Research Service

Consumer Empathy

Why Consumer
Empathy Matters

There’s a lot of talk these days about consumer empathy – but what exactly is it and what does it mean for brands?

Today’s consumers are knowledgeable, have high expectations, and have many different brands and products to choose from. All of this makes getting people to notice, try, and begin to rely on your brand more important than ever. To build loyalty, companies need a deep understanding of consumers’ feelings. Loyalty starts with an emotional connection between the brand and the consumer.

Is your company relating to customers on a personalized, human level—their needs, wants, dislikes, and frustrations? It all starts with building empathy.

A Qualitative
Approach to
Empathy Building

One of the best ways to develop consumer empathy is through qualitative research. C+R’s qualitative researchers head straight into the trenches with consumers, seeing firsthand the environments, interactions, and behaviors that influence their daily lives. Qualitative research can be so personal that it’s sometimes described as “therapy” by respondents who are challenged to go deep within themselves to reveal new insights about who they are and what matters most to them.

First-Hand Stories from Your Consumers

We know how to help your team build consumer empathy. Our researchers are fluent in countless approaches and are experts at applying the right strategy to the right project – whether it’s webcam interviews, in-person IDIs, ethnographies, focus groups, online discussions, or video journals.

Spotlight on Video Journaling

Video journaling is an exceptionally dynamic strategy for helping client teams build empathy. Consumers record videos of themselves speaking on any subject important to your research, including specific aspects of their lives, feelings about your brand or your competitors’ brands, and other topics. These videos allow your team to hear firsthand stories from consumers in their own words. Video journaling can be added as a component of any online qualitative community or as an additional activity held prior to or after traditional focus groups or one-on-one interviews.

In addition, Video Journals allow us to unobtrusively observe consumer behaviors and decision making in-the-moment, in context. From understanding weekly snacking or beauty routines, to getting a glimpse into how consumers shop, video journals allow us to be with the consumers without physically being present. We can get rich insights from exploring and unearthing moments that matter and insights that go beyond claimed behaviors and perspectives.

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Consumer Empathy

Building Empathy
with multicultural consumers

Recently, many companies have made it a priority to build empathy with their multicultural consumers.

At C+R, we have a long history of conducting multicultural research, so we know that a successful strategy for any business targeting multicultural consumers requires more than just testing specific initiatives. It requires that internal client teams make a commitment to understanding the nuances between multicultural consumer cohorts and relying on the rare perspective of in-culture experts, like members of our CultureBeat team.

When you partner with us, you’ll see that our approach goes beyond simply providing the research results – we help your internal teams delve deep into the needs of multicultural consumers, which leads to insights that help you make better business decisions.

Spotlight on CultureBeat’s Cultural Immersions

C+R’s Cultural Immersions are a unique and powerful way of building empathy and understanding. During immersions, our multicultural research practitioners will lead your team through onsite cultural explorations – touring neighborhoods as well as cultural, lifestyle, and commercial hubs. Immersions introduce you and your team to immersive sensorial and cultural experiences that elevate the realities of consumer cohorts, figuratively and literally aiming to “walk a mile” in their shoes.

Empathy for Shoppers Is Important, Too!

While the term consumer empathy is most often used in the marketing world, it also applies to shoppers! We tend to forget that it’s just as important for brands to have empathy for shoppers, as it is for consumers.

Think about what shoppers face today – rising prices, out-of-stock signs, hard-to-navigate websites, challenges with tracking orders, and jumping through many hoops to get the information they need. What better way to “walk in their shoes” than to shop alongside them (whether online or brick and mortar) – learning firsthand about their pain points, frustrations, and even delighters.

The most successful brands are constantly finding new ways to make life easier for their shoppers, and it all starts with building empathy.

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consumer empathy
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