Guest Blog: Tips for the Business Development Journey

Peter Faulds

We’re delighted to share a blog written especially for us by our friend Peter Faulds.

Business consultant Peter has a vast amount of experience leading business performance improvement programmes and developing strategic growth plans, with brands such as Jack Daniels, Baileys and Smirnoff.

Here Peter shares his top tips on the start of every business development journey – gaining consumer insight.

Gaining Consumer Insight – Four Vital Steps

First off, what is a consumer, shopper or customer insight? The term can mean different things to different people, but from my years in consumer facing corporate and family business, I offer this definition:

“An insight is a penetrating and non-obvious discovery about our consumer, shopper or customer motivations, which –  if put at the heart of your commercial thinking and doing – will resolve your business issues and drive growth.”

The benefits of nailing consumer insight are long term. With great insights you’ll be equipped to develop a robust trade strategy that takes your business forwards and upwards.

So how can you generate great insights? Here are my four tips:

  • The first step is to identify your business issues. World-class best practice would suggest that it is of primary importance to identify your business issues. For example, what is the latest situation analysis? What is your business objective? What is your core motivating consumer, shopper or customer question?
  • Once you’ve established the issues, it’s important to work with a cross-functional and multi-level group to ensure you are gaining different perspectives and not a narrow assumptive one.
  • Excellent research is vital. Research from industry experts like Kantar, IGD, AC Nielsen and IRI is very valuable. And consumer research is needed to give you the brand/category U&A, general news, findings from the market place, and sales out data from your customers. This multi-pronged approach applies to all trade channels.
  • Ask yourself what this information is telling you and don’t forget to keep questioning This cricital approach will generate a robust and valuable insight into what the consumer, shopper or customer needs.