Consumer behavior evolved in ways both obvious and obscure through COVID-19. With more barriers for market researchers to meet with consumers live and in-person, consumer closeness seemed more difficult than ever for organizations around the world.
Globally competitive consumer goods companies like Reckitt were right to assume that consumers were not only difficult to reach, but their behavior was becoming more difficult to predict.
According to a 2020 report on changing customer behavior through COVID-19 from Salesforce, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations, yet only 34% agree that companies treat customers as unique individuals.
Consumers around the world shifted their lifestyles and behaviors under the pandemic in ways that Reckitt needed to better understand. The digital transformation, forcing people to communicate, learn, work and shop online, was easier than ever to track in terms of quantitative data — however, that wasn’t enough information for Reckitt to truly understand consumers.
The UK-based multinational needed to capture conversations to produce strong qualitative data, to understand the “why” from people directly in order to foster consumer closeness and build empathy.
Reckitt’s Global Consumer Insights & Analytics Manager Sai Pisipati, in recognizing these new challenges, searched for solutions to help his team launch new products and make strong product design choices based on the voice of the consumer (VOC).
“From an analytical point of view, we’ve got quantitative data,” Sai said. “But unless and until you have the real story of what a consumer is going through, you never know what your future is, and what you need to do. Not knowing who the consumer is and what they’re going through was the biggest challenge in the last year and a half since the pandemic.”
How did Sai and his team move from hearing about consumers’ experiences to extracting insights quickly and at scale? Here are three ways that Reckitt was able to turn people’s experiences into insights in record time:
- They committed to getting the real story.
Sai and the team recognized that quantitative data around consumer behavior wasn’t enough. They wanted to gain insights from consumers themselves and they needed the tools to do it. Discuss.io’s platform was just the purpose-built platform they needed, with features such as Sentiment Analysis, Theme Finder and a ‘Save Moment’ button that give teams like Sai’s the ability to quickly create highlight reels with easy shareability, in turn creating meaningful insights that can reach an entire organization.
- They were determined to directly engage with consumers.
Because of the pandemic, Reckitt needed to find an easy alternative to holding in-person consumer conversations. They leveraged Discuss.io’s platform to conduct virtual in-depth-interviews (IDIs) and focus groups, moving the organization one step closer to true customer centricity.”With Discuss.io, they were enablers and people who empowered us rather than people who were ‘keeping the gate.’ That’s where I felt the biggest turning point for us with Discuss.io — we reconnected with consumers. Not only did we reconnect, we were able to empathize with them.”
- They let the consumer voice drive decisions.
Choosing a design route for a product launch in a new territory was difficult in the new remote-first landscape. They needed to replicate the in-person experience and quickly. To speed the time to insights, Reckitt used Discuss.io’s agile research methodology, wherein their own design partners were able to speak directly to consumers.
“We were internally confused looking at 10 design to 15 design routes, but the consumer wasn’t. They clearly picked one design route, which actually made our life easier within a week, which is very powerful.”
Discuss.io offered more flexibility to directly engage with consumers, as well as agile research approaches that resulted in greater closeness and empathy to the people using their products.
“In times like these, we needed to be much closer and empathize with consumers, that’s where Discuss.io changed the game,” Sai said.
To see the video interview with Sai Prisipati, click here.