A Look Back at TMRE: Staying Relevant with Today’s Consumersn

In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be featuring insights from The Market Research Event 2012 attendees. In today’s update, Dave Gustafson shares his notes on Day 1 Track 1:
Trends Track: Using Metaphor Elicitation to Capture the Mood of the Nation
with Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, Chief Strategy Officer, Leo Burnett.

Brief: Staying Relevant with Today’s Consumers

Stephen suggested there are six meta types of consumers (based on a driving metaphor):
1) Arrivers,
2) Engineers (plan methodically),
3) Lonely Travelers (feel handcuffed),
4) Easy Riders (middle of the road; non materialistic),
5) Dismayed Mechanics (need a jump start; something is missing in their life), and
6) Defensive Drivers (need help/assistance; live pay check to pay check).

He emphasized the need to increase comfort with what a brand stands for, with a focus on participation, motivation, resonance and relevance. He cited several examples of different approaches companies currently use to increase comfort:
‘ Panera ‘ creating comfort through quality
‘ Zappos ‘ comfort through customer experience
‘ Fidelity ‘ comfort through road to financial future
‘ Kellogg’s/Frosted Flakes ‘ comfort through rituals/nostalgia
‘ Jet Blue ‘ comfort via amenities

How do today’s brands stay relevant with today’s consumers?
How can we keep our customers engaged?

This leaves us with some interesting questions marketers need to ask themselves:
1) What meta type(s) does my brand serve?
2) Where does my brand fit on the ‘road to comfort’?

Dave Gustafson is a career market researcher based in the Philadelphia area. In addition to owning and running his own boutique market research firm, he is the Chief Advisor at Spych Market Analytics, LLC. Dave can be reached at dave@SpychResearch.com

Wish to submit your insights for inclusion in this series? Email submissions to Michelle LeBlanc at mleblanc@iirusa.com