Market research: A new generation on the go

Date of publication: September 19, 2004


This paper shows how the market research department role can be transformed from being a mere provider of data that brings limited value, into becoming a strategic partner that offers crucial consumer insight and enables sound business decisions. Concrete experience at Unilever Belgium is discussed, revealing their 'step by step' approach. The success factors in this remarkable journey are identified: create an aspirational vision that announces the intended added-value and involves the whole team, bring this vision to life within the company; develop, train and coach the team towards new competencies; give visibility to the department through central 'added-value' activities, use outstanding processes and tools for 'consumer understanding, consumer insights and creativity', involve research agencies in a 'partnership spirit'. In particular the paper illustrates the 'Unilever Reconnect with the Consumer for Growth' program to move from a business that is good at market research into a business that is 'world-class at consumer insight', and how it has helped further strengthen the market research role in the organization ... the 'virtuous circle of success'.

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