Customer Needs Analysis - Definition, Methods, and More

Customer needs refer to the different attributes of a service or product that motivates people to make a purchase. These factors commonly include affordable pricing, reliable quality, and efficient designs.

Businesses need to analyze their consumers' needs to fully understand who their customers are and how they can effectively fulfill their demands.

What is Customer Needs Analysis?

Customer needs analysis is the process of recognizing and assessing what customers require in a product or service. Businesses oftentimes use this form of analysis to improve their products and develop their brand image.

For example, if executives conduct a needs assessment and find that their shoppers prefer a wide range of options for their products, they can develop new colors and sizes for the specific item. However, if most of their shoppers require affordable prices in order to make a purchase, the business team should prioritize new methods to make a cost-efficient product.

Analyzing customer needs will also help businesses create effective marketing campaigns that target their consumers' desires. If a clothing company, for instance, has a consumer base that prefers sustainable practices, the marketing team could craft advertisements that highlight its green manufacturing methods.

Different Types of Customer Needs

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There are various factors that will motivate a customer to buy a product. The most common customer needs that businesses will often find are-

  • Pricing - Customers want items that are affordable or priced appropriately for their quality or function.
  • Convenience - Products or services should save consumers' time and be effortless to use.
  • Brand - People like products that look impressive and make them feel good about owning them.
  • Durability - Shoppers prefer investing in products that are dependable and have a long lifespan.
  • Packaging - Products that are resealable, reusable, or recyclable can attract consumers.
  • Effective - Customers want products that will function the way it is advertised.
  • Formulation - Many consumers will want items that contain desirable ingredients or are free of unwanted components. For instance, a shopper may want gluten-free bread or candles that have essential oils.

3 Approaches For Customer Needs Analyses

Businesses can conduct a customer needs analysis using the 3 best practices.

1. Assess Existing Data

Businesses can track their customer needs by assessing customer feedback, historical surveys, and call logs from customer support systems.

This is a cost-efficient method that enables executives to understand what consumers expect or want from a business's product or services.

2. Identify the Customer Journey

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By mapping the customer journey, executives can visualize how their consumers encounter their products and services.

Businesses that have full visibility into how shoppers find their brand and how they interact with their goods will have the ability to identify opportunities to improve their engagement.

3. Examine Cause and Effect Relationship

It is easier for business teams to uncover and address problems by looking at the effect that their service or products have on consumers.

What are Brand Attitudes?

Brand attitudes refer to how shoppers perceive a brand or product and whether it can satisfy their needs.

Identifying customers' brand attitudes is an important step in surveying customer needs. Businesses can discover how customers think of them by conducting-

Top-of-Mind Imaging

People often generate positive and negative associations to a company's brand or its products due to various factors, such as pricing or ingredients. Businesses can examine their consumer's top-of-mind perceptions to understand how and why their brand is viewed a certain way.

Brand Category Analysis

This form of analysis allows managers to identify how consumers categorize their brand or products, as well as what attributes from their goods stand out. It also helps business teams assess their product features and how it compares to customer needs.

Contextual Environment Scan

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This method analyzes the environment that a company operates in, providing visibility into consumer's physical location, such as the place and time. It also shows people's mental needs, such as the need to feel relaxed and to minimize stress.

Understanding these attributes will help businesses create effective advertising that targets their consumer demands.

Preference Usage

Comparing brands based on shopper's preferences and usage can help businesses distinguish themselves from other companies.

Managers can use this analysis to understand their most successful features and how to leverage them to increase sales.

Purchase Timing

Businesses can examine when their customers use their products to better understand the brand choice.

For example, a person with allergies may only use a brand's allergy reliever at night due to its drowsiness effect or when they have full-blown symptoms.

Brand Substitution Analysis

This form of analysis gives businesses insight into how likely a customer would substitute their current brand with another and why.

By examining a brand's degree of substitutability, executives can implement adjustments to their products or services to enhance their usability.

By being cognizant of customer needs, businesses will have a strong foundation to create and sell products and services that will effectively satisfy demands.