Unlocking Opportunity with Demand Spaces: A Recipe for Success

This week, Mike Pavey, Senior Analytics consultant in our specialist data analytics team and Lorenza Edge from our Consumer team discuss a subject close to our hearts here at Incite: cake. They will also discuss the critical success factors for developing strategically powerful Demand Space frameworks. But mostly cake.

Select the right ingredients

Demand Spaces bring together multiple elements of the consumer decision-making process into one single framework; from the functional and emotional needs that underpin the decision, to the situational context in which the decision is made, to the characteristics of the person making the decision. And, crucially, there is a lot of flexibility in how these ingredients can be combined.

For example, to understand the person, we could segment the market by rigid dimensions like demographics. This leads to Demand Spaces that are easy to interpret, measure and action against, but that may not fully capture the complexity of the consumer behaviour.

An alternative approach is to include more fluid dimensions like consumer typologies, which are often driven by attitudes, values, and behaviours. This gives a much deeper understanding of the consumer, provides more guidance on the messaging that will resonate with them, and aligns with broader brand marketing efforts, but can be more difficult to interpret and target.

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to all possible recipes. The power of Demand Spaces comes from bringing together different dimensions of the consumer experience and the choice of which to include should be guided by how the Demand Space framework will ultimately be used and the decisions it will be used to inform.

Use the right tools and techniques

While there is much to be said for using industry expertise and sticky notes to identify opportunities and define the framework, it can often feel unscientific, and could lead to decisions being made that conform to previously held beliefs or adopt the safe position.

This is why we believe it is critical to use data to guide decision making when developing the Demand Space framework. Whether that involves throwing all of the ingredients into the mixer and using a statistically driven decision tree, or simplifying a matrix framework of typologies and need states by identifying groups with similar patterns of need or behaviour, analytics can be used to guide your decision making.

When used as a tool in the process alongside industry expertise, analytics can take a lot of the guesswork out of the process and ensure the Demand Spaces reveal new and different opportunities for your business.

Serving the perfect bake

The proof of a pudding is in the eating. And the proof of a Demand Spaces framework is in its use.

This means a process and structure that allows for critical thinking, creative inspiration and strategic decision making grounded in the framework and the data.

We have seen lots of recent examples of clients using Demand Spaces to great effect.

We helped one recent client use a Demand Spaces framework based on a matrix of shopper typologies and missions to optimise their brand portfolio strategy. They did this by allocating a core target Demand Space to each brand, ensuring the portfolio works cohesively to engage with the broadest possible range of consumers across differing consumer needs, while also avoiding conflicts within the portfolio.

The matrix framework allowed for a detailed understanding of how to win in each Demand Space, informing who to target, which needs to address, the tone to use and the touchpoints that are most relevant.

Just as in baking, the final judgement – and the difference between a Hollywood handshake and a soggy bottom – ultimately comes from successfully delivering each of these steps.

The right ingredients, put together in the right way and served up beautifully.

To hear more about how we can help, please get in touch.