Is your brand keeping pace with consumer trends?

Paul Tiedt | Jul 22, 2016 Paul Tiedt 07/22/16

If you’ve been paying attention to the customer experience (CX) industry over the last several years, you’ve probably noticed a seismic shift in the way brands are prioritizing their CX measurement initiatives. And if you’ve been paying attention to the marketplace, that really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

That’s because today’s customers are more tech-savvy—they’re researching brands online, interacting across new touchpoints, and sharing their experiences on social. Even more importantly, those customers have more brands to choose from than ever before. That confluence of increased competition and a more public consumer voice has led brands to invest more resources in making sure every customer experience is as good as it can be.

But what many brands don’t realize is that this increased investment has had a similar effect on the CX industry itself. Simply put, with more money being spent, there are more players in the game. And that—combined with rapid advancements in technology—has resulted in higher brand expectations and a flurry of innovation.

Brands don’t just want robust data—they want it in real time. It’s not enough to hear from your customers—you need to know what’s driving non-/partial-purchaser behavior, too. But more than anything, everyone is looking for faster insights that lead to better business decisions. 

While many brands have rightfully put a mechanism in place to capture post-transaction customer feedback, they’re also searching for innovative ways to supplement those systems with a more agile approach. Because the truth is, using yesterday’s insights to connect with today’s customer means you’re not always positioned to adapt to consumer trends as they happen—which can ultimately result in getting left behind.

This increased demand for actionable data and brand agility is ultimately what inspired us to create the award-winning BrandGeek™ platform—a customized market intelligence tool designed to give brands an immediate leg up with their brand research. 

A quick overview of how it works (and a link for those who prefer video):

BrandGeek is fueled by SurveyMini®—SMG’s patented location-based mobile research app—which uses proprietary PinPoint Technology™ to detect when users visit mapped locations and triggers a short survey to their smartphones. This allows brands to pair consumer feedback (what they think) with behavioral data (what they actually do).

All of that information feeds into BrandGeek’s branded benchmarks, which allows brands’ marketing and research teams to get hands-on with the data to see how they stack up against competitors in their segment. By using filters to cut the data in real time, brands are able to get focused answers to their most specific research questions, including:

  • When and why do customers that visit my brand also visit competitors?
  • Why do customers visit and not buy?
  • How effective are my promotions in stealing visit share from the competition?

How brands are using BrandGeek

Since launching BrandGeek in February 2015, we’ve seen adoption continue to rise substantially. And with more than 10 million surveys collected across 4,500+ brands and 500,000+ locations in 2015 alone, there’s no question BrandGeek offers the most robust benchmarks in the industry, which means there’s no shortage of actionable information.

As we continue to roll out BrandGeek to more clients, it’s fascinating to see how they’re using it to tackle the unique challenges they face. But since BrandGeek puts the data in their hands, we decided the best way to showcase its capabilities would be by using the tool to answer some questions of our own. That’s why we used the data to gain insight on how Chipotle—America’s favorite burrito brand—has fared in its recent efforts to overcome some very public challenges.

Chipotle’s health safety concerns have been well-documented, but questions still linger about the brand’s ability to make a full, long-term recovery. While they’ve used some timely promotional campaigns to earn positive press and make important strides in recovering lost visit share, we decided to use BrandGeek to get a deeper look at how this is all really playing out in the market. 

A high-level overview of what we learned:

  • A sharp drop in visit share coincided exactly with health concerns gaining traction in the media
  • Free burrito promotions sparked early recovery, but visit share is still lagging compared to last year
  • Millennials have proven to be a particularly hard demographic for Chipotle to win back

More than anything though, what we’ve really seen is just how valuable this kind of agility is when you’re facing such a complex issue. Narrowing down the data in real time to look at things like how a promotion is resonating with specific demographics or where defective customers are spending their money presents an enormous opportunity to take more proactive, targeted measures—and that can equate to a significant competitive advantage over time.

It’s no secret that technological advancements and consumer demands are having a big impact on the CX industry. The data is getting faster and more robust. Insights are getting more focused. Brands are getting smarter. But one thing hasn’t changed: the success of any CX initiative still hinges on being positioned to ask the right questions and take the right actions.

If you’d like to learn more about BrandGeek and the Chipotle instance, I’d encourage you to check out the full piece here


Paul Tiedt

Paul Tiedt
Vice President, Client Services

Customer Experience Update