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May 17th, 2013

A little insight about insights.

Has your team of research and brand strategists secretly been nicknamed around the office as the C.S.D. (Common Sense Dept.)? Are your consumer insights really insights, or merely just observations or facts of life (e.g., moms are busy; Millennials are digital; birds are good at flying; etc.). Now might be the time to ask yourself these questions, especially before you schedule another mom-cooking-dinner-while-talking-on-the-phone-and-holding-a-small-child photo shoot. (Please don’t.)

So, what is a real insight?

We thought you’d never ask. A real insight is a belief, value, attitude, or consumer need that has NOT yet been leveraged to sell a product or service. Or in other words, it’s an untapped emotional trigger. The strongest brands in the world get this. (So does Don Draper.)

For example, who could forget the timeless insight that made us see for the first time how brownies, cookies, cereal, and peanut butter are terribly unsatisfying unless you got milk.

Or the insight that made us want to escape our responsibility-filled, monotonous lives every now and then, and be a little naughty. (Hey, what happens in Vegas…)

Or the recent insight uncovered by our neighbors up north that showed us how rationalizing “social smoking” is ridiculously absurd—not to mention, ridiculously gross.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your shovel and let’s get to work uncovering some true insights, so we can meet some unmet emotional needs. Sound like a plan, busy moms?

Just remember not to confuse facts and information for insights. Unless you want your marketing dollars to end up in a tall, expensive glass of meaningless blah blah with zero consumer drinkability (Oh, the horror.)