The Complete Consumer Behavior Analysis Guide
Mike Baglietto |
 09/14/22 |
7 min read

The Complete Consumer Behavior Analysis Guide

Consumer behavior is a mystery at best sometimes, however savvy brands globally are harnessing the power of consumer behavior analysis to guide them in complex decision making.

More specifically, they tend to focus on:

  • Filling Product or Service Gaps
  • Identifying Emerging Trends
  • Voice of Customer Innovations
  • Revealing Emotions & Behavior
  • Connecting with Multiple Segments
  • Keeping Pace with Consumer Values
  • Understanding Performance Impact
  • Enhancing Data Analysis Expertise

And we are going to drill down to show what consumer behavior analysis is and how it looks in action, using our list above as a guide. Why? Well, these statistics give context to the importance of understanding consumer behavior:

  • 95% of purchase decisions are made based on emotion.
  • Seventy-one percent of people prefer purchasing from brands whose values align with their own.
  • 75% of consumer expect a consistent experience across online platforms – and using social intelligence tools will help you keep your team on the same page to provide exactly that!

Let’s start with what we’re looking for and we’ll then reveal how to conduct a consumer behavior analysis!

Types of Consumer Behavior

We know that consumers are fickle and capable of all kinds of unpredictable behavior. Consumer behavior analysis is the study of these behaviors, and it’s hard to box in. From a product or service standpoint, consumer behaviors can include buying, discussing, returning, complaining, eating, selling, trying on, throwing away, replacing and so on. The list can be endless and is entirely dependent on the industry in question.

The key thing to understand here is that consumer behavior analysis doesn’t just tackle what they buy, but also delves in to the why, when, how often, the reasons for purchases – and much more.

For example, you may know that a large amount of your consumers are women, and they buy your body wash. Consumer behavior analysis would reveal that they buy it for many reasons, including appreciating the biodegradable packing

Or they may think the packaging is misguided, with ingredients that harm the planet. This could lead to a behavior of not only purchasing from a competitor, but becoming a brand detractor online

Using social listening, consumer behavior analysis gathers structured and unstructured data, compiling it and segmenting it for rapid investigation by you and anyone in your organization.

And it’s important to note that this insight is essential for every part of your operation, from marketing (the usual suspects) to R&D, customer care, finance and operations. Strategic decision-making should flow from this insight, as we’ll see below.

How to Conduct a Consumer Behavior Analysis

As mentioned at the outset, consumer behavior analysis is used to meet a variety of company needs––but how? We’ll speak to that in each use case below!

1. Filling Product or Service Gaps

Brands need to put their best foot forward if they’re going to impress and keep clients, and that means understanding product or service offering gaps on whatever you’re offering. It’s imperative to have intel you can trust with markets evolving daily as consumers jump from trend to trend at a moment’s notice.

Accurate consumer research saves you valuable time, and it helps brands transform consumer intelligence into competitive intelligence, allowing you to stand taller than the rest.

Lauren Leahy of Viacom used market research tools as a part of her consumer behavior analysis to help communicate to their client that they are at the forefront of new and emerging shifts in a given category

Here’s how: A quick social media search created in Quid about a top toy company reveals a variety of conversations about them. Below, we have used filters to isolate outlier clusters (marked in green) that have an unusual amount of engagement when compared to other clusters on our map but aren’t current trends or key conversations happening right now.


And it appears a Star Wars Advent Calendar was very popular at this point in time. This is great intel, as knowing which toys outside of one’s typical purview (or specific search criteria), are receiving a good number of engagements is key for planning next season’s offerings.

2. Identifying Emerging Trends

On average, a person sees between 4K-10K ads per day – all vying for their attention. How do you as a brand stand out?

According to Shelina Taki of PMG, you can do this by using consumer behavior analysis to hack the human brain and discover human trends. “No one is born a consumer” she says, “but they’re born human.” And it is the human side of your consumer that drives any brand’s success.

Recently, her team explored the concept of nostalgia, which had been identified as an emerging trend by monitoring keywords and conversation volume of potential consumers. Digging in to understand who was driving this conversation, they were surprised to find younger demographics taking the lead. This is the sort of intel that defines messaging.


If you can find ways to connect with your audience on deeper level, then you may have a customer for life. And social listening tools can aid you in discovering what these trends in human consumption are.

Maybe your next ‘in’ will be found in a TikTok challenge, or maybe you’ll need to become more diverse in your approach. Monitoring social media trends and the corresponding consumer behaviors will help you stay relevant.

3. Voice of Customer (VoC) Innovations

Similar to discovering emerging trends, understanding your consumer’s voice is another part of consumer behavior analysis. Using social listening gives companies the power to not only deliver what their consumer wants, but to understanding the emotions driving these desires.

For example, a customer may love your dish soap, but they may want it in a compostable container. A consumer behavior analysis would uncover this deeply held truth.

Sarah Fogel with 113 Industries uses social listening tools to build topics and themes that extract the needs, wants, loves, hates and wishes of consumers. This allows her to uncover consumer values and articulated needs as well as unarticulated needs, which are revealed by consumer behaviors.

Here, using social analytics tools and applying themes to further segment research, we’ve pulled personal narratives – statements such as ‘I need/want, I wish,’ and ‘my favorite’ – and we applied this them to a toy brand’s consumer conversation.

We can see that consumers are very much telling this brand what they want – but is the brand listening? Are you? This intel should guide product innovation, and it would save any brands countless dollars on making the wrong updates to a product that isn’t doing so well. Consumers will tell you everything you need to know.


4. Underlying Emotions & Shopper Behavior

What makes a consumer buy one thing over another? Well, it turns out that there are many attributes that affect this decision making, according to Anupam Singh of 113 Industries. And we agree.

What makes a consumer tick could be situational, psychological, social, sensorial, or emotional. And since most purchase decisions are made emotionally, this has an even greater impact when it comes to marketing. And this means, it’s not enough to make a great product, you have to know how to connect with your consumer on a deeper level to entice them.

How do you do that? Anupam Singh uses consumer behavior analysis to read the sentiments and attributes behind social media posts and forum comments. NetBase Quid® captures and analyzes data from across the social web to reveal how a person is feeling, thinking and acting – not only right now, but throughout each stage of the purchase path.


Companies can drill down to have a deeper understanding of conversation happening at each stage, so they’ll know what kind of language to use to help move potential customers along, decreasing time to purchase

This helps brands identify when to jump in and connect a bit more, or perhaps, provide something different all together.

5. Connect with Multiple Segments

No two consumers are alike; however, they tend to gather in groups. But if you’re only speaking to one segment, you’re missing out on so many others. Maybe your audience not only loves the outdoors, but they love crafting too and you never knew it.

As a brand you need to speak the language of many different segments. What you don’t know will hurt you – specifically your revenue and your brand growth.

Jocelyn Harjes of Ayzenberg, uses herself as an example: She loves red win, Cricket, she’s a mom, and, she loves traveling – so there are many facets to her as a consumer, just as there are for your audiences. Jocelyn uses consumer behavior analysis to dial into these specific consumer interests to see where her company can find a greater connection, return and reach.

6. Keeping Pace with Consumer Values

Consumers prefer purchasing from brands whose values align with their own. Consumer behavior analysis helps your brand nail down what those values are, and even detect when those values shift. Jess Bundy, Consumer Insight Manager at The Walt Disney Company shared that it’s important to check for signals, “Checking for shifting consumer values and how to leverage them can make or break an organization these days.”

Jess Bundy, Consumer Insight Manager at The Walt Disney Company shared that it’s important to check for signals, “Checking for shifting consumer values and how to leverage them can make or break an organization these days.

One does this in NetBase Quid® by monitoring identified consumer conversations and monitoring how their emotions and behavior shift.


7. Understanding Performance Impact

At this point, most brands know that in order to measure your impact, you need to benchmark performance on a consistent basis. And measuring volume is one thing, but understanding how that is impacting your brand is another.

Ashley McHugh of Memphis Tourism explained how she uses social listening to discover how different businesses in Memphis are preforming across different online channels. And then she went a step further to explore which of the brand mentions were getting the most engagement – and what or who was driving it.

A differentiator here for here was the ability to create a really broad Boolean search that allows a brand to capture both the breadth and depth of a conversation, without relying on analyst or researcher assumptions to kick the project off. An expansive undirected initial approach reveals intel that can redefine a category.


Without the ability to peek behind the curtain, a brand is left wondering what is causing a post to gain traction. And doing so requires a level of data analysis expertise in your organization . . .

8. Enhancing Internal Data Analysis Expertise

During the pandemic, many brands realized the importance of data analysis expertise within their organization. And with the democratizing of data, brands are breaking down information siloes and working together to create a cohesive consumer experience. Using consumer intelligence software with robust dashboarding capabilities ensures that your team is all on the same page. And since everyone has the same data, there’s less room for error or miscommunications

And if you “allow the data to tell the story,” as Lauren States, Independent Director at Northeastern University says, your team can collectively watch for signals to see if a new direction or approach is required. And since you’ll have many eyes watching the same thing in real time, you can act quickly when needed.

If you’re ready to dive deeper and experience greater results with less effort and time, reach out for a demo and see how consumer behavior analysis can amplify your brand’s efforts in 2022!

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