How to Listen to Quiet Consumers

Who knew cranberry juice could be controversial? 113 Industries did, thanks to their advanced social media analytics understanding! They used Next Gen AI to listen to quiet consumers and found the next $100M idea for Ocean Spray. Let’s see how they did it – and how your brand (or agency) can do it too.

What Are ‘Quiet Consumers?’

Quiet consumers aren’t completely silent, but they are stealthy. They don’t @mention your brand and they don’t make a big fuss on review sites really, as they’re often anonymous, with existing social accounts typically stripped of personally identifying data. Or they’re active only on sites that strongly encourage anonymity, like Reddit.

One thing they have in common with your loud and proud consumers though – they love things and they hate things. It’s a pretty basic similarity, but an important one. Because they do also share that love/hate online.

Uncovering insight offered by these quiet folks just requires more finesse. And they’re very much worth finding, as they often share exceptionally relevant product and service feedback. The anonymity makes them brave and allows for feedback that brands could live and die by.

Take morning juice, for example.

Everyone needs to eat, and breakfast is a pretty common meal, so why were morning juice sales slumping? More importantly – what could be done about it?

Making the Most of Morning Juice

With the morning juice market experiencing challenging times, Ocean Spray knew it was time to create a new strategy to increase sales. And 113 Industries knew what to do.

They popped in to NetBase and analyzed over 150,000 conversations to identify trends around consumers attitudes, behaviors, psychology and motivations around cranberry juice

They discovered a series of conversational themes around niche areas inhabited by quiet consumers.

  • Fitness folks, drinking cranberry juice for hydration after exercise
  • Extroverts enjoying cranberry juice in lieu of a cocktail, in a wineglass, after work
  • Women who love cranberry juice, but hate its association with UTIs

That last bullet was key and provided lots of interesting insight as they dug deeper in the super accurate analytics tool:

Tweets about UTI and cranberry juice

From this research, they envisioned and launched the next $100M beverage line. One that didn’t force them to compete with traditional orange and apple juices too!

There were two product lines created as a result. And these product lines expanded beyond the traditional breakfast juice market – Ocean Spray Pact, a cranberry infused water, and Ocean Spray Mocktails.

Ocean Spray Pact and Mocktails

And its ROI exceeded all ‘new product’ expectations.

So, how can you find these quiet consumers inhabiting your category? We have more than a few ways, and will share some of them right now!

Finding Quiet Consumers’ Unmet Needs

Understanding consumers’ related interests and how they self-identify is important. It can reveal potential partnerships or adjacencies to inform new product ideas. Things that your brand may have never considered otherwise, like plant-based food for dogs:

quiet consumers unmet needs

And seeing where a category’s conversation is predominantly happening can be eye opening. Is your brand actively participating on these channels? Shouldn’t it be?

Where are conversations happening online

And what about the real-time conversations happening? Are you familiar with how consumers are talking about products in your space from day to day? You’ll have little chance of relating with them if you don’t. Daily monitoring of trending terms and real-time conversations help get you there:

Monitoring quiet consumer chatter daily to understand how to talk to them

You can also set alerts for “any mention” or “triggered alerts” of brand/category/topic terms, with a set threshold for each:

Any mention and triggered alerts

This is limited to known terms a brand needs to list though. Still super useful, but now we can do you one better. Actually, this qualifies as ten better:

Automated Theme Discovery for Quiet Consumers

Removing operator bias – removing all bias – from search criteria, AI Studio’s automated theme discovery is a real game changer.

It surfaces related insight automatically, organizing it in themes for additional exploration and deeper understanding of seemingly tangential concerns that could revitalize a category. Or bring it to its knees.

AI studio for capturing quiet consumers via automated theme discovery

Having that power at your brand’s disposal is one to take seriously. And to start utilizing immediately.

It’s also a potential destroyer of worlds from a competitive intelligence standpoint. Imagine an AI tool discovering an idea in the early stages of product development! And then harnessing that insight to inform your own research and development team’s efforts. Efforts that would be informed by super accurate, real-time social analytics every step of the way.

Short of predicting things ahead of competitors, capturing a larger piece of the consumer pie is always a nice capability to have on hand.

Stealing Quiet Consumers from Competitors

If Brand XYZ isn’t paying attention to its online mentions, someone else could (and should) be. And that someone is you.

The same alerts you set up around your brand name or category mentions can be made around a competitor’s name/products. If there’s a sudden spike in negative mentions and they’re slow to respond (or missing the boat entirely), there’s nothing stopping you from swooping in and helping those lost souls find happiness with your product line.

And oftentimes, you’ll come across some not so quiet types in the process. You can help those folks out too!

Capturing complaints made against competitors by quiet consumers and others

You may find people expressing their wish for Brand XYZ to offer Widget QRS for an upcoming event. One that you plan to attend as well. A bit of market research can bear out feasibility of offering said widget yourself.

And even if you aren’t using AI Studio to automatically surface themes and keep you a few steps ahead, you can always use social analytics to watch for new products or services as they hit the market. Or just watch for offhand consumer comments to see what is being shared with them from competitors.

Companies are often careless with sensitive information for some reason. This includes sending out surveys that give away far too much about an upcoming strategy in a misguided quest for insight.

It’s too bad they didn’t realize they could learn so much more – and with so much more accuracy, from social analytics insight. Hopefully they don’t sort out the extent of its capabilities before you do! Reach out for a demo to see consumer discovery in action, and so much more.

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