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One (of Ten) Signs It’s Time to Switch Insights Community Providers

September 12, 2023

It’s switching season for Insights communities. I know a lot of you are planning your budgets and deciding how you want to handle your insights agendas for next year. Today is part one of a ten-part series where I will discuss some of the frustrations I felt when I was on the client side as a researcher dealing with one of the leading providers of insights communities.

Insights community promises vs. practices

I always thought there was a gap between the promise of Insights communities and the practice. What we sought here at Finch Brands was to design something fundamentally different to solve the issues that we identified. So, the #1 reason why we designed our Insights community offering differently: Insights Partners.

When I was formerly dealing with an Insights partner, they didn’t fully understand my brand and my business at the level that I would have liked. They didn’t fully “get it.” This was one of my personal biggest frustrations. When you don’t have a partner that gets it, particularly for Insights communities, it’s a pretty big issue. 

Research effectiveness is either accelerated or limited by the quality and depth of understanding of the brand by the author of the research at hand. Within Insights communities, they’re up and running all year round. 

Is your insights provider limiting the impact of your market research? 

Day in and day out, if you have an Insights community partner that doesn’t get your brand, that problem can compound over time. Ultimately, this will limit the effectiveness of your research.

The flip side of that is if you have a partner who really gets it and they’re able to fully understand what you’re trying to accomplish and prioritize what your brand needs, they’ll be able to craft better research. There’s a reverse compounding effect where it’ll really pay off in terms of the effectiveness in the ROI of the research that you’re doing.  
Most Insights community companies out there today are actually software companies. They make investments in great software and that shows in many cases. They don’t necessarily invest the same level in the team.  

For other firms that do follow the full-service model over time through acquisitions (M&A), priorities change. They don’t necessarily staff their teams with the same level of senior-level researchers, who can really be true thought partners and understand your business, that they may have in the past – if they ever did it all.  

Next Generation Insights Communities

Questions to ask about your insights community partners

A limited team with a limited understanding of your business has a limited ability to ask the right questions at the right time. Asking the right questions ensures you’re fielding the right types of studies and making sure that research ties back to your business goals. 

Insights providers that do not understand your brand limit the depth and value of the recommendations that they’re making within the reports. So, there’s all sorts of limitations if you don’t have the right partner who really gets your brand and your business. 

Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Does my Insights community partner truly understand my business and my brands? 
  • If not, is the misunderstanding from a lack of effort, attention, or experience? 
  • Do I have access to experienced brand and business consultant perspectives when I need it to further escalate for the really complicated stuff? 
  • Are there subject matter experts for you and your team to tap into when you need extra assistance? 


Gain a trusted consumer insights community provider

If the answer to any of the questions above is no, then you should consider Finch Brands. We are a real-world brand consultancy and our purpose is to help brands win when it matters most.

We take a fundamentally different approach to staffing our communities with the same quality of research that we’ve been bringing into standalone consulting engagements for 20 years and bringing them into those week-to-week, year-round conversations on our community offerings.  
Combine that with access to senior-level experts on insights and brand strategy in that intersection of those two things such as myself to help you navigate the toughest insights and brand strategy challenges that you face. If any of that sounds good to you contact our team today. I look forward to connecting!

About the Author

John Ferreira is Chief Insights Officer at Finch Brands, a leading insight-driven brand consultancy. In 2016, John identified the need for a better solution in the insights community space to help solve the pain points he felt when he was a client himself. The result was FinchSight insights communities, which helped Finch Brands grow over 1,000% in the following 5 years by solving real problems for clients. Prior to joining Finch Brands, John spent 11 years at Campbell Soup Company with roles in consumer insights and brand management spanning brands such as Campbell’s Chunky Soup, Prego Italian Sauce, and Swanson Broth.

To stay ahead of the curve, companies need to invest in foresight to make informed bets on the future. This includes environmental scanning, trend and mega trend analysis, technology assessments, and scenario planning.

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