Complex products: our new method to evaluate their interest for customers

Some innovative products such as financial services or technological products are both familiar and everyday, but very difficult to understand for a future buyer. What are the reasons for choosing a complex product? Strategir has devised a new method for evaluating 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) which has become complex and uncertain, confronting us with new questions.

This VUCA world has existed since the advent of technology and digital technology some twenty years ago. It is 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?

A 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 dimensions of the offer, all the options offered to him to make his choice. This will imply for him to immerse himself in the product to increase his technical competence and to avoid making mistakes. It can also be 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

In some cases, to make their choice easier, consumers will tend to create 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 telephony, there are still many new and complex parameters that the consumer must evaluate in their entirety, 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, but also emotional and social factors

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

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 these observations, when it came to evaluating this type of offer, Strategir’s first choice was to focus on the consumer himself. Most of the time, they are far removed from the complex offer, not very attentive and not very committed. Very often the respondent 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 he answers “next to” our surveys to please us, more than to really evaluate this new offer. Or even worse, the risk is that he makes the wrong choice in a sincere way, but completely misses his real need.

Over-simplification of the offer

Strategir’s second bias was a “simplistic” approach, which did not reflect the complexity of the product. Strategir evaluated the offer in a “flat” manner, seeking to highlight one main characteristic. However, generally speaking, it is a whole set of factors that, when added together, will create acceptance or rejection. Worse: in our methods, we could link characteristics together that did not make sense to the client.

Finally, our methods were most often product centric, they were almost exclusively focused on the product, and not on the individual himself with his knowledge, his needs and his constraints.

What is Strategir’s new method for understanding consumer appetence for a complex product?

Faced with these observations, Strategir has thought about a new method that makes it possible to 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 action thanks to a new way of understanding the exploration, understanding and reception of your innovations.

The objective is to help you perform by understanding the individual in his or her entirety (parent, saver, professional, enthusiast) in order to identify all the paths of thought and give you arguments for the promotion and enhancement of your offers.

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

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