Sunsets are like a multi-layered cake with new textures, flavors and colors at each level. So too are consumers, but few companies ever get past the top. To truly understand consumers, you can’t just look at buying behavior. Nor can demographics tell you much, as it becomes increasingly similar to believe that two people might want the same things just because they are the same age. Nor can you learn much from generic market research, where average consumers are asked average questions and to give below average insight answers.
The key is to find category superconsumers, who have the depth and nuance to answer extreme questions (e.g., “what must be true to pay a 10x premium”) and provide extraordinary insights.
Otherwise, you’re just like a kid who simply eats the frosting off the top of a cake, without enjoying all it truly has to offer.