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UK Insights

10 tips to turn your brand into a customer centric business

Frank van den Driest

Chief Commercial Officer, Kantar Vermeer

Brands 24.08.2016 / 10:00

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Findings from Insights2020 study

A Kantar Vermeer study, involving more than 10,000 practitioners, has examined the strategies, structures and capabilities of high-performing companies, and found that being customer-centric is key. The Insights2020 study, featured in the September issue of Harvard Business Review, lists 10 characteristics of a successful consumer and market insights (CMI) team, illustrating the results though a case study with Unilever. Kantar Vermeer has coined the term ‘Insights Engine’ to describe the team who turn data into insights and insights into action. So, what does your brand need to do to create a successful, customer-centric business with a high-performing ‘Insights Engine’?

1. Data Synthesis: The ability to take large amount of data and connect the dots to see the full picture. In Insights2020, 67% of the executives at over-performing firms (those that outpaced competitors in revenue growth) said that their company was skilled at linking disparate data sources, whereas only 34% of the executives at under- performers made the same claim.

2. Independence: Have the people working in your ‘Insights Engine’ report into senior management, so they can collaborate on an equal footing and help set the direction of strategy.

3. Integrated planning: In order for your ‘Insight Engine’ to prosper, they must be included in the business and brand planning cycle from the beginning.

4. Collaboration: Our Insights2020 study found that on average, 69% of respondents from over-performing firms said they work closely with other functions and customers, compared with 52% of those in under-performing companies.

5. Experimentation: Over-performing companies are three times as likely as under-performers to embrace a culture of experimentation (40% versus 13%).

6. Forward-looking: Sophisticated ‘Insight Engines’ are using predictive analytics and other technologies to anticipate and influence behaviour.

7. Affinity for action: The most influential insights functions focus as much on strategy as on data. Insights2020 found that 79% of insights functions at over-performing companies participated in strategic decision making at all levels of the organization, compared with just 47% at under-performing companies.

8. Whole-brain mindset: Achieving balance between right and left-brain thinking requires a two-pronged effort: recruiting whole-brain talent and encouraging the mindset across the existing organization.

9. Business focus: Insights2020 found that respondents from high-performing firms were much more likely than those from low-performing firms to believe that their insights functions were business-focused (75% versus 50%).

10. Storytelling: Traditionally, insight presentations are data-intensive; however, at over-performing firms, 61% of surveyed executives agreed that people in their insights functions were skilled at conveying their messages through engaging narratives; at under-performing firms, only 37% agreed.

To download the full Insights2020 report and HBR article, visit


Source : Kantar, Kantar Millward Brown

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