with the brand values incorporated into the touch-points, that suits and supports the consumers behavior (Tom Kelley, 2005). It is now recognized that customers have different roles in their lives and consequently different needs at different times (David A. Aaker, 2007).

The notion that one segment has a certain need does no longer apply as this view has proven to be too simplistic (Light, 2007). Instead a more dynamic approach to solve the challenge of uncovering customer needs is called for. For this purpose ethnographic studies are gaining ground as a mean to better understand the different roles and needs of the customers. Ethnographic research responds to this challenge by observing consumers in their natural
environments and then turning these consumer encounters into ideas that transform product categories and brands (Mariampolsky, 2006).

Ethnography has surfaced to the top of the market research agenda in recent years as it allows those who create and sell products to come across consumers in new ways. Furthermore it allows marketers to delve into the actual occasions and situations in which products are used, services are received, and benefits are conferred (Mariampolsky, 2006). In this way the various roles and needs of the consumers is better and more correctly uncovered, which is essential to success in an increasingly competitive market landscape.

PepsiCo Inc. is already adapting their organizational structure and research methods to promote consumer understanding and knowledge sharing internally and externally. Ultimately, this type of approach can help an organization to inform their brands and innovation projects. In a recent American Marketing Association (AMA) conference on brand innovation (May 2007), Antonio J. Lucio, Senior Vice President (SVP), Chief Innovation and Health & Wellness Officer said: “We believe that he who is closest to the consumers…should own the keys to innovation..

Working together with our innovation teams is a set of best-in-class partners; people like IDEO an eatbigfish…They provide us with fresh approaches to insights, prototyping, and development.”

Evolution and Trends of Brand Management read here

Brand Experience Management read here

Management of Touch-points read here

Brand values read here

Brand innovation management read here

New Research Techniques focused on Consumers as a Consequence of the trends read here

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