The true meaning behind customer insight

The dictionary definition of insight is:

an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, especially through intuitive understanding.”


Sounds spot on right? And yet, as we know all too well, insight can be quite tricky. There’s no single definitive answer or truth to understanding customers. It’s in our (human) nature.

Which is why it takes hard work – not to mention an intimate understanding of human behaviour, to truly get under the skin of our consumers. Sifting through a mass of (often conflicting) data to build a true and complete picture of how they feel, what they hold important and what drives and motivates them to take action.

Whether it’s a revelation about quality, convenience, service or the ability to solve a complex situation, the discovery of a unique, unexpected (yet sometimes obvious) customer truth can transform the offering into something with the power to change hearts and minds.

Here are just two examples of highly effective campaigns that have key consumer insight at the heart of its thinking.

Channel 4: ‘We’re the Superhumans’

Building on the success of their London 2012 Paralympics ‘Meet the Superhumans’ campaign, Channel 4 declared 2016 as the Year of Disability. Leveraging their role as official broadcaster to firmly place the Paralympics at the heart of their accessibility campaign.

The result? A bold, positive campaign that portrayed people in a way that looked beyond their disability. Effecting such a dramatic shift in audience perception that the campaign earned Channel 4’s in-house creative team numerous industry awards, and title of the second most shared Olympics-related ad of all time.

Vision Express: ‘Eye Witness’

The high street optician takes market leaders Specsavers head on with a celebrity campaign that reaffirms their bold mission statement.

Their latest ads take us on a personal and nostalgic journey through the rich and eventful careers of Trevor Macdonald and Julie Walters.

Informed by extensive research that revealed, despite it being one of our biggest fears, almost two million people are living with sight loss. Made all the more shocking when over 50% of it is preventable. It is visually engaging storytelling at its best.

With compelling messaging – ‘When you look after your eyes, vision can last a lifetime.’ – that leaves you with a clear call to action – ‘Book your eye test’ – these grown up ads beautifully reinforce Vision Express’ central rationale.

So, is it just coincidence that at a time when the market leaders Specsavers have received criticism of their latest Jason Shutter campaign as being ‘irritating’ and more than a little off the mark, Vision Express is using a compelling human truth to increase their brand awareness?

I’d like to think not.

And why insight is so powerful when used to shape every piece of communication. Creating a positive and lasting effect that resonates with our customers and ultimately builds brand loyalty.

Written by Sara Webb