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Brain Waves2020-12-09T21:26:22+00:00

This blog focuses on issues pertaining to the boating, recreation and durables industries and on how to utilize customer data to make important business decisions.

What is important to your customers?

In over three decades of research, I have frequently been asked to determine the “importance” of various things to target customers.  Often this is in the context of advertising (what features or benefits should we emphasize?).   Sometimes it’s part of a product improvement effort (what should we improve to increase satisfaction?).  Occasionally, it is to help optimize new product designs.  While I don't have a crystal ball, I do have some research techniques that I have used to help many leading manufactures discern what matters to their target customers.  In this article, I discuss appropriate ways to measure “importance” [...]

The Five Questions You Should Know About Your Customers

In order to attract new customers, it is important to first know exactly why your current customers purchased your brand in the first place. And while many manufacturers think they know the answer to this question, the reality is that many do not or only have a vague understanding.  This is because most do not have direct contact with end-customers as this is the domain of their dealers.  In this article, I talk about how to find new customers by getting to know your existing ones.  This is based on my three decades of experience studying boaters and durable/recreational [...]

Understanding Emotional Benefits – Part 2

Understanding Emotional Benefits - Part 2 In my previous article, I described the different types of product benefits and how they are connected in what is called the "benefits ladder".  In this article, I will explain how to identify the different types of benefits associated with your brand and when it makes sense to focus on emotional benefits in your marketing communications. Review of the Benefits Ladder When evaluating a product or service, people generally examine the features or attributes of the offering such as "all-welded hull" or "5-Year Warranty".  These attributes, in turn, relate to one or more functional [...]

Understanding Emotional Benefits – Part 1

Understanding Emotional Benefits - Part 1 A lot has been written lately about the need to emphasize emotions, or more accurately, emotional benefits when marketing your product or service.  However, what exactly is an emotional benefit, which emotions should you emphasize and when is it appropriate to do so? In this first of two-part series, I address the first question above and explain why “emotional benefits” can be so powerful.  Later, I will talk about how to identify the various types of benefits associated with your product or service and when it makes most sense to focus on emotional aspects. [...]

Customer Satisfaction Best Practices (Part 2)

Customer Satisfaction Best Practices - Part 2 In my previous article, I described the first four customer satisfaction best practices to help you create a high quality and actionable customer satisfaction system for your business.  This article covers the remaining three items based on over three decades of research experience.  While there are many other factors to consider, these seven items should put you on a path for success. First, let's recap the items from my prior article. Recap of First Four Best Practices Use an appropriate scale - The scale you use should have enough points to be sensitive [...]

Customer Satisfaction Survey Best Practices (Part 1)

2020 saw an influx of new boaters and other outdoor products in response to the pandemic and the desire for safe, family-friendly recreational activities.  But with this surge of participants comes new challenges to help keep them in the fold.  One tool to help with this is a good customer satisfaction system to help you detect and respond to issues in a professional and timely manner and identify opportunities for improvement.  In this article, I talk about the first set of customer satisfaction survey best practices based on my 36 years of research experience and over two decades as a [...]

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