Discover the Power of Online Communities for Co-Creative Innovation

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Susannah Croucher, Research Director

04 Feb, 2019 | 2 minute read

When it comes to online communities, they’ve been around for a while in the world of market research. They are a valuable, agile tool in the research space – allowing us to engage with consumers at times and environments that suit them. Naturally, this has led to the development of on-going long-term communities, in which consumers sign up to input on specific topics or brands for an extended period. These long-term communities have provided brand owners with amazingly powerful insight into the lives of their consumers, bringing them to the very heart of strategic business decisions.

When developing our own long-term community offer at MMR, we wanted to create something a bit different for our clients. By partnering with best in class platform providers, we’re able to blend the power of technology with our unrivalled sensory branding expertise - all under one roof and managed by our expert team of researchers who know CPG inside and out.

I’m proud to be the Communities Expert at MMR and introduce our long-term innovation community offer; Consumer driven co-creation & guidance throughout the entire innovation process, designed to minimize risk and maximize success. We like to call it the ultimate approach to flexible, agile and ‘always-on’ consumer research.

The biggest, most flexible asset of a long-term community is the seamless blend between qualitative and quantitative research approaches, making it totally agile to the needs of your brand. Anything you can do with ad-hoc research you can do with a community – discussions, surveys, groups, videos, shopper diaries, product trial - the world is your oyster. With a planned research program to keep your community engaged, all managed by your dedicated community leader, the community offers total flexibility - allowing you to save time and money, as well as ask all those questions you never get the chance to ask during the normal research process. I’m sure we can all remember a time when we’ve needed a consumer answer for the 10am board meeting the next day – with a community, you can have qualitative and quantitative feedback in your inbox for 9.15am!

Crucially, a community is so much more than a panel of consumers to call on as and when you need to; it’s about getting under the skin of consumers, bringing them right to the heart of your business and getting a head start in any research projects. Working with your community in-depth, be that creating a specific innovation of a new brand / product, or on-going to fuel an ever-changing innovation pipe line, a long-term community is the ideal way to transform the process by creating a true test-and-learn environment. An online community can provide essential consumer-driven reassurance, ideal for passing key stage-gates – powerful stuff given the pressures on cost and time in the current research landscape.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing more about long-term communities from MMR and how they can help your business, so if we’ve piqued your interest look out for our next blog from Caroline, our Global Sensory Solutions Director, on how we put our money where our mouth is and used a long-term community for our internal MMR Design Thinking Challenge last year.

Want to know more? Get in touch and I’d be delighted to discuss how MMR can partner with you on your next community adventure!

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