New Insight Tools To Stimulate Innovation Breakthroughs

Actionable, incisive and relevant insights underpin every innovation breakthrough, but great insights can be seriously difficult to uncover!

  • If you ask consumers exactly how they undertake a specific task – they’ll seldom be able to tell you.
  • If you ask them what they buy – they’ll often often struggle to recall.
  • If you ask the what motivates their product or brand choices – they’ll often post-rationalise.

Whilst classic consumer focus-groups are efficient, relatively cheap and certainly better than nothing – they leave a lot to be desired when it comes to uncovering genuinely actionable insights that’ll inspire breakthrough innovation!

That’s why we’re constantly experimenting with new tools and techniques that’ll give our clients an edge …

What Makes An Insight Actionable?

Some insights are stumbled upon accidentally, but most are unlocked by attentive LISTENING, careful OBSERVATION and personal IMMERSION.

The most actionable insights come in two parts:

  • An incontrovertible fact or truth about the consumer’s circumstances … plus …
  • An unambiguous ‘disconnect’ from their desired state of being.

Without the tension represented by the disconnect – your insight might be an interesting observation, but it won’t provide an inspiring, actionable target for innovation ideation!

So which are the hottest insight techniques for uncovering actionable insights around at the moment?

Brand Development’s Twelve Top Tools for Gathering Actionable Insights

#1 Interrogate Existing Data

This may sound crazy, but our recommendation is ALWAYS start by revisiting the data you already own.

Getting fresh-eyes to re-evaluate and summarise your existing quant & qual reports in the context of your current innovation challenge will frequently identify fresh perspectives and inspiring insights!

Consider: Rewind is relatively low cost and really should be the first step in any project.

#2 Neuro-Insights

Neuro-tools capture consumers’ predispositions and allow us to tap-into implicit (system one) thinking.

Neuro-tools integrate semantic priming, implicit tests and eye-tracking all run from mobiles. They can map everything from brand associations to pack-preferences on-shelf!

Consider:  Neuro-marketing tools can supply invaluable clues about consumers’ deep-rooted relationships with products and brands.

#3 In-Moment Video ‘Reviews’

Consumers record ‘think piece’ videos on nominated topics – revealing rich behavioural and emotional clues.

Real consumers in their natural habitat share their spontaneous perspectives on products, services or key-topics as product or experience ‘reviews’.

Consider: Great way to quickly gather clues about how consumers engage with your product category and how well solutions perform

#4 Supermarket Swarm

Live retail insights and intelligence gathered by gig-based communities of ‘locals’ all around the globe.

Combining artificial intelligence, geolocation and a huge community of local data-gatherers to analyse shelf fixtures, check your competitors and identify local ‘best in class’ and ‘standard of excellence’ solutions.

Consider: Brilliant way to get fast, accurate inspiration from categories similar to yours – all around the world

#5 Watch Me Do

We really miss Google Glasses because they were relatively unobtrusive, but body-worn camcorders perform much the same function – recording consumers actions in realtime as they use your products.

Body-cams let you deconstruct your product’s usage process – and redesign it to better-meet consumers needs

Consider:  Deconstruct how consumers actually use your products – as inspiration for brainstorming better solutions.

#6 Social Intercepts

Big Data analysis often only makes sense when you understand the ‘context’ of your consumer’s behaviour.  Virtual intercepts allow us to divert social media or website users into one-on-one deep-dive interviews.

Unbeatable, quick-turnaround opportunity to understand the ‘why’ behind consumer decision making.

Consider: Gain insights into how and why consumers are interacting with your brand online.

#7 Purchase Pathway

What are the steps in your consumer’s purchase journey?  Where should you interact?

Capture rich, in-the-moment experiences with path-to-purchase diaries, track Google-searches & recommendation-sourcing with mobile screen recording and observe shopper missions – all from your consumer’s mobile device.

Consider:  Map every stage of the consumer-journey from trigger to transaction to usage feedback

#8 Humanising Big Data

Analysis of the interaction between Google searches, quant-data and sales results can reveal predictive patterns in consumer choice mechanisms.

Big-data analysis often only comes to life fully when paired with qual-research to help spot meaningful data connections vs random data correlations

Consider:  Leverage big-data to unlock patterns that hint at needs you can target and relationships you can leverage.

#9 Mobile Ethno

A panel of respondents upload videos, snap photos or answer questions as they go about their lives.

Brings together techniques like diaries, questionnaires and pre-tasking under the guidance of a qual-moderator to build a rich, contextual understanding of consumers’ everyday lives, rituals and behaviours.

Consider:  Great way to broaden perspectives and gather insights at the start of an innovation process.

#10 Conflict Groups

Classic ‘consumer group’ are a highly effective insight-gathering tool, but we’re always looking for fresh ways of gaining an insight-edge.  That’s what makes us such fans of the ‘conflict-group’ concept.

Mini-Groups executed with different sub-groups of super-consumers can highlight clues about similarities and differences between groups – by encouraging dissent or even downright conflict!

Consider:  Conflict-groups can quickly reveal where you need individually-tailored solutions for differing consumer segments.

#11 Online Communities

Online communities give us the chance to actually observe and interact with large numbers of our consumers over a number of weeks or months.

Communities with 500-1000 consumers are a big commitment, but give you the chance to gain a deep-understanding of how your consumers live their lives through forums, polls, diaries, contests and group discussions.

Consider:  Observe trends, gather insights into unmet needs, brainstorm with your consumers and gather feedback from them directly.

#12 In-Habitat Safari

One-on-one, in-habitat, deep-dive interviews give time to strip away pretensions and defences, to really expose consumers’ true motivations.

Visiting the ‘in-use’ environment gives insight-gatherers unrivalled access to consumers’ kitchens, bathrooms, wardrobes – everywhere they need to go to challenge assertions and really start uncovering power-insight-clues

Consider:  Safaris can be a brilliant way to gather deep-insights and get a workshop team to really engage with the consumer

We Can ‘Activate’ Your Insights

Regardless of the insight gathering process you use, one of the key challenge is to convert the insights you’ve gathered into ‘fuel’ to ignite your ideation process

That’s where insight activation workshops can be so powerful

Part debrief + part strategy workshop – they will help your team take ownership of the insights and evolve them into inspiring springboards for ideation.

Creating Insight-Driven Ideation-Springboards

Our experienced team will work with you to craft your insights into a series of inspiring Innovation Springboards

Each Springboard comprises:

  • A clearly defined consumer target
  • A desired consumer outcome
  • A series of insight-driven disconnects between the current status and desired consumer outcome
  • A clearly defined competitor set

Once your Innovation Springboards are in place – our team will help you plan, prepare and execute a high-energy creative workshop that’ll turn the freshly-gathered insights into the relevant, motivating innovation solutions your consumers need!

Brand Development’s Proven Track-Record of Harnessing Insights To Empower Innovation!

In-Home Safaris for RB Laundry Care

In-home, safari-driven insight process with RB exploring all the different ways individual consumers used and abused their Vanish Stain-removal powder.

Output:  Ideation platforms leveraged to generate differentiating new performance ‘claims’

Big Data Analysis Amongst ‘Grey’ Consumers for Danone

We used consumer safaris and data analysis to unlock the age-related nutrition requirements of baby-boomers

Output:  Segment-targeted concepts for next generation mobility products

Conflict Groups With Body-Builders for Optimum Nutrition

A series of super-consumer conflict-groups to unlock the different needs of bodybuilders, team sport players and cardio-exercisers

Output:  Ideation platforms designed to generate ‘goal-related’ sports nutrition solutions

Mobile Ethnography In Clubs & Bars for Chivas

We sent our spirit-drinking millennial target consumers on bar-crawls with their peers in NYC, Paris, Madrid and Taipei to spot unsatisfied social-drinking needs.

Output:  Creative workshop stimulus to generate new product concepts for scotch whisky

Kick-off Your Insight Programme With Brand Development Now!

If you’d like us to help you unlock the power of insights get in touch today, give us a call on +44 1491 411272, or connect with David or Joanna via LinkedIn

We custom-build solutions for every client – that deliver brilliant results!

If you’d like more information about insight projects we have completed for our clients – check them out here

But if you’d just like more information about gathering actionable insights, generating breakthrough ideas or crafting compelling concepts with Brand Development – just follow the relevant links.