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Complex products: our new approach to evaluate customer interest

Innovative products such as financial services and tech products are both integrated in our everyday lives, but it is very difficult for a future buyer to understand. What are the reasons for choosing a complex product? Strategir has introduced a new approach for evaluating potential of complex offers: the conviction path. Presentation by Eléonore Papeix, services development director.

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What is the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world?

The Anglo-Saxons speak of the VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) has become complex and uncertain word, confronting us with new questions.

This VUCA world has existed since the dawn of digital technology some twenty years ago. It has been accelerating all the time. So, how do you communicate simply to novice consumers about the ever-increasing number of complex products on the market?

In this context, the Strategir teams conducted a cross-cutting study to identify a method for evaluating the interest and potential of complex offers.

What is a complex product?

complex product is a product or a technical service that includes several components that will influence the choice.

The consumer is supposed to embrace all the elements of the offer, all the options offered to them to make his choice. This will force them to immerse with the product by increasing their technical competence and avoid making mistakes. It can also be the same for an innovative product that is so new that consumers find it difficult to approach.

What are the reasons for choosing a complex product?

Simplified choice by brand or price

To make their choice easier, consumers tend to make decision shortcuts, such as choosing a telecom offer by brand or by price.

New parameters when the offer is new

What happens when the offer is brand new? For example, with 5G in mobile phones, there are still many new and complex parameters that the consumer must evaluate, which can ultimately put them off and reduce their speed of acceptance.

At the same time, some products can evolve in environments that add another layer of complexity.

Technical, as well as emotional and social factors

In the case of financial products, a client will have to make many choices that concerns technical, but also emotional and social elements.

How did Strategir previously assess the value of a complex offer?

A client with little commitment when faced with a complex offer description

Based on observations, when it came to evaluating this type of offer, Strategir’s first choice was to focus on the consumer themselves. Most of the time, they are far removed from the complex offer, not very attentive and not very committed. Very often, the consumer is not sufficiently knowledgeable to be able to make technical trade-offs between the different options and to make conscious choices.

The major risk is that the consumer answer to our surveys to please us, more than to truly evaluate the new offer. Or even worse, the risk is that they make a wrong choice in a sincere way, completely missing their real needs.

Over-simplification of the offer

Our second bias was a “simplistic” approach, which did not reflect the full complexity of the product. We evaluated the offer in a “flat” manner, seeking to highlight one main characteristic. However, generally speaking, when all the factors are added together as a whole,  it shows different dynamics of acceptance or rejection. Worse: in our old approach, we could have linked characteristics that did not make sense to the client.

Finally, our old methods were most often product centric, they were almost exclusively focused on the product, and not on the individuals themselves with their knowledge, needs and constraints.

What is Strategir’s new approach for understanding consumer appetite for a complex product?

Based on these learnings, Strategir has come up with a new method that makes it possible to better understand which dimensions and arguments generate customer appetite and how to integrate them into the story told by these new products. This method is designed for taking actions by the new way of understanding the exploration, understanding and reception of your innovations.

The objective is to help improving your performance by understanding the individuals holistically (parent, saver, professional, enthusiast) to identify all the paths of thoughts and suggest opportunities for promotions and enhancement of your offers.

To do this, our aim is to observe appeal of an offer from the angle of preference and opinion on a combination of criteria (versus product evaluation on its individual components and characteristics that do not make sense), via a method that combines an exploratory and statistical evaluation.

At Strategir, our aim is to help you weave the path of conviction to develop the right messages for the right target and at the right time to better convince and transform sales.