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

September 26, 2023

Welcome to Insights for Impact by Finch Brands. My name is John Ferreira and I’m the Chief Insights Officer at Finch Brands. Finch Brands is an insights-driven, real-world brand consultancy and a leading provider of insights communities. If you haven’t heard, it’s switching season out there for Insights Communities. 

Get further faster with your insights community partner

Today is part five in a ten-part series talking about just some of the frustrations I felt when I was a client of one of the leading insights community providers, and some of the frustrations that I’ve heard as common themes when I talked to other insights leaders at different trade shows. Maybe if you have an insights community, you’ve felt some of these yourself. 

Number five on the list of common frustrations is when your team does not get the most out of the insights community platform. The analogy that I like to make with insights communities is that if you want to get further faster than the competition you want a model that’s going to have race car drivers and race cars. Some of the partners that you can find out there have neither, but most of them probably have either one or the other. 

Race car drivers are really skilled researchers who get brands and business strategies. They get research, they’re responsive, and they provide really quality team support. Then, on the tech side, there’s the race cars. That shiny new tool with the latest model. It’s always getting better with future-proof, very powerful platforms. Ideally, you want both of those together.

Is your current community provider full-service?

Oftentimes, especially when you’re talking about insights community providers that are primarily technology companies and have a lower priority on full service, their teams are often not able to fully maximize these really powerful tools that they have at their disposal. They’ll often just fall into a rut of survey after survey after survey after survey. 

It’s basic research that’s lacking creativity. Your research can feel like a broken record. If your research feels like a broken record, there’s probably something broken with your team. The most broadly capable insights community teams are ones that bring a generalist mindset to the equation. They should have:

  • A breadth of methodological exposure across quant and qual
  • Enough experience that they can offer creativity
  • Strong knowledge of the tech inside and out
  • A deep understanding of your insights tools

So it’s not just, “Hey, we’re fielding a virtual focus group,” and you go through a discussion guide with yes and no questions. You field a virtual focus group. The team putting together your mod guide is skilled in projective research techniques, and they know how to get to the subconscious level that your respondent might not even be able to articulate. 

Next Generation Insights Communities

Does your consumer insights partner have well-rounded research expertise?

At Finch Brands, we train our team members and we have a library of over two dozen projective research techniques that we employ within our qual and the team itself. You need your team to stay on top of the latest features within the technology, assuming that the tool continues to evolve. If your team is inexperienced or not well-rounded, you may just be scratching the surface of what you and your community could be capable of. 

Questions to ask yourself are, “Are my team specialists? Are they generalists?” We tend to find the generalist model or people that have the right mindset are the ones that can kind of push this further faster. They can bring the most value. A good signal of how are things going is asking, “Are they recommending the same types of research over and over again?” Does it feel like a broken record? 

That could be because of limitations of their understanding of market research or it could be inexperience with the complicated tech platform that they’re using. So, if you don’t like the answers to either of those questions, maybe you should consider Finch Brands. 

Gain a team of experienced researchers

As a real-world brand consultancy, our purpose is to help brands win when it matters most. From our point of view, the best way to do that is to staff our teams with intelligent, capable researchers who have the time and space to think about your business and be attentive and responsive to your needs. 

This allows them to understand your business objectives and develop a body of knowledge about your industry and your brands. They can identify what matters to your consumers or even your internal stakeholders, then leverage those strengths to help you get more out of your Insights community and help it reach its true potential. Then, you can realize the true potential of your brand and your business. 

If any of this sounds good to you, contact our team today

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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