Having a strong consumer insights strategy is imperative for brands to stay competitive in today’s world. Without it, it’s impossible to effectively navigate decisions to best meet your consumer’s needs and preferences. 

Think of it like trying to go on a road trip without a GPS – you can try and guess which direction you should head in, but if you make one wrong turn, you can quickly become lost. And getting back on track might be no easy task.

That’s why having the right consumer intelligence tools at your fingertips is critical for your brand’s journey. 

Why Tap into an Online Community for Insights?

With an online brand community, brands get direct access to consumers to gather critical information that helps to map consumer journeys, create accurate and detailed personas, gain validation for investments, and stay ahead of trends. 

In turn, that owned zero party data can then be spun into action by enabling brands to personalize and elevate brand experiences both inside their online brand community and among the greater consumer population. 

To demonstrate the depth of insights that can be gained from an online brand community, we tapped into our Smiley360 community of over 1.1 million consumers to collect real, valuable insights for brands in the rapidly growing Vitamin, Minerals and Supplements, and Hydration Drink Markets. In doing this, our team of Insights Experts uncovered powerful and compelling consumer intelligence that shone a light on the power of an online community as the ultimate research tool. 

Let’s explore the benefits of leveraging an online community to power greater consumer insights that fuel informed and strategic brand decisions.

Speed and Efficiency

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With trends and market shifts moving faster than ever, brands need on-demand access to consumer data and insights to maintain their competitive edge. An online brand community acts as an always-on consumer panel to get you the data you need right when you need it. 

While market research firms will take months to deliver results that will be obsolete by the time they reach you, an online brand community can be tapped into whenever research needs arise, delivering results on a dime and empowering brands to make rapid and informed decisions.

And with engaging activities, offers, and discussions, online brand communities can keep consumers engaged and ensure their accessibility to gather insights on the fly. 

In our Vitamin, Minerals and Supplements, and the Hydration Drinks study, we were able to tap into an online community to gain critical insights and strategy recommendations for brands in the booming industry in just a few short weeks.  

Brands striving for growth in competitive categories can’t wait several months for actionable data and that’s why an online brand community is the most efficient channel for real-time consumer insights.

Robust Audience Segmentation and Targeting

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Your consumers are united by little else than their affinity for your brand. Their different motivations, influences, personality types, lifestyles, and shopping habits are all factors that can impact receptivity to your brand, product, messaging, and more. 

Knowing who your consumers are on this level empowers your brand to deliver tailored and personalized messaging that resonates with each consumer. Additionally, it helps identify new growth segments, prioritize investments, drive innovation, and increase conversions. 

When you tap into an online brand community for audience segmentation, you’re able to identify attitudinal traits, demographic characteristics, shared behaviors, and more that allow you to quickly gain a firm understanding of how to best serve your consumers’ needs. 

With our Vitamin, Minerals and Supplements, and the Hydration Drinks study, our insights team segmented our Smiley360 community of 1.1MM+ consumers to those who identified as consumers of these wellness brands – ensuring that we were getting the data we needed from the people we needed it from.

After getting powerful results like these, brands with the right online brand community platform will have the ability to harness the insights gained to power targeted activations, offers, and discussions based on the results of their research, making for a true personalized brand experience. 

Ratings and Reviews

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Ratings and Reviews are an integral part of the consumer journey today – consumers are 63% more likely to trust and buy from a company with good reviews. And in our Vitamin, Minerals and Supplements, and Hydration Drinks study, we found that 90% of consumers turn to retail reviews to help with purchases in those product categories – an example of a significant actionable insight gained from an online community study. 

Luckily, with a TINT-powered online brand community, review generation is a piece of cake. 

By identifying and mobilizing targeted consumers with community activations to share their brand experiences, brands secure a steady stream of high-quality, authentic reviews from loyal brand advocates that syndicate to key retail sites. Not only does this help amplify advocacy and user-generated content at scale, it also gives brands another way to gather consumer feedback. By monitoring online reviews, brands can get more information about potential product issues, customer service experiences, or even spark new ideas for messaging or product innovation. 

By having an effective review generation strategy powered by an online brand community, you’ll paint a clear picture of your brand and products that will act as an ongoing feedback loop for your brand.

Sampling Programs

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Speaking of product reviews, let’s dive into one of the easiest ways to drive more reviews – product sampling. As a natural way of collecting consumer opinions, it’s also an activity that easily gets consumers excited and eager to participate.

Product sampling allows brands to increase trial and awareness of new and existing products while gathering actionable feedback from targeted supporters to troubleshoot issues, identify strengths, and optimize concepts. 

And with zero party data that gets collected through an online brand community, brands are enabled to hyper-target their sampling, increasing its efficiency and effectiveness. The kind of insights gained from this help brands ensure the success of products, reduce risk, and accelerate new product launches.

In our Vitamin, Minerals and Supplements, and Hydration Drinks study, we found that all generations were interested in the idea of personalized supplements. Imagine the feedback and insights you could gain from delivering targeted samples uniquely tailored to each consumer based on the zero party data that they’ve already supplied within the community. With a TINT-powered online brand community, it’s already possible and brands are actively gaining key competitive intelligence to help ensure product success in this very way.

Discussion Forums

A discussion forum can be an invaluable asset to your brand by offering real-time feedback from consumers while also keeping your brand top of mind. This two-way dialogue is a win-win: brands will develop deeper emotional bonds and gain insights that will help make impactful brand decisions. And community members feel heard and valued, and see their input being taken into account. These conversations enable brands to develop the connections and insights that make brand loyalty flow naturally.   

In our Vitamin, Minerals and Supplements, and Hydration Drinks study, we found that 68% of consumers said that online communities of like-minded consumers are an important source for wellness brand purchases. What better way to foster a sense of community than by having your consumers connect and converse with each other? 

Not only do discussion forums help fuel brand love, the gathering of real-life stories and metrics help brands to crowdsource new ideas, validate R&D plans, and encourage co-creation in a way that builds the trust that ultimately turns brand fans into advocates. 

How TINT can help you achieve greater insights through the power of community 

TINT’s community powered marketing platform was designed to empower brands to gather insights that drive true business impact. Brand partners can utilize TINT to access insights from their own consumer set via an online brand community, or they can gain broad consumer learnings from TINT’s proprietary peer influencer community, Smiley360 –  a group of over 1.1 million socially engaged, connected, and opinionated consumers who share their thoughts and feedback about brands, shopping habits, and much more. 

Interested in more?

Sign up for a demo today.

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VP, Product Strategy