It’s a question that has long challenged entrepreneurs: how do I learn more about my consumers? Granted, industry reports from leading marketing firms can be helpful in formulating a business and marketing strategy, but they are often very expensive to acquire. However, not all reliable consumer data needs to come from these firms and certainly not at such a hefty price.
To get some perspective on how to best obtain consumer insights on a budget, FBU recently interviewed marketing and innovations consultant Vivian Rhoads of Verge Strategy. Rhoads has been involved in the food and beverage industry for over 10 years, working with notable brands like Wrigleys and Naked Juice. In her current work, she focuses on emerging brands bringing the expertise she learned from the big guys into the startup space.
When asked about how to identify consumer motivations and what products consumers want, Rhoads noted that staying as close to the shelf as possible is key.
“The more that you do with consumer insight that gets you closer to the shelf, the better,” she said. “For example, doing shop-alongs with the consumer. You go around without saying what brand you’re from, get them to say how they make their purchase decisions. Well, this is much closer to reality than you spending time interviewing someone in say a consumer focus group.”
Watch the entirety of this interview on FBU, and stay tuned for the rest of our sit-down with Rhoads, in which she discusses marketing planning, identifying innovation to grow your brand, and the strategy to use for when you’re ready to bring your brand abroad.