In order to build a successful company, first, you need to focus on transforming your ideas into a real product or service. As a consequence you need to understand your consumer behavior and acknowledge their mind and heart. Let’s begin to answer the following questions: Who is my consumer? What are their passions and desires? What are their dreams? Be in their shoes, in order to understand what is important and what are their values and what will be the most important characteristics in their buying behavior.
As you collect all the available on your consumer behavior, from web analytics and social media monitoring tools, pay attention to the following personas: connectors and new media influencers.
Getting tactical, to understand their online behavior through their daily journey, one can start with the about section in Facebook to gain some context. Life details show up through photo streams, locations and places plays an important role in understanding their connections. Subsequently, it pays to be attentive to their “Like “ journey through TV shows, music, books, groups and others so you can perceive the cultural environment of your consumer. At the same time to develop an encompassing persona of their online behavior, it is time to deepen the picture with more details from observing and collecting behavioral patterns from complimentary networks such as Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Youtube, Twitter and Linkedin.
In order to understand how we can apply Netnography to a variety of segments, let us explore a case in the children’s fashion industry, where our main goal was to understand the transformed environment of a mother.
We studied and collected answers to questions on buying behavior of moms to acquire the best quality and price in the most important products used in the first year of the newborn. We did this across various social networks and discussion groups, where we came across a variety of resources from special lists with the priority items. We also studied varied socio-economic contexts including moms who could afford to travel and buy in the USA and those buying in outlets and thrift shops due to lack of alternatives because they needed to save money. Such a study enabled very unforeseen but pivotal insights for the entrepreneur focusing on creating new services or products to the children’s industry.
In this specific case, the children’s fashion brand redesigned their communication channels in order to interact and acquire mothers that were already consuming international brands. They opened a channel with outlets and specialized thrift shops that stocked international brands.
As a method, “netnography” is faster, simpler, and less expensive than traditional ethnography, and more naturalistic and unobtrusive than focus groups or interviews. It provides information on the symbolism, meanings, and consumption patterns of online consumer groups. Netnography is the secret weapon for growth hackers trying to build the next big consumer facing startup.