The unexpected benefits of a customer due diligence
When we do a due diligence project for an investor, it’s more than just giving them an overall sentiment of the brand. Here is an example of unexpected delighters when it comes to our due diligence work.
Understanding the customer beyond the category
We never just focus on the category of interest. We think about the key themes associated with the category or what might impact their decision making process. For example, are we looking at skincare or food? If we’re looking at either of those categories, we might first want to understand their approach to health or natural ingredients. By looking outside the category and how consumers behave, we’ll get a sense for their long-term relationship with the brand.
Let’s say we’re looking at a natural skincare brand. We first evaluate customers’ relationship with natural products in general. If we see that they’re diehard naturalists that might translate into a stronger relationship with this brand than if their relationship with natural products is more fleeting i.e., sometimes they try really hard to be natural, other times they don’t care. We’re really able to tease out how this brand will survive down the road and who will be its core target.
Boosting brand loyalty
Of course, we learn what, if anything, it will take to ‘win’ a customer back if they’ve left the brand. Something else that’s interesting is doing the research can re-engage the customer. When we’re doing our due diligence work the brand we’re interested in is highly confidential. We always mask the brand amongst 2-3 other brands. Customers always say, ‘That’s so great that Brand X and Y care about what their consumers think. It makes me want to pick them up again.’
Bringing back lapsed consumers
We also see this in our creative agency work. When you involve the customer and genuinely care about their opinion that’s when you have the opportunity to ‘win them back’.
While a lot of our work is in the pre-acquisition phase, we always stress the importance of this work post-acquisition as well. You can kind of think of market research as boosting your brand loyalty.