Think outside the box in the year of the ox

At times like these, it is important that brands strive to put consumers first, connecting and collaborating with them continuously. To achieve this, companies need to install a culture and infrastructure where consumer insights are integral to the business. However, making this a reality is far from easy. Therefore, you need access to a wide range of methods to grasp the complexity of consumer behaviour and attitudes. Also, make sure internal stakeholders get as close as possible to consumers. Furthermore, you need to control for quality amidst challenging budgets and time restrictions.

To help you build the ultimate consumer-centric organisation where consumer-first principles become habits, we have developed our online community platform, the Square. It brings together everything you need to weave the consumer voice into every fibre of your organization.

Unboxing the Square

Everyone is familiar with a square as a four-sided open public space, used for community gatherings. Our Square technology is exactly like that; a space where consumers and brand stakeholders connect, collaborate and co-develop, with the shared ambition of shaping the future of your brand(s).

Like any square, our platform has four sides, unique in their design, distinguishing the platform from others in the market:

  1. People-first – engage the right blend of people to the fullest and benefit from richer insights
  2. DIY-enabled – get behind the wheel and independently run your own activities and projects
  3. One-stop shop – connect ever more dots using the most versatile research toolbox
  4. At your service – benefit from our unique consulting and support services all around the world, whenever you need them
Think outside the box, in the year of the ox

Think outside the box

In Chinese culture, the ox is a valued animal due to its role in agriculture. It is known for being hardworking and honest, intelligent and reliable. This Lunar New Year, we encourage you to think like an ox, but also think outside the box!

While some consumers are optimally suited to give you feedback on existing ideas and concepts; others are better at helping you optimise and shape solutions; and some excel in bringing fresh ideas to the table. We refer to them as the 90%, the 9% and the 1%. The activities we engage in with these groups have been specifically designed to consider their needs and characteristics. So it’s important that we work together to engage the right consumer for the right task.

Meet the 90, the 9 and the 1

There’s no such thing as off-the-shelf research. On the Square platform, you can unlock more than 40 different activities that have been specifically designed with your objectives in mind. Whether you have a quantitative or qualitative research challenge, need to support a private or public activity, or want it to run live or asynchronously, our 360-degree tools suite helps you answer any research question in the most reliable way possible.

Depending on your challenge and context, you decide who takes the lead. Thus, we embrace a do-it-together philosophy; research consultant and client work side by side, deciding project by project who is in charge of set-up and execution. Our intuitive back-end management module allows your to easily set up and manage activities on your own.

Find out how thinking outside the box with a bespoke online community has led to new consumer-centric insights for L’Oréal Hong Kong, and helped us to become L’Oréal’s top-scoring agency in 2019!

Community case: online community leads to new consumer-centric insights for L’Oréal

With 26 brands operating in several channels, cosmetics and beauty company L’Oréal Hong Kong wanted to get closer to their consumers. That challenged our team to introduce a research set-up that could cater for different languages and diverse perspectives and values.

We created and managed an ‘always-on’ online community of over 2000 Hong Kong consumers. Our consultants worked in-house at the client’s site to get close to the different brand teams. They managed several weekly online and offline insight activities (including surveys, forums, mobile diaries, offline focus groups, mystery shops and video interviews).

We set up an extensive engagement program, regularly delivering findings and implications to both members and stakeholders. A quarterly customer centricity day with 50 people across the brand teams helped share learnings and inspire further consumer conversations. Since then, we have launched insight communities for L’Oréal in Korea, Indonesia and mainland China.

The different brand teams gained insight into the consumers’ deeper aspirations, tribes of influence, changing expectations for social retail experiences and how to stay relevant. By introducing design thinking, we helped the brand teams to step back and take the consumers’ perspective in categories such as sensitive skin – leading to fresh solutions. Having several brand teams tap into this consumer community allowed us to synergise activities and build themes around them, bringing in additional value to the company overall.

“At the beginning, it’s about getting stakeholders’ buy-in. Once you have buy-in and stakeholders are excited about the community and want to use it, it’s how you manage and prioritize the usage.”  

Vicki Shum, CMI Director at L’Oréal Hong Kong

Ready for a Square demo?

Brands including Manulife, HSBC, Nike, Cartier, Shiseido and Prudential are collaborating successfully with consumers on the Square.

Join us for our regular demo every Wednesday and Thursday (mailto Scott Lee for an invitation). Or book a personalised Square demo to find out how you can achieve consumer centricity through an online community!

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