We write for Greenbook about leaving behind brand narcissism

market research

We write for Greenbook about leaving behind brand narcissism

In her latest article for Greenbook, our Chief Strategy Officer, Devora Rogers highlights the need for a consumer-centric research model that aligns with the way customers think and make purchasing decisions. The piece, called “Moving away from a narcissistic market research model” explores the drawbacks of some of the traditional approaches to market research and emphasizes the importance of adapting to changing consumer behaviors and preferences.

In short, Devora argues that measuring brand loyalty no longer resonates with consumers who prioritize their own needs over brand considerations. While market research has long focused on metrics like brand awareness, consideration, and Net Promoter Score (NPS), this isn’t really how individuals make purchase decisions. This disconnect negatively impacts consumer understanding and effective business decision-making, necessitating a shift in the conversation surrounding market research.

The concept of “Brand Narcissism” is analogous to being on a date with someone consumed by insecurities, constantly asking self-centered questions about their own image. Similarly, market researchers risk corrupting their insights by persistently pursuing questions centered on their brands, rather than their audiences. The traditional purchase funnel no longer aligns with consumer behaviors and thinking patterns in today’s world, exacerbated by technological advancements, category disruption, socioeconomics, and the lasting impact of the pandemic.

Devora writes, “One of the most prominent changes was a move toward what we call ‘Shopper Promiscuity’, or the willingness to try new brands, new products, and new categories. In this new state of mind, shoppers prefer to explore and try new things. Nothing loyal about that.” Because of this, brands are tasked with constantly acquiring new customers. They need the right kind of data to accomplish this task successfully. 

To gather the most needed, valuable insights, researchers must stop asking outdated, brand-focused questions, which will ultimately yield stagnant results. Devora indicates that by  embracing multimodal research techniques and newer methodologies, such as neuroscience, can provide fresh perspectives and answer complex questions in innovative ways – efficiently and cost-effectively.
She concludes the piece with: “We suggest shaking up the way you approach brand trackers, evaluate audience understanding, bring together data streams and much more. First and foremost, put Brand Narcissism in the rearview mirror. It is a barrier to smarter thinking about shoppers and risks delivering outdated metrics. Brands that think like their shoppers do, and don’t take them for granted, are the ones who stand the best chance of being successful.”

Read the complete piece here: https://www.greenbook.org/mr/market-research-methodology/moving-away-from-a-narcissistic-market-research-model/

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