Over the last years, Greenhouse has been going through an important transformation in the way we enable brands to grow their business. Coming from a conversion optimisation background we have been evolving towards consumer experience optimisation. In this article, I'll tell you why consumer experience is crucial for sustainable growth, especially given the historical moment we as humanity are facing. My wish is that after reading this article you are going to consider this shift too. It has not been an easy journey, but we undoubtedly see the benefits for those brands that together with us are making this transformation.
Over the last half a year we have been seeing people act irrationally in very obvious ways that you can observe and learn from. For example when countries started to lock down we all have seen the toilet paper hoarding panic in the news, right? When observing such phenomena the most important questions to ask at this stage is "why?". This behaviour doesn't make sense if you don't understand consumer behaviour and cognitive biases. People react to their unconscious emotions in predictable ways, they don't respond to their rational conscious thought. People react to their emotions and that's how people are making decisions, even more in this new normal.
The behavioural insights come from asking ourselves “why?”. When we look into these irrational behaviours we see that these are triggered by the emotional environment. That's why you need to centre on those parts of the brain that can't speak. And if you understand the real "why" behind how people behave, then you have something to build on. Then you can appeal to the parts of the brain that your competitors don't. When you find things that are counter-intuitive that your competitors don't know about, you have a competitive advantage.
We shouldn't think about optimization as tips and tricks on how to trick users, that's not how you should think about your customers. What you need to learn is how to use the methodologies available to understand how to meet their needs.
What to do
As the world is facing a second COVID-19 wave, many countries are going back to lock down and fear starts rising. It’s clear that the lockdown has had a profound impact on how people live. The period of contagion, self-isolation, and economic uncertainty will change the way consumers behave, in some cases for years to come. At these times of uncertainty it's crucial for brands to focus on the best consumer experience. Because consumer behaviour is constantly changing, brands need to focus their effort on what consumers need and what they are looking for.
Now is the time to pivot and think big to transform your business to match evolving consumer expectation. That is how you need to transform your strategy. Because:
"In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks", Mark Zuckerberg
So stop running your business like it's business as usual after the whole world has been turned upside down. First, you need to figure out how to do this. The first step to take is to listen to what your customers need. Focus on consumer research and optimise for the consumer experience your consumers are looking for. Therefore, I am going to write a series of posts around this topic, to give you a head start and to show you the benefits of shifting towards consumer experience optimization.
To conclude, I strongly believe that brands which learn how to listen and meet their customers' needs are the ones that will thrive. When you have developed a solid methodology to deepen the understanding of your customers’ needs and how to meet them you will have a competitive advantage. Within each industry, the brand who innovates and optimises best to match consumers' expectations during these uncertain times will win.