Know Thy Customer: Collecting Data that Matters

As a food & beverage brand, your relationship to the customer should be a little bit…obsessive. Every person who purchases your product did so for a reason, so understanding those reasons is key to improving your sales. It can be hard to know how to get information from your consumer and know what to do with it. We used this handy Entrepreneur story to get key insights into consumer information, and we’re eager to share. Here’s the brief:

Don’t underestimate the focus group

The focus group may seem like a corporate boardroom activity, but it absolutely doesn’t need to be. Know five people who have purchased your product (that aren’t your friends)? Put them in a room with some samples, some notecards, and a good listener. At the best, you’ll leave with key insights that will make your product better, as well as engaged consumers who will want to follow your brand. (At worst, you’ll have a Melissa McCarthy-style Hidden Valley Ranch lunatic. Or maybe that’s also the best.)

Use your employees

As the article points out, your employees have key insights that you might be missing if you’re focused on the big picture. Collect organized feedback from your demo-ers, the team who writes your marketing emails, and even your wholesale customers. Anyone who has ever interacted with your customers has the potential to provide you with valuable data points about your audience, even if it’s somewhat anecdotal. Make a regular survey for your consumer-facing team, and make sure to actually read it.

Spend time on the customer

Many of the suggestions the author makes are time-consuming, like social media stalking. But your sell a product to people, so isn’t it worth investing time in understanding those people? As much as it may seem useless to create a personal relationship with one single customer, they can always beget more relationships through referrals. Time spent with your brand’s audience is never wasted time.

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