How customer insight can change perceptions about business and communication
How can we gain insights that give us the courage to break with our own and the industry’s preconceived notions about what constitutes “correct” marketing? How do we gain the strength to change already taken business decisions? The answer: through consistent work on customer experience.
Nordhem is a premium brand in the bathroom industry, designing and producing exclusive heated towel rails, bathtubs and accessories. When the company first got in touch with Erik Sanderoth at Valentin Experience it had just begun the process of selecting an advertising agency. Ahead of the first meeting, Erik conducted a virtual customer visit during which he internalised both the fun and the problems associated with bathroom renovation.
Peter Läkk, marketing manager at Nordhem, relates: “It opened up a new way for me to think. Definitely an “Aha!” experience, one that was absolutely crucial when I subsequently made my choice of advertising agency.”
The customers have the answers – so ask them
When the time came for the actual customer visit, a lot of preparatory work was first undertaken. Together with Nordhem we visited dealers in Sweden’s three biggest cities and interviewed both staff and customers. The conclusions we drew from these visits were later used to develop prototype store materials, and to come up with a new communicative expression that was a clear departure from the industry’s previous marketing tonality. We could identify what type of communication and information was lacking in the journey from concept to finished product, and Nordhem was able to fill in the gaps.
Peter Läkk again: “A few things that we had previously guessed were now firmly confirmed, but equally importantly we also gained entirely new insights. Findings we’d never have come up with if we hadn’t used Service Design.”
Working with customer experience provided answers to key questions, such as where Nordhem should position itself and how the company should communicate. And what could be done to further boost Nordhem’s excellent relationship with its dealers. It was also possible to identify a number of consumer categories and select which were most suitable for Nordhem’s focus.
Peter Läkk Marketing Director - Nordhem
A few things that we had previously guessed were now firmly confirmed, but equally importantly we also gained entirely new insights. Findings we’d never have come up with if we hadn’t used Service Design.
The right communication to the right target group via the right channel
Several of the insights dealt with the consumer’s emotive attitude. These insights formed the basis for the communicative expression and marketing concept. The message “Bathroom. Breathing-room. Relaxation room.” became the inspiration for an entirely new way of communicating this type of product.
Peter Läkk: “Getting to meet and learn more from the people who sell and use our products, every day in real life, is the most important aspect of all. It’s something we should never lose sight of, but other priorities often take over.”
Consensus among all concerned
In addition to the marketing manager, the owners and top management were also keenly interested in the survey and its results. As a result there is a clear and uniform image throughout the company from the very top down about what the challenges are and which priorities require implementation.
Furthermore, this work was securely anchored throughout the Nordhem organisation and in all the teams at the agency, not just with a KAM and marketing manager. Consequently, the communication is more clearly targeted since everyone works with the very same insights.
Business decision based on consumer insights
Backed by the lessons of the customer experience project, Nordhem withdrew from a market segment that the company had previously considered entering. Nordhem also stopped a planned major investment that it turned out had not been requested by anyone.
Peter Läkk once more: “We’ve noticed a whole lot of things that we would like to implement. Our list is long!” he laughs and continues: “So it’s just a matter of setting our priorities and getting down to it. And this time we know we have the right priorities!”
Valentin Experience is providing all the consumer material and developing a new digital platform, all based on insights about customer and dealer behaviour and wishes.
For instance, Nordhem withdrew from a market segment that the company had previously considered entering, and stopped a planned major investment that it turned out had not been requested by anyone.
We saw that the bathroom industry’s expression was clinical, rational and product-focused. Both we and the customers noted a lack of any emotional dimension, and the more involved we became with the project the clearer it became just how important an oasis the bathroom really is. It’s a place that accommodates an entire lifetime. We chose to express it through the concept of “Bathroom. Breathing-room. Relaxation room.” where the products themselves take a back seat while life and emotion are in focus. Based on the new concept we reorganised the graphic identity, external communication and sales tools while at the same time improving the in-store experience and creating a new digital platform.
Our journey together with Nordhem has only just started, but Nordhem already stands out among the competition. Thanks to insights about end-customer and dealer needs and behaviour we have created communication that truly deserves its place in people’s lives.