From sensemaking to growth

April 10, 2014

From sensemaking to growth

Lars Rasmussen, CEO of Coloplast, Mikkel B. Rasmussen from ReD Associates and managing partner Hans Henrik Beck shared insights on creating growth at a seminar on understanding consumer behaviour and developing your customer base.

Understanding customer behaviour, dynamics and needs can be the difference between success and failure. To an increasing extent, QVARTZ supports clients in improving core commercial disciplines – not only from a quantitative but increasingly also from a qualitative perspective. As a consequence, we are working with pioneers within human sciences in order to get beneath the surface of surveys and quantifiable behaviours. The most interesting of these pioneers is in our opinion ReD Associates, the company behind the lead article in the March edition of Harvard Business Review and the book The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve your Toughest Business Problems.

Due to the increasing use of human sciences in our own client engagements and the potential it holds, QVARTZ, Harvard Business Review Press and ReD Associates hosted an exclusive briefing at our office in Copenhagen on April 9, 2014.

Lars Rasmussen, CEO of Coloplast, spoke about how his company used insights into human behaviour to re-think their product development. Coloplast reduced the number of product launches and made the marketing team the company’s key innovators because in the end, products must make sense to the consumer. Rasmussen advised the crowd of business professionals to do things wholeheartedly and to eschew complacency. As soon as you start getting comfortable, find new obstacles to keep you on your toes and continue pushing forward.

Mikkel B. Rasmussen from Red Associates gave a presentation on how the human sciences can be applied in a business context to create new understandings. Even though we see ourselves as individuals, man is first and foremost a social animal situated in a specific social context where tacit rules guide 90% of our actions. That’s why observing people in their environment provides insights that you won’t get by simply asking them.

Finally, Hans Henrik Beck from QVARTZ shared his experience with creating growth using push and pull strategy elements. The key push strategy and the single most important value driver in commercial excellence programmes is pinpointing the right customer segment. Often, we see huge differences in spending profiles across customers within the same segment. Identifying the right customers and understanding the “customer journey” is crucial for creating customer lifetime value and designing an effective approach. Branding is the most important pull factor. The identity of the company behind the product carries more weight than product features when customers are deciding what and where to buy. Therefore, a distinct brand definition that is consistently executed across all touch points as well as a strategy for identifying and leveraging brand ambassadors are two elements that  will greatly increase the attractiveness of your products or services.

Is there room for growth in your organisation? Find out by asking yourself the following questions:

•    Do we target the right customers?

•    Do we have a structured approach to drive customer penetration?

•    Do we have an effective and efficient sales approach?

•    Do we balance the “what” and the “who”?

•    Do we have a concise brand definition?

•    Do we work intelligently with customer referrals?