Consumer translation

Here is an unfortunate truth about consumer research.  No matter how useful the results are, it is very difficult to translate what the research results mean for your next product or service offering.  You may learn something that clearly defines a direction for your business.  But then there is a person who has to design the website, or make the widget, or decide the pricing for the service plan. 

Somewhere in the organization, the original intent often gets lost.  The problem is that it often gets lost for many good reasons.  "Consumers won't understand this."  "Our organization can't do that yet."  "I'll get fired if it doesn't work, so I don't want to be the first to try."  The result is often a baby step toward the right direction that causes so much organizational agita for very little gain that it is determined that it was a waste of time.

The reason the decision process often goes this way is that it is difficult to translate good consumer insight into an actionable result.  Next time, try articulating exactly what tangible criteria will satisfy the consumers' needs.  And then define the product or service that satisfies the criteria.  Many of these "good reasons" go away when a clear vision of the result is presented.  Try it.

Otherwise, consumer research is relegated to informing ad campaigns and marketing messages aimed at convincing consumers to buy what we want to make for them.  Don't let that happen to you.