Insights are not shiny objects. Many times insights are buried in the customer’s emotional connection to the brand.
Good marketers believe that customer insights form the foundation for brand strategy. Being able to identify insights about product functionality, user preferences, and emotional connection to the brand help to formulate the brand promise and gives the brand its “reason for existence.”
5 questions to ask when determining true insights:
- Does product/service use reveal something about the target audience’s mind set?
- Does the functional benefit of the product/service provide the greatest value to the customer?
- Does the product/service make customers feel better about themselves?
- Does the product/service create lasting value?
- Does the product/service act as an internal point-of-view for the brand?
If you can answer yes to the above questions, odds are you have insight for building a strong brand.
5 ways to differentiate insights from merely interesting information:
Insights reveal more about the target audience than about the product or service.
Does the insight identify a particular lifestyle or point-of-view?
Can the insight be traced back to social cause, use a technology or a political leaning?
Insights are more about the category than the brand.
Owning the category benefit is considered an indication of brand leadership. United Airlines positioning, “Fly the Friendly Skies,” used until 1996, helped to drive category leadership.
Insights reveal more about how people feel than what they think.
Feelings connect to our deepest needs and values. Find an insight based on an emotion and you can build a brand with which people connect. Virgin American continues to demonstrate this approach with mood lighting, advanced cabin technology, and a hip attitude.
Insights focus on what is enduring, not the latest fad.
Fads come and go. Successful brands focus on staying true to their core values and articulate these through employee/customer interactions. Southwest Airlines’ core value of on time departures and arrivals has not changed in over 40 years.
Insights stimulate new ideas.
Real insights challenge companies to act in new ways. What a frequent flyer considers important is different from what a vacation traveler considers important. Insights can lead to improvements in specific customer segments.
Being able to determine the difference between what is an insight and what is just interesting affects brand leadership. At the same time, don’t reject an insight just because it seems obvious.