Inexpensive consumer research – Is there such a thing ? We are a B2C fashion and lifestyle startup and we can’t afford expensive research agencies. I want my entire team to understand our customers better. What do you recommend that we do?

Answered by Meeta Malhotra

As a first step, draft a maximum of 3 customer-related questions that you wish you had answers for. Two of these are likely to be: What do customers like about your product and what do they not. The third could be around channel (where did they hear about you) or competition (who do they consider your competition).

You can conduct your own research as long as you keep it simple and focused. One option is phone calls but best is to get a small group together in a coffee shop.  It’s not that hard. You will learn so much more when you interact with your customers and that’s why I am deliberately not suggesting email

You will now be in a position to create customer personas. Identify 3-4 types of customers. This could be done by age, income, behaviour, city, life-stage – it really depends on your product. Get your team in a room and together, try and understand these personas better. What is their day like? What are their dreams and challenges? What other brands do they interact with? Cut out pictures from magazines and put faces to them. Make the personas come alive. Keep meeting customers and fine-tuning personas, so that your team internalizes them completely.



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