Consumer Knowledge; how to guide market research? Brand management is an important job, and done well, it significantly impacts the company’s profitability and returns on equity. If brand management is the vehicle, then brand wisdom is a set of wheels that carry the brand down the road. Completing this metaphor, market researchers are the crew that improves and maintains the highway for the branded vehicle.
Brand Wisdom is backed by market research that provides insight into three types of consumer knowledge:
- How consumers behave when they are interested in a product or service;
- How consumers behave in different contexts (environments) or different places;
- How consumers report or engage with brands.
Everyone is affected by their environment (context). Consumers are mainly influenced by the context in which their shopping groups occur. Social networking is an excellent example of this phenomenon. Consumers are often willing to share where they are and what they buy while there. It is especially true when “there” is a festive context.
At a fundamental level, all consumer behavior occurs in some context; however, as market researchers know, not all contexts are equally influential. An index of individuals or customers attempts to understand which conditions are most likely to drive consumer behavior.
What does consumer behavior mean and include?
Dr. Lars Perner, assistant professor of clinical marketing at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, offers this definition of consumer behavior:
“The study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the methods they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the effects of these processes on consumers and society.” ~Dr. Lars Perner, Marshall School of Business, USC
While this is a good definition that covers a lot of ground, one thing it leaves out is the concept of differentiation.
Consumers who engage with a brand, product, or service that leads to differentiation have more satisfaction than needs. Differentiation conveys a brand consideration that sets it apart from competitors and provides positive value to the consumer who chooses, purchases, and uses the product or service.
Class communication is the sweet spot of marketing. Categorical communication is a sign of differentiation.
Categorical communication is grounded in the differentiation that occurs in the minds of consumers when a product or service is positioned by a manufacturer or service provider in a different and meaningful way.
Marketing research has systematically studied consumer behavior for nearly a century. Indexing behavior has changed, and so has market research, marketing, and advertising. For example, early field research provided the Proctor and Gamble company with insight into how consumers used their products and what values they attributed to P&G products. Proctor and Gamble sent market researchers door-to-door to collect first-hand data. Consumers today send real-time data across digital channels to Proctor and Gamble market researchers.
Three critical related branding criteria
Creative branding focuses on ideas, design, and implementation in these three categories:
- Brand promise
- Brand Fulfillment
- Magnification (effect by relating voltage)
“Market research is often necessary to ensure that we produce what customers want and not what we think they want.” ~Dr. Lars Perner, Marshall School of Business, USC
The job of a market researcher is to provide data and information that can be used to optimize each of the three essential and related branding strategies.
- Perner, L. (nd) A clear introduction to the basics. Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California.
- Steenkamp, J. & de Jong, M. (2010). A global study of the constellation of consumer attitudes towards international and local products. Journal of Marketing, 74, 18-40.
- Van Dyck, F. (2014). Advertising Transformed: New Rules for the Digital Age. London: Kogan Page Limited.