Blog

Understanding consumer trends and local culture [an interview with GSK]

While all of us are everyday consumers that can share our everyday needs and frictions, only a limited number of people can signal ‘things to come’. Those are the ones living on the edge – heavy users, trendsetters or early-adopters – that know precisely what is hot and next in a particular area. In the 90-9-1 rule, they are the 9%, which we label as leading-edge consumers. These people are extremely passionate about a product, category or theme, and recognize needs and opportunities months or even years before the rest of us. And it’s exactly because of that passion that they are valuable collaboration partners for businesses.

We invited Jo Stanbridge, Global Insight Lead Sensodyne at GSK, to share her experience on collaborating with these passionate consumers.

Understanding consumer trends and local culture [an interview with GSK]

Jo Stanbridge
Global Insight Lead Sensodyne
GSK

Understanding consumer trends and local culture

As a leading Global Consumer Healthcare Company, we fully understand the importance of consumer trends and how they manifest within different cultures. This as a key pillar in our desire to achieve a deeper human understanding.

We have worked with InSites Consulting on a number of projects, using their Illume Guides to help with a range of brand challenges, understanding which culture shifts and emerging trends are impacting consumers, our categories and our brands. We appreciate that not all consumers are able to provide us with that leading-edge perspective or articulate the next. And as a global company, we’re also conscious that we need to understand the local cultural context, which can easily be missed or misinterpreted. This is where we use the Illume Network.

By way of specific example project, we knew ‘wellness’ was one of the biggest trends amongst consumers, but we wanted to get closer to how this manifested in actual consumer behavior. However, we needed to ensure the insights emerging would have longevity, informing future thinking, not the now. In order to do this, we worked with the Illume Network, tapping into a highly engaged, early-adopting audience.

Understanding consumer trends and local culture
Better Together V2 - Unlocking the power of consumers

Better Together V2: Unlocking the power of consumers

Different people come with a different set of unique skills and competences. Research has shown that out of every 100 people, 90 merely consume content, 9 will like, share or react to what is created, and only 1 will actually create something. And this is no different for consumers.

Request your download

You might also be interested in

The insight community toolbox: ‘do’ activities

We all know that what people say, does not always correspond with what they actually do. This phenomenon is also referred to as the ‘say-do gap’ and is especially visible in topics where people are prone to maintain a positive image by giving socially desirable responses. This often explains deviating election-poll results, or why stats are off for sensitive topics such as racism, substance use, smoking, or bankruptcies. Wanting to understand human behavior, it is thus not enough to focus on what people ‘think’ and ‘feel’; what they ‘do’ is another vital part of the research mix.

The insight community toolbox: ‘feel’ activities

Neuroscientists have found that if the brain’s emotions network is damaged, people would lose their ability not only to laugh or cry, but also to make decisions. Likewise, when making a decision, one does not say ‘What do I think about this’, but rather ‘How do I feel about this’. Clearly, emotions are key drivers of decision making.
This strong impact of emotions on behavior also has implications for marketing research, where ‘feel’ activities should be an integral part of the research mix.

The insight community toolbox: ‘think’ activities

For a long time, the dominant belief among philosophers, scientists and economists was that humans – and their decision making – are driven predominantly by ratio, and this was no different in marketing research. While we now understand that human behavior is complex and requires a multi-dimensional approach, ‘think’ activities are still an important part of the research mix – they allow to grasp the perceptions, opinions and attitudes people can easily express.