I’ll be there for you, these five words I swear to you… 
When you breathe, I wanna be the air for you… 
I’ll be there for you!  What do the lyrics of a song from an 80’s hair band have to do with optimizing the value of your insights community in 2023? More than you might know.

Just like any committed, long-term marriage, the relationship you have with an insights community partner is built on trust, transparency, and dependability. In both cases, it’s important that your partner is there for you, ready, willing, and keenly able to capture what your consumers are thinking today yet help you stay plugged into what consumers are likely to think and do in the future. Devoted partners are committed to doing what is necessary to grow the relationship. 

 

Is your insights community partner supportive and dependable? 

 

An insight community platform can serve as a brand’s operating system for listening, understanding, and building a company’s human-centric IQ. On top of that, a well-cultivated customer insight community serves as an invaluable customer experience touchpoint and driver of innovation.  
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With so much at stake, it can be difficult knowing what to do if you feel that you are not getting the attention, expertise, or support you need to optimize the value of your insights community. Is your partner listening and supporting your goals when you need help? If you’re struggling for answers, you’re not alone. 

Whose evolution is your partner focused on? Yours or theirs? 

Insights_CONTENT_2In a previous blog, we discussed the 10 signs it’s time to upgrade your insights community. The post focuses on identifying pain points and offering alternative options to pursue when the full-service team you’re working with falls short of expectations. From technology limitations, to a lack of expertise, to the continuity of team members working on your project, at the heart of most of the challenges is dealing with the pace of change. Today, change continues to impact people’s business, especially the business of your insights community providers.  
 
Spoiler alert, if your insights provider has recently been acquired, or is in the process of evolving their own business through acquisition or consolidation, they could be busy envisioning a new trajectory for themselves, instead of looking out for you. While it’s exciting for them, it creates distractions that impact the level of focus and attention you receive.  
 
At a time when prioritizing the connection to the consumer is more important than ever, and the value of insights and the methods of generating them are at a premium, you need to be sure your insights community provider has the right focus, resources and expertise in place to put you first. Not themselves. 

 

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Does your partner help you or back away when you need them most? 

 

At Finch Brands, we strive to help our clients win when it matters most. We call it “owning the change moment.” This means being able to step in, assess a client’s needs, and rally the right technology and team together to help a client through a challenge and thrive in the face of change. The last thing you want to do when challenges arise is to second guess your partner’s ability to deliver or wait around for your insights community to suddenly get better. It most likely won’t.  
 
In an environment today when many organizations are running lean and finding ways to do more with less, Finch Brands regularly steps in and functions as an extension of your team, flexing our process to provide higher involvement when coverage and competency are needed most. Recently, the Finch team leaned in to help a client whose number of internal team members had been reduced. Finch stepped in at a high level to help the client execute a very important initiative that might have otherwise suffered.  

 

What makes a committed partner so important to you and your future? 

 

At the most foundational level, when you work with a full-service insights community partner, you expect a skilled, experienced team to run your community. In the best cases, the team becomes an extension of your team and is able to adapt to meet dynamically changing needs. Thus, the people involved are as important as the technology.  
 
As you evaluate a partner (current or prospective), ask yourself, does the team:  

  • Have the ability to act as one team with you? Have the capability to become an extension of your team and fill in gaps? 
  • Contain expert researchers? 
  • Deliver both qualitative and quantitative results and insights? Use a variety of creative research methods?  
  • Understand your business? Are they innovative?  
  • Work hard and get things done? 
  • Connect insights to business strategy? 
  • Pull the story out of data? 
  • Have expertise in their technology platform? 
  • Have low internal turnover? 
  • Have a proven plan to recruit community members?  
  • Have imagination and creativity to keep the relationship fresh and dynamic?

If you answered "no" to more than a few of these questions, you might need to seriously consider making a change.  

Then, think about the technology and its capabilities. Ask:  

  • How many members can be added? 
  • What can the survey engine do? 
  • How broad and diverse are the qualitative tools? 
  • Does it support video? 
  • Is it mobile-friendly? 
  • Does the developer add new features and improvements? How often?  

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How do you evaluate the effectiveness of a community? And balance the value of tech and team needs? 

 

What is an insights community platform’s measure of success? You can track your results in terms of:

Effectiveness

Your community insights should affect key business decisions. Your partner should gather results every week and track success stories throughout the year. Plus, as your partner and members get to know your brand better over time, increasingly better insights will emerge, along with more valuable answers to questions as the Community becomes smarter over time.  

Efficiency

Spending less money while seeing increased impact and results due to smarter, stronger deployment. 

 

Why Finch Brands is the ideal insights community platform 

 

The last few years have had their challenges, and everyone is finding ways to adapt.  With so much at stake, it’s important to make sure your partners have your best interest in mind and possess the depth of skills and expertise to help you thrive. 
 
Finch Brands is an evolved step forward in online insights communities. Many of us came from the client-side and we remember wishing for stronger team support and certain features that our insights community partners lacked. Now, as an external provider, we strive to bring the benefits to you that we wanted—along with helping you avoid major pitfalls. We truly look at every partnership as a long-term relationship, a marriage, if you will, that requires time, attention, collaboration, and the willingness to grow and adapt together.

That’s why we:  

  • Act as an extension of your team and are experts in both market research and brand strategy.
  • Strike an optimum balance of both qualitative and quantitative research.
  • Use cutting-edge software that has powerful quantitative and creative qualitative research abilities—and is updated frequently at no extra charge to you.  
  • Offer flexible solutions for each client.
  • Train our researchers on a wide range of creative and effective research methodologies, along with how to get the most out of our powerful insight community platform.
  • Use the most robust survey engine available.
  • Gather qualitative data through contemporary technology tools, which can quickly gather insights on felt needs and experiences, even from large groups.  
  • Keep getting better and keeping things fresh 

 

We’ll be there for you today, tomorrow, and well into the future 

 

With more than 20 years of experience, Finch Brands can quickly bring you a large volume of high-quality data and insights. If you partner with us, your account team will consist of expert researchers who are experienced at connecting insights and brand strategy. And we use the latest technology instead of legacy software, so instead of living on a prayer in these complex times, you can be confident you have the right people and tech in place to be successful. 

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Finch Brands is a real-world brand consultancy that specializes in insights, strategy, and design. We help brands of all shapes and sizes win when it matters most by creating relevance in the real-world through the diligent application of grit and grace.