May 1, 2018

Do you really know your customers?

Most companies claim to put their customers at the heart of their strategy, yet few can claim to truly understand them.  While vasts about of time and money are spent understanding a customer’s thoughts and attitudes, the reality is that many people don’t understand their own feelings and thoughts and so struggle to express them to other people – especially in a 10 minute online survey.

There are, however, approaches that can overcome this problem.  We recently conducted a survey for a financial services client who wanted to understand their customers’ attitudes to their brand.  They had conducted various brand tracking and brand image surveys for many years, each of which provided very similar insights, but somehow their attitudes didn’t add up: for example, how could the company be viewed as traditional and innovative, or as a trustworthy and risky?

The key to crack this problem is to realise that everyone has multiple ways of thinking, not just one approach. So we employed several different techniques to get at these different thought processes.  The most interesting, in this study, was the Evaluative Movement Technique, an amazing approach which (like the Implicit Association Test) uses a person’s speed of response to questions to determine their true answer, but unlike the IAT test, it doesn’t take for ever to administer.

The output gave the client an entirely new understanding of how they are viewed and as a consequence led to a complete change in the way their brand talks to its clients.