Today, the world has become very different. Vision statements are continually collapsing as the world is rapidly changing. We are now a part of a world where there is the relentless emergence of newer technology that upsets the apple card constantly. More attention is paid to the pertinent fact that nothing is constant, all contexts are continuously changing and innovation has become the name of the game. And so organisation structures are fluid, reporting lines are not fixed, targets are constantly reassessed.

In other words, the paradigm has shifted, from a fixed paradigm that entails moving from an underdeveloped society to a developed society, to a paradigm where everything is in a  flux, where even developed societies of the past are finding markets collapsing and jobs scarce. In the new paradigm of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, there is no beginning or end

The current global market scenario is more challenging than it has ever been before, and a famous acronym “VUCA” that stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous accurately describes the present state of affairs. Not just textiles but all businesses face uncertainties, and predicting the future of the business environment has become a stupendous task with no assurance of its fruitfulness. Changes in government policies, natural calamities and other factors are contributing to the volatility all over.

VUCA is an acronym – first used in 1987, drawing on the leadership theories of Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus – to describe or to reflect on the volatilityuncertaintycomplexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations;

The Textile Value Chain :   

Now, predicting trends is not an easy task. The supply chain of apparel is a complicated one involving many stakeholders. It starts from yarn manufacturers who take different types of fibres as raw material and create yarns of different qualities and counts. They weave yarn to make multiple qualities of fabric. For adding colors, either the yarn is dyed (pre-weaving yarn dyeing) or the fabric is dyed (post-weaving piece dyeing). For multi-color designs, the yarn-dyed route is very important.

Fabric manufacturers are suppliers to brands which generally outsource the apparel manufacturing. To create a particular fashion line, this whole route has to get synchronized as operations at every stage are specific to particular qualities and designs of garments. In general, it takes 60-90 days for the fabric manufacturer to deliver the processed fabric. Including designing and garmenting, it takes almost six months to produce the offering for a season.

Thus, to remain relevant in the ‘current trend’, brands have to always predict the future trend. By future, we mean at least six months to one year. The colorful Chinos in stores today must have been at the designer’s desk at least six months before!

The Challenge :

Brands sell through various channels/entities. Designs that the brands come up with are booked by these entities well in advance. Based on these bookings, brands determine the demands for each of their designs and go back to their suppliers and apparel manufacturers to book their capacities. Basically, buyers have to forecast the demand

Understanding your consumers’ needs and wants has become essential to ensure your company is future-proof. Listening empowers you to learn from and talk to your customers in order to create ever-improving experiences.

Businesses with quality data are more likely to collect actionable customer insights, which can help them grow their bottoms line in the long run.

Consumer insights & its Importance:

A consumer insight is an interpretation used by businesses to gain a deeper understanding of how their audience thinks and feels. Analysing human behaviours allows companies to really understand what their consumers want and need, and most importantly, why they feel this way.

When consumer insight research is conducted properly, it should improve the effectiveness of how a company communicates to its customers, which is likely to change consumer behaviour, and therefore increase sales.

But collecting good consumer insights can be challenging, so here is what you need in order to collect and use consumer insights properly:

Good data quality

Data quality is vital to the collection of consumer insights. Without high-quality data, your conclusions or results might suffer.

A dedicated analytics team

The role of your data analytics team is essential in order to understand how your customers think and behave. If you don’t have the right analytics team, it’s hard to understand what the data is telling you.

Consumer research

It’s important to understand and acknowledge consumer behaviour and consumer insights should help you engage with customers emotionally. In order to do that, it’s essential not to ignore the results of your consumer research, whether you agree with them or not.

 

Database and segment marketing

Database marketing is a form of marketing using databases of customers to generate personalised communi cations. These databases can lead to personas, different sets of audiences or segments. As consumer insights remain theoretical, database marketing is another essential element to your research when it comes to testing and learning. Indeed, test actions are necessary if you want to turn insights into facts.

Using consumer insights to amplify your marketing efforts

Consumer insights help analyse the competition Whether or not you are the market leader in your industry, looking at how consumers talk about products and services in your industry can reveal a lot about consumers’ needs, and what you can implement to improve your own product, service, or business.

Being aware of consumers’ conversations when it comes to other products can be extremely valuable, regardless of whether or not they mention or are aware of your business.

Consumer insights help improve the customer journey

The customer journey’s 5 different stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. Mapping your customer journey will help you understand your customer’s experience and should highlight any gaps you may have.

But in a world where competition is so tough, personalisation has become a necessity for many retail brands out there. Targeted and personalised help communicate a better, clearer message, and therefore attract and retain customers.

That’s why consumer insights can help businesses understand why people buy certain products over other ones and what’s driving those preferences.

This can help you refine your personas, and determine the best way to speak to your different audience segments. Here are a couple of examples of personalised marketing.

Conclusion:

In today’s VUCA world where uncertainity is rule of game with ever challenging environment & intense competition , satisfying customers is becoming even more difficult.

Consumer Insight Studies definitely helps to understand customer’s preferences & buying behavior  for companies to sustain & grow. Customer is & will always be KING & unless we understand it better we will fail in all our business endeavours.

By- Rushin Vadhani