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Elina Koivisto

on Thought leadership

Customer insight – the fuel for growth

We recently hosted a breakfast seminar titled “Customer insight in the heart of growth”. The morning was filled with an interesting keynote speech and case study presentations that catered a broad range of ideas and inspiration for creating a positive impact together with customers and employees.

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Our keynote speaker, Ulrika Romantschuk (EVP, Communications & Branding) shared her learnings from creating Fazer’s new market positioning based on deep customer insight and the long heritage of Fazer. You can read our case study on the process for finding a purposeful positioning here.

But how are other companies benefiting from focusing on understanding their customers? Read on to learn more.  In the following, you can read about the key learnings from the seminar.

Customer insight helps in seeing change as an opportunity

Customer insight is a convenient tool for understanding what customers really value. Naturally, understanding their needs is crucial for keeping ahead of competition, as companies are not only competing against their direct rivals but against anyone who can respond to customer needs in the best way. To this end, growth will not stem from incrementally improving existing products but from radical innovations that respond to a genuine customer needs and provide them with relevant meaning.

Value to customers means value to business

“The closer you get to your customers, their lives and behaviour, the closer you get to solving your problems,” Walt Disney explained as he ventured in his theme parks and observed how customers really behaved in the ludic environment.

Today, more than ever, brands are competing for the attention of consumers. In the housing market, for instance, consideration phases are long, as are project lead times. This is why it is crucial for companies like YIT, a Finnish real estate developer, to capture the attention of potential customers as early as possible, as they are dreaming about a new home. To do this, YIT has built its marketing strategy along the customer journey enabling them to design meaningful, value-creating interactions at each touchpoint.

Insight entails the ability to interpret data in a way that is meaningful for business. Brands that grow the fastest are those who truly understand their customers’ needs and delight and cater to them in new and unique ways.

Creating a human-centric culture enables real cultural change

This was also the case with the Finnish Criminal Sanctions agency, which faced a challenge in renewing its prison buildings and ways of working in a manner that would support the inmates’’ ability to live without crime. Here, the work involved engaging the prisoners, prison staff, experts and partners through interviews and service development workshops to create a concept for a future prison and its services that would support the culture change.

In this vein, understanding of the customer journey served as a starting point for the design process and as an important enabler of the cultural transformation.

Finding a way to systematize and disseminate customer insight enables building a human-centric culture. Moreover, a human-centric culture is is enabled by empathy, the ability to share and understand the feelings of others – employees, customers and end-users.

A meaningful dialogue is the key to customer engagement

Competition for attention is fierce in the experience economy and customer journeys are becoming increasingly fragmented. In this new reality, creating an emotional bond with customers through compelling content and meaningful dialogue can be essential for differentiation and engagement.

An overly aspirational purpose is the driver for growth as it enables meaningful interaction with customers, advocates, and fans. For Reima, a Finnish outdoor brand for children, this purpose was to make kids worldwide more active. To do this, a campaign called #Reimakidventure was launched with the goal of creating one million more active hours for the kids. By building a meaningful programmatic journey, Reima was able to inspire and engage visitors on its campaign site. This not only helped them reach 42 million people worldwide and challenge them to build up one million hours of extra activity, but also also led to a 55% increase in visitors and a 34% increase in sales on their eCommerce site.

In conclusion, building a compelling customer journey and enabling meaningful dialogue was the key to success.

These are just some examples of how customer insight can be utilized to develop our customers’ business. If you want to learn more, please reach out to the Marketing Clinic team — we are happy to help you win with customer insight!