The consumer-centricity lighthouse [an interview with L'Oréal]

Research shows that, out of every 100 people, 90 merely consume content, 9 will like, share or react to what is created, and only 1 will actually create something. This so-called ‘90-9-1 rule’ also exists in the context of brand-consumer collaborations. Our experience shows that a significant majority of people (around 90%) are able to and like to share feedback. Some 9% are extremely passionate and can articulate what’s new and next. And only 1% is truly innovative and creative. When rallying around business challenges, it’s thus vital to collaborate with the right consumer for the right task.

We invited Gaël Chevé, CMI International at L’Oréal Active Cosmetics (Cerave, La Roche Posay and Skinceuticals), to talk about the value of collaborating with ‘the 90’ or everyday consumers, and how this helps L’Oréal to further develop their consumer-centric thinking.

Gaël Chevé
CMI International
L’Oréal Active Cosmetics (Cerave, La Roche Posay and Skinceuticals)

The consumer-centricity lighthouse

At L’Oréal, we have been collaborating with everyday consumers in our ‘So HealthySquare since 2016. This online consumer community consists of a very diverse group of women, all interested in skincare and well-being in general, that give us a glimpse into their everyday reality. Our passionate marketers are super experts in their category and highly involved in the brand; but of course, it’s always possible that one over-rationalizes consumers’ spontaneous, sometimes even paradoxical, reactions.

In the ‘So Healthy’ community we connect and collaborate with real women, getting instant feedback from five different markets, which helps us to develop our consumer-centric thinking even further. We tap into the community for very tactical research challenges but also for slightly more strategic ones, mostly centered around marketing development. Think for example claim and packaging testing, but also uncovering shifting skincare needs across different markets around the globe.

Next to that, the InSites Consulting team has set up an ‘Adopt the consumer’ program where, for four months, marketers follow a consumer from the ‘So Healthy’ community and organize monthly web calls. This direct connection adds to our marketers’ consumer understanding and empathy. For example, having a woman talk about and show her skin problems during such a live call truly brings the daily struggles and needs of the consumer to life, inspiring and activating our internal stakeholders. These encounters really stick with them, and they also help our marketers to better communicate with consumers, adopting their language.

However, there is this famous quote attributed to Henry Ford: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” And indeed, everyday consumers can provide feedback – I would even call them our consumer-centricity lighthouse – but they cannot envision the future. That might be something to explore further in the next years – onboarding more visionary, leading-edge consumers to get an understanding of what’s new and next.

The consumer-centricity lighthouse [an interview with L'Oréal]
Unlocking the power of consumers

Unlocking the power of consumers

Different people come with a different set of unique skills and competences. Research has shown that out of every 100 people, 90 merely consume content, 9 will like, share or react to what is created, and only 1 will actually create something. And this is no different for consumers.

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