Consumers know the products that they use intimately. They know what works, what does not and how they could use it to make their lives better.
Consumers share their opinions with friends and relatives and these are informal. Information seeking is a key part of discussions, experience sharing is even more valuable, anecdotes are used more often than not to illustrate their points of view.
Consumers argue about their opinions. Not everybody agrees , they can get quite heated but more often than not life carry on aided by a beer or a cup of tea.
Their is enough trust to disagree, enough affection to move on to the next topic and sometimes even a little bit of envy. (Make sure she does not buy that ugly dress that looks so pretty on me.) (Non sequitur)
And customers often shop in groups. At the moment of truth, before buying the product, they ask their fellow shoppers, that deadly question,” So what do you think” and our answer in almost every case is silence or self service in a hypermarket or some abstract consumer ranking or even worse 150 consumer reviews.
And what else would we expect when in 99% of the case marketers design strategies for products that they do not use for customers whom they do not know with colleagues whom they do not trust (distribution channel sales people, marketing agencies) to please a boss whom they do not like.
The good news is that the consumers have no real choice because marketing group think is so strong that all marketers are the same.
But if you want to be different forget about meetings …..discuss the product, the consumer not only at meetings but at the water cooler, at lunch…..whenever it take your fancy.
But only if you are genuinely excited by the product or by a desire to make a difference in the life of the consumer because you know what happens in discussions right……fakes get found out very quickly.