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ADK Insights

Millennials' unpredictability is rewriting the rules of consumerism

Consumers are not afraid to voice their views and demand change from brands.
Consumers are not afraid to voice their views and demand change from brands.

Insights consultancy ADK Insights believes that the Netherlands' creative and technological milieu make it perfect for keeping up with the unpredictability of millennials.

Rob Findlay
Managing Director, Brand and Communications Strategy
ADK Insights

One of our biggest challenges these days is navigating the unpredictability of the millennial generation. Insight businesses such as ours have proven their worth to clients over the years by having an ability to pinpoint hidden consumer needs and translate emerging trends into ideas that help brands grow. We are now faced with a generation that is rewriting the rules of consumerism and redefining how it wants to engage with brands. Buying less and owning less have greater social currency than traditional dynamics based on having the latest and owning the best. 

It is having a profound impact on new product development because many sectors, such as automotive and consumer technology, which have relied massively on innovation to grow market share, now face a reality in which consumers are drawn less to new product specifications and are more interested in what brands stand for as a whole and how they can make lives easier and more connected. It is challenging brands to look beyond their established terms of reference and to seek out partners who can contribute to the future needs of their consumers. Disruptive players and newcomers often get a fast track to acceptance and credibility, making it even tougher for established brands to stay relevant for younger generations.

Fresh Engagement
Consumers are not afraid to voice their views and demand change from brands. Our task is to extract insights using techniques that respect how consumers want to conduct a new kind of conversation with brands. Ethnographic techniques, video graphics and gaming-inspired interfaces, video diaries and self-reporting techniques enable consumers, particularly younger ones, to express themselves using the media that are part of their everyday reality. Output needs to be contextualized and prioritized for mid-term feasibility and long-term business planning. So, in addition to stimulating the innovation drive by representing the consumer’s perspective, we develop the metrics to validate ideas, measure impact and manage risk. 

After all, consumer desire is one thing, but the business case still needs to stand up. 

Brand: Bosch
Client: Robert Bosch Group (Stuttgart, Germany)

The story: This assignment involved tracking and analysing corporate brand reputation in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Brand: Kikkoman
Client: Kikkoman Europe (Dusseldorf, Germany)

The story: This involved tracking European condiment use and consumer insights since 2009 in 25 countries. It helped to make Kikkoman a new force in modern European home cooking.

Brand: De’Longhi
Client: De’Longhi (Treviso, Italy) 

The story: This project was about segmenting coffee drinkers and exploring the potential for the high-end home espresso machine, finding the triggers in the European purchase journey.

Brand: Nikon
Client: Nikon Global (Singapore) 

The story: This task was about defining the global roadmap of brand futures: the imaging needs for today’s connected lives; the rise of the smartphone; and innovation potential.

ADK Insights in numbers

  • 15 analysts and planners
  • 10 languages
  • 1 global insights hub
  • 7 nationalities

Low barriers to change

Nimrod Moyal
managing director, research design, analysis and innovation
ADK Insights

Every project at ADK Insights starts with a clean page. We have our tried-and-tested tools and methodologies, but each project begins with a thorough interrogation of the client’s brief and business context. We then design the research approach to meet these key business challenges.

We specialise in multimarket assignments and frequently work with clients facing significant new challenges. They may be entering new markets, developing new concepts and products, or dealing with fast-changing category dynamics.

The Netherlands is an exceptional place to take advantage of changing circumstances. People are open-minded and constantly looking for new ideas. Barriers to change are low. Adoption of new technology is high.

Sitting at the crossroads of Europe, between the major markets of the UK, Germany and France, we have developed a characteristic agility of thinking that means no one national idea dominates.

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