Q: How would you describe the true insight that market research should provide?
A: In the customer-centric environment insights should be seen as the main catalysts for the innovation. Means discovering new ways to create business value.
Sometimes insights work on a tactical level. Two examples:
a) A significant percentage of gas stations visitors fill the gasoline than enter the shop and … turn directly to the cashier’s counter. How do you make them interested in buying a drink or two? By incorporating beverage cooler into the counter. And indeed it works.
b) Who would consider moving into the camera industry – with no budget? It sounds impossible – only until you make the camera from wood and launch the product via Kickstarter to satisfy style-hungry hipsters.
Ryanair cabin, (C) Wikipedia, Wexcan, 2008
On the other hand, an insight can also bring about thorough strategical changes.
Despite scornful remarks – at least that’s how I have been told – of the fantastically compensated national airline executives, some Irish guys in early 1990s noticed that there exists a large group of potential flyers who a) don’t see airline meal as sth. that adds value to them. Plus: b) they can easily print tickets alone + c) they don’t really miss reclining seats and rear pockets + d) additional advertising can make impulse sales + …
Result: world-wide expansion of a low-budget (»no frills«!) carrier, a complete transformation not only of an industry but of the whole concept of traveling as well.
Aha. Let’s emphasize that all true insights somehow challenge the established business how-to-do-it rules. And it usually takes some daring decisions from businessmen to implement them. Later, in retrospect, it all seems obvious, of course. Then, it can even be taught in business classes 😉