Last week rounded out the final event of the 2022 Quirk’s in-person conferences. The two days in New York were filled with great conversations with fellow researchers and many discussions about the future of market research. Behaviorally was proud to be one of the sponsors and our team was bouncing between making new connections with experts across the globe and attending panels to further our expertise and understanding of future trends across different shopper categories.
Among these current and future trends were three overarching themes:
- Understanding different consumer groups (namely Gen Z)
- Strengthening research methodologies
- The importance on how a product/advertising makes a consumer feel
Understanding the Different Consumer Groups
Many presentations over the two days had either a focus on the differences between Gen Z and previous generations or a highlight on diversity, equity, and inclusion within the field. Gen Z is rapidly approaching the age in which they become primary household shoppers and preparing for their transition into independence will help brands gain traction and market share.
In the panel, ‘BPTO: 4 Letters That Will Change Your Mind About Pricing’, led by Stijn Mentzel of Conjoint.ly, a study of dog food revealed that cheapest isn’t always best; consumers want to give their beloved furry friends quality products, even if it means spending a little more to ensure quality.
This mentality was also discussed in ‘Going from the “So What” to the “Now What”’ where the guest speaker panel included Allison Howitt (Reckitt), Taylor Anderson (Colgate), and Mike Wojcikiewicz (PepsiCo). They focused on the importance of understanding the diversity in consumers and lean into understanding how their norms differ by capturing more representation in their research and promoting inclusivity within their company. The primary takeaway from this session and overarching theme is that priorities are changing: the new rising consumer group is willing to pay more and wait longer to receive products that they know are high quality and support causes such as inclusivity and sustainability.
Strengthening Research Methodologies
Considerations about the demographics of consumers are also critically important to consider as a market researcher and insights professional. Generation Z has different priorities when shopping for products and, even more importantly, a different approach to participating in market research.
‘Insight Community, Ever Evolved: How Samsung is Engaging Gen Z’, presented by Samsung and Reach3, contradicts the stereotype that Gen Z is not interested in research—conversely, they want research that is better tailored to them. An example the panel gave was how current research methodology fails to meet Gen Z properly through emails: for this generation, a staggering number of emails remain unopened, and yet email is a primary way for market researchers to connect with participants. Therefore, the insights industry needs to alter their current methodologies to reach the upcoming consumer group.
In the session titled ‘Proactive vs. Reactive Insights: Cement your Seat at the Table’, presented by Voxpopme, they suggest key guidelines to follow for effective research such as conducting small iterative studies to boost agility, understand the product category, and identify trends as they occur instead of sticking to specific research questions. These propositions, along with suggestions from Samsung and Reach3 to allow more open-end video responses and feedback to show how consumers’ participation made a difference, indicates a new, more holistic, and empathetic direction for the industry to embark upon in future years.
The Importance of Emotion
On the topic of empathy, the relationship between consumers and brands also emerged through many of the sessions held at the conference. Panels such as Estée Lauder’s ‘The Role of Emotions in Product Liking and Choice’, ‘Unlocking the Long-Term Power of Short-Form Video Advertising’ (by Tiktok and DIRT), and ‘The New Faces of Brand Purpose: Smart Strategies for High-Stakes Times’ (GfK’s panel with Cherie Leonard (ColPal), Alka Baijal (Nissan North America), and Tamami Suyari (Brother)) explicitly discuss the importance of researching how products, packaging, and advertisements make the consumer feel; generating positive emotions improves brand recall over multiple weeks and may help build brand loyalty; when partnered with messages that indicate a product or a brand is sustainable and inclusive, consumers are more likely to be driven to purchase a product.
The final installment of Quirk’s brought forth some amazing information from the insights industry. The chance to travel, learn, and connect with bright and ambitious minds made the conference a high point of the summer. We look forward to seeing you at the next Quirk’s event!
Dana Sobel is an Insights Analyst at Behaviorally. She loves researching psychology and human behavior; when she is not working or studying for her graduate degree, she enjoys gaming with friends or relaxing with her dogs and a good novel. Connect with her on LinkedIn.