No Personal Connect = No Insight Win

70% of our winning concepts in the last 3 years have had a personal connect. 5 tips to build personal connects in your marketing concepts.

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Step 1: FACE TO FACE - wait for the breakdown or elation

I was reflecting on my last 3 years of work experience. What was my high point? It’s still that chat with one 40+ lady in Kolkata (India) who now faces a vacuum in her life. Her son is now in senior school, husband has reached a dominant position at work. From a life of contributing towards their upbringing and success, now she’s a mere onlooker towards their progress. What is she going to do now? A BREAKDOWN. Has this (stress?) been the reason for her daily fatigue? Did it not happen to me as well?

Step 2: EMPATHISE – wait till it hits you personally

It’s these simple, intuitive but often unspoken personal realizations that remains the high point for Insights professionals like us. Even after 20 years of insight-ing, we crave for that one consumer experience which we can nod to, shed a few tears or at-least have a ‘aha’ smile at the end of it. But my bigger realization is you win with concepts when the insight is something PERSONAL to you. We crafted that insight the way that Kolkata lady thought because somewhere we have gone through that crisis ourselves in our mid-40s.

5 tips for insight-ing beyond your own process

  • Meet, talk to people in their own terms; don’t let your agenda shroud the talk
  • Talk till you make a personal connect; there must be something similar in your / friend(s) life
  • Talk about it with your trusted friends; dig in for more whys based on their personal realizations
  • Write them up in the language of the people, in which u would research further & make ads
  • Narrate the same to creative friends across 3 media forms; is there a similar big idea from all 3?

What should be done to shift a loyalist to buy a premium variant of the same brand?

The other day, a brand friend of mine asked me about what should he be doing to the unexpected stagnant sales of a variant which he has launched a few months ago. His hunch is that shoppers might not be finding the right message or enough of a reason to buy (or the triers don't find enough reason to repeat it) to shift to this variant (which is not even priced higher) as against the established core product which she is buying for years.

Of course the usual 6P check will be done. There's quite a guarantee that there's no product quality issues. It’s differentiated enough with respect to the sensorial. The pack graphics is researched enough to make sure there's no gross negative. The proposition regarding the differentiated benefit as well as reinforcing the basic category driver is well called out through the communications and the point of sales stimuli.

So what can we do now? The usual debate is, should we drive a notch higher the variant benefit or re-inforce the core category driver that it does the basic job plus does delivers something extra.

We decided to go back to this consumer target. This variant's consumer has a higher surplus to spend and also would not shy away from engaging in a benefit which stokes her aspiration. Therefore, when will she buy? ​ My recent understanding is that when a consumer upgrades, she first wants to see herself differentiated while choosing to buy such a premium variant. She wants to create the maximum distance in her mind with the average guy who buys the existing core. Question is whether you have provided enough cues in the communication and shelf which establishes herself as a higher status woman (either to herself or to others; as per the need state the brand appeals to).​

My advice is focus on the higher order benefit. Drive it a notch higher as long as that there is a genuine story which can put her in the new benefit adoption path. Appeal to her individual mindset. Provide cues because of which her peers will look up to. Provide cues which the average woman will find it difficult to possess easily. At the same time, make sure these cues connect back credibly to this higher order benefit. Let the brand take care of the core benefit. Don't unnecessarily pull her back to cues which remind her of an ordinary existence.​


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