Methods & Tools

Consumer Connection

A common “why”.

Why does your brand deserve to be on the market?

In our eyes, a brand is more than just a product with a uniform appearance and a logo. A brand is a psychological phenomenon. Successful brands manage to establish a connection with their customers that goes beyond benefits – be they rational or emotional. At its core, it’s always about defining a common “why” – the mindset that connects brand and consumer. To find this mindset and better position brands, we use a method based on the concept of “Subjective Theory”: Consumer Connection.

Work like an engineer

Consumer Connection is an established method for finding the common mindset that connects brand and consumer. The individual steps have clearly defined goals, and the concrete execution can be adapted to the specific task.

1. Narrowing the emotional playing field
Successful brands have an emotional component. Therefore, it is important to know exactly which values and emotions are associated with a brand or a category. There are different methods to determine the relevant values and emotions. Ideally, the Consumer Connection process starts with an Emotional Territories analysis. Emotional Territories is a quantitative tool which, with the help of a specially developed algorithm, analyzes a sample of of 1,000 test persons to determine an “emotional map” of your brand or category. With the help of this map, one can determine both the status of the brand/category and the target state. As a result and starting point for the next step, you get 3-4 so-called value fields that define the brand / category.

Develop stimulus material
The course of the Consumer Connections process, we talk to consumers. To do this, you need stimulus material that meets certain criteria:

  1. It has to be suitable to start a real discussion, in the course of which also things are brought up, about which one perhaps does not speak quite so naturally.
  2. It must be able to address content that operates at a more subconscious level
  3. In case of doubt, it should be equally suitable for different target groups – in the case of international brands even for different cultural groups.

We therefore work with so-called “visual analogies”. These are images created by art directors, artists and other image-minded people. They are characterized in part by extreme independence and therefore have a very high potential for discussion.

For each of the 3 – 4 value fields, 10-20 such visual analogies are created. The high number ensures that any misinterpretations are compensated for.

In some cases – for example, when the consumer phase is telephone interviews rather than workshops – the visual analogies can be replaced with provocative headlines.

3. Analyze target groups
At the core of the Consumer Connection process is working with consumers. This usually takes the form of intensive workshops. We work through the stimulus material with different sub-target groups and provoke a very large number of qualitative statements around the topic by asking specific questions.

In the workshop, people talk about their interaction with the brand, their motivation, wishes, fears, hopes in relation to the brand on the basis of the images under psychological guidance. Depending on the number of sub-target groups, we thus obtain over 1,000 statements that serve as the basis for the next step of Consumer Connection.

4. Develop mindset
In the subsequent analysis phase, we break down the test subjects’ statements into so-called “semantic base units”. These are the smallest content building blocks of the respective statements. For the development of the mindset we use a variant of the structure laying technique. In the process, hierarchies of meaning are formed with an ever-increasing degree of condensation. At the end, there is a sentence that was influenced by each statement made and combines all the information of the levels below it – the mindset.


Experience on any scale

Consumer Connection is versatile and – depending on the task – can be scaled almost arbitrarily. From the positioning of a start-up to the realignment of an internationally operating traditional brand, everything is feasible.

Talk to the doer:

Thomas Walter
CEO/Managing Director
+49 211 936706-77


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