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Tell Me What’s Next:
Why consumer-first shouldn’t be consumer-only in brand building
By Senior Director Katia Kreft
Over the years, brands have been told that to succeed, they need to put the consumer first. But as they seek to walk in the shoes of their consumers, how can well-intentioned teams avoid the mistake of being so focused on the consumer perspective that they forget to consider brand and business?
At Egg, whether we are developing innovation platforms for growth or positioning a brand, we believe in putting the consumer first, but not in being only consumer-led.
“Consumer-first” means we’ve taken the time to listen. We explore the aspirations and needs of our consumers through qualitative ethnography or immersion, whether in-person or virtual. We have a deep understanding of what they’re working toward, and what’s standing in their way. We can clearly articulate the problem we’re helping to solve, and lead with the benefit we deliver.
But because we’re not consumer-led, we don’t stop there. We don’t want to over-rely on a single point of view. (Therein lies the difference between research and strategy.)
So, we also take into account the strengths that the brand can bring to the table, and the equities we already own. We identify category norms, and call-out opportunities to disrupt the status quo. We recognize that categories, brands and consumers are shaped by what’s happening in culture, and help shape a response.
In taking this holistic view, we acknowledge that consumers aren’t always able to tell us what the next chapter of a brand’s story should be. And we find inspiration from multiple perspectives, not just one.