Evaluating New Products with Targeted Consumer Insight

Your brand puts a lot of time and energy into product innovation and rollout. Using social listening, you can make sure you stay in the loop with how your audience feels about your products with focused consumer insights.

Consumer intelligence is ripe for the picking on social media and should be mined diligently to inform your efforts continually. To that end, we’ll explore why brands should be evaluating new products with targeted consumer insight

Specifically, we’ll dive into the following topics for consumer insights that inform perception:

  • Uncovering consumer insight about your products
  • Preparing for launch day with consumer insight
  • Targeting actual consumers in your product analysis

Opinions, current events, and new technologies are flying across consumers’ radar at the speed of social – influencing and shifting behaviors. Here are a few stats we uncovered that underscore the importance of staying on top of consumer insight:

  • After the onset of the pandemic, Gen Z and Millennials have contributed the most to the ecommerce boom. Together 33% of them have increased their spending online compared to just 23% of Gen X and Baby Boomers.
  • A survey by PwC found that 32% of respondents don’t have a problem paying a higher price for a product from a brand known for their ethical business practices.
  • Using social listening to uncover consumer insight around your products is smart. A McKinsey report puts it this way, “Social media provides an important channel for CPG companies to “listen” to consumers without the biases created by conventional research techniques.”

It’s critical to keep your social listening tuned to the conversations happening online about your new and upcoming products. As we go along, keep in mind that the consumer insights we talk about below can be applied to your competitor’s products as well for a boost to your competitive intelligence!

Uncovering Consumer Insight About Your Products

So, after the laborious task of market research, product innovation and development, manufacturing, and finally, bringing your product to market, you want some sales. But after your product launch, social listening will take you farther into the heart and minds of consumers than relying on sales figures and product reviews. Deep consumer insight is what you’re after, and social listening delivers.

That’s because your sales numbers reveal volume and geodata. Product reviews help uncover pain points. However, social media provides an extensive data set of consumers talking about your latest offering.

Social media data consists of multiple layers of stratified consumer insights such as psychographics (interests, behaviors), demographics, domains, authors, geo-regions, etc. As such, you can complement your existing data while performing a deep dive into the areas of interest your social listening tools uncover.

Do you remember the Consumer Electronics Show back in January? It was super heavy on gaming, graphics cards, and peripherals – which isn’t surprising given the boom the gaming industry saw as lockdowns were implemented.

Anyway, Newsweek released their “best of CES 2021” article featuring 25 top products, including a gaming laptop named the Razer Blade. Let’s pretend that this is your product for a moment and see how consumers feel about it seven months later.

By filtering ads and other noise out, here are the top themes in the social media conversation around the Razer Blade gaming computer over the past month. We’ve placed the themes on a bar chart in Quid Social colored by sentiment and labeled by percentages:

Razer-Blade-gaming-computer-conversation-over-the-past-month

Insight gathered from 7/13/21-8/13/21

It’s not doing too bad as this conversation is only 16% negative. However, there’s a lot more here we can unpack.

We can quickly see other consumer insights that are helpful to brands. Conversations in the Razer support and compatibility clusters can be used to bolster your customer support efforts, whereas several of the other clusters address build quality and functionality. Of course, these discussions can be used to inform future innovation, software patches, and marketing messaging that address concerns.

Interestingly, in the ‘bought a Razer’ cluster, many of the comments originate from Reddit. Specifically, they’re coming from the r/razer subreddit dedicated to the brand with 168k members.

razer-conversation-on-reddit

One of the perks of using social listening to uncover consumer insights around your products is finding niche communities of fans dedicated to talking about you!

Pre-Release Social Listening for Consumer Insights

Moving on, what does it look like to monitor the buzz around a new product that’s just around the corner? Since gaming remains white-hot right now, have you heard of the new Steam Deck handheld gaming device set to ship out in December? If not, it’s all the rage in the gaming community and is sure to eat into the dominance of the Nintendo Switch if successful. Specs have already been released, and social users are drooling.

Steam bills itself as “the ultimate destination for playing, discussing, and creating games” and is geared towards the PC gaming community. The Steam Deck portable device is not only super powerful, but it also integrates with your Steam account so you can play your purchased content on a mobile platform. The online buzz is massive. Here we’ve narrowed our one-month social listening capture in Quid Social to the top ten clusters:

social-listening-clusters-about-Steam

Insight gathered from 7/13/21-8/13/21

What’s fascinating here is that the top conversational cluster here at 19% is commentary by consumers who have ‘reserved a Steam Deck.’ That’s spectacular, considering there are roughly four months until units start shipping.

Additionally, the words ‘pretty cool’ make up enough of the top keywords to earn its own cluster. Not only that, but this data visualization is also looking healthy, coming in at only 18% negative. That’s not too shabby.

Digging deeper into this conversation will reveal all the consumer insights the Steam marketing department needs to push messaging that hits the high notes with fans ahead of launch day. Nintendo could use it too.

Targeting Real Customers in Your Product Analysis 

To be honest, there’s something about the two analyses we’ve covered so far that we’ve neglected to mention. We didn’t just pull brand mentions willy-nilly into our data set. We filtered them to find the most serious consumers.

In the Razer Blade analysis, since the product has already been released, we sorted our brand mentions by two themes to find actual owners – post-purchase and personal narrative, which only keeps posts written in the first person. We also nixed any reposts to eliminate noise.

gaming-laptop-topic-search-criteria

This cut down the original data set immensely but allows us to get the feel of how real customers of the Razer Blade feel about the product. For that, we don’t need comparisons, wish lists, and haters.

social-web-analysis-for-Razer

Since the Steam Deck isn’t out and we can’t get post-purchase consumer insights yet, we had to switch things up a little bit. We built our analysis exactly like the previous one with one exception; we substituted the post-purchase theme for “purchase intent,” which uses natural language processing (NLP) to uncover posts indicative of a strong desire to purchase.

And that’s the point: When you’re using your social listening tools to uncover consumer insights relevant to your products, you want to weed out the noise thoughtfully. What you are really doing is drilling down into one specific aspect of the customer journey. You want post-purchase intel for existing products and intent for an upcoming launch.

Be sure to reach out for a demo, and we’ll show you how you can evaluate any product with targeted consumer insights with precision. That way, your innovation and messaging are always heading in the right direction!

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