Customer Research

Customer Research

 

In this podcast, Susan Meier shares the story of her interesting journey and her strategic approach to brand alignment.

I think what’s a great thing about a liberal arts education is that perspective of try everything, see as much as you can, and then make connections between those things.  And so, I’m very much a product of that, as you pointed out, I kind of live in these two seemingly very disparate realms, but for me, in my world and my thinking, they’re actually a lot, so much crossover and they’re very related. And the ways of thinking, and even some of the tools that I use when I’m making art are very similar to when I’m leading teams through a business process. And so on the face of that it may seem very strange, but if you think about it in the context of that liberal arts perspective, it actually makes a lot of sense. 

…I guess I’m sort of hardwired in a way, which is always to be toggling back and forth between, you know, the big picture and the details; between seeing possibility, and dreaming, and imagining things, and then being very, very practical and logical. 

And so, if you look at my artwork, there’s a lot of mathematical relationships between shapes, there’s like a lot of precision, but then there’s also a lot of fluidity and looseness and unexpected elements. And I would say exactly the same things about the way I lead a project. 

 

Key points include:

  • Customer research
  • Product innovation and packaging design 
  • Working with some of the world’s leading corporations

 

Listen to the full podcast, Brands Are People Too, on the Leading From the Front podcast.

 

 

Robyn M. Bolton shares why a business should always engage in customer research when innovating and explains why she doesn’t always follow her own advice. 

If you’re innovating without involving your customers, you’re wasting time and money.

I believe this so deeply that I require all of my clients to spend time talking with and listening to their customers at least once during our work together.  Investing in customer research, I explain, is the single smartest and best investment that any business can make.  Just 5 or 10 customer conversations can dramatically alter the course of an initiative, positioning it for incredible success or killing it before too much time, energy, and money is wasted.

Understanding your customers, especially through Jobs to be Done, is the hill I will die on.

But I actively resist doing this for my business.

The idea of interviewing my customers, or investing to understand their Jobs to be Done, or altering aspects of my business based on their feedback triggers a cold sweat and a very real flight response.

So why is my business different? (It’s not)

Why am I such a customer research hypocrite?

Here are the thoughts that run through my head when I consider talking to my own customers:

I’m supposed to be the expert in this, what if they tell me something I haven’t thought of?

What if my customers say they don’t like or want what I’m doing and would like or want something I’m not?

What if I do try something new and it fails?

It is SO much easier, and it feels so much safer, to keep doing what I’m doing because it’s what I’ve always done and it’s what bigger and more “successful” firms do.

 

Key points in this article include:

  • Why am I such a customer research hypocrite?
  • How do we overcome these emotional barriers?
  • How do we overcome the fear and take action?

 

Read the full article, Confessions of a Customer Research Hypocrite, on Milezero.com.

 

 

 

Susan Meier was recently interviewed on The Growth Zone where she shared her expertise on good branding strategies and how to upscale brand visibility.

Brands of all kinds are seeing a huge need to rethink and reinvent in the new context we’re faced with. The game has changed, but the basic rules remain the same.

I encourage people to step back from that (social media), before you build your platform and presence, you need to think about who you are and what’s going to be really interesting and meaningful for the customers you serve. So I encourage my clients and those entrepreneurs and small businesses that I advise to start thinking about themselves. So often, myself included, we start with the products or service is, we know what it is we have to offer, but around lies three different things, the way that I see it: who you are as an individual and what you bring to the table, what is that DNA, what are your core values, dig into your specific identity so that you discover the origin story before you dive into your products and services. That’s going to start the process of understanding what really makes you different.

 

Points discussed include:

  • The myths about creativity that hold us back
  • What makes a good branding strategy?
  • How can the creative part of branding stay on track?
  • What are Susan’s tips to scaling one’s brand visibility?

Listen to the podcast, What makes a good branding strategy?, on The Growth Zone.

 

 

Susan Meier was recently interviewed on the Change Creator podcast on the fundamentals of building a brand.

In her nine years of helping companies build their brand identity, Susan has always set aside a portion of her portfolio for these smaller projects despite them being less lucrative for her. The payoff? They inspire her and she learns a lot from them. She enjoys contributing to entrepreneurs who are just starting out. That aha moment when the small, independent professional who has come to her for help realizes what their true identity is, who their audience is, and how they empathetically connect with them is something Susan finds truly rewarding. She refers to these elements as the three pieces of branding.

 

In this interview, Susan discusses:

  • Discovering and leveraging uniqueness
  • The pitfalls of social media
  • Advice for early stage entrepreneurs

 

Listen to the full interview, Electrifying Your Brand Strategy to Amplify Your Impact, on the Change Creator’s website.