No matter what business or market you are based in, it is highly likely at one point or another that consumer feedback has felt far from helpful. Often, this is the case in forms of complaints, or receiving “advice” from consumers when it was never really asked for. However, consumer feedback, through the right channels, and set up in the correct manner can be one of the biggest assets possible to any business.
Useful consumer feedback can come in the form of a brand tracker. Put simply, brand tracking allows there to be more insights into individual consumer’s relationship to your brand. This might involve their emotional attachment to the brand, what characteristics they relate to the brand, and how overall consumers feel the brand is performing. This allows businesses to see the ‘why’ behind specific sales trends, and make more informed decisions of where to take the business next.
At this point, it may seem that this is very straightforward information, the sort of which any business could ascertain with the mildest of effort. However, in this age of information, the level of knowledge that can be gathered by specialised market research groups goes far beyond customer feedback cards and the like. This can help show where a business’s brand is performing across the whole market it’s in, highlight specific competition, and allude to specific strengths and weaknesses within the company. If a business can expect a high level of information and clarity then we can expect that the decisions made are going to be more substantiated, and therefore less likely to backfire.
Finally, the idea of specialised market research companies, might make some businesses weary, as it is a form of outsourcing, and many businesses will believe they could do the job in-house instead. This may, practically speaking, be the case. However, if this route is to be considered, it is worth stepping back and asking yourself if this approach will get the most out of consumer feedback. Because, consumers divulging what they think of a brand to a neutral third party may be very different to how a consumer tells the business who owns the brand directly what they think of it. In short, if you are considering not outsourcing, due to the difference in cost or control of the process, then the difference in value of information collected must also be considered.