Let Consumer Insights Illuminate The Answers

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If you’re facing a specific challenge involving customers, employees, or users, Langston’s experts in human behavior can get to the bottom of it.

Many challenges stem from the simple fact that customers are difficult to fully understand. Our specialty in understanding human behavior allows our clients to unlock game-changing insights about how and why people behave in their industry.

 
 

Our Favorite Challenges to Solve

 
 
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Purchase Barriers

“We know that a lot of people are aware of our brand but don’t buy from us. We understand some of the barriers to purchase but they seem difficult or impossible to address. We don’t know how to get people from awareness to consideration to purchase.”

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The 80/20 Problem

“80% of our revenue comes from 20% of our customers. Its risky for us to depend on that small group of customers for financial success. What’s more, we have paid to acquire all those other customers that don’t spend much with us. We need to convert more of our customers into power buyers.”

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Mysterious Market Segment

“There is a particular customer segment that we want to break into - either a demographic group, a premium group, or a totally untapped consumer group. We aren’t sure what makes them tick and how to ensure our products and marketing are speaking to them. We have a lot to gain by getting attention from this consumer group.”

 
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Plateaued Growth

“Growth has slowed and we don’t know why our marketing channels have become less efficient. In many cases, our customer satisfaction numbers are still strong and we aren’t sure why our customer acquisition economics have taken a turn for the worse.”

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All Things to All People

“We are serving all customers but we’re serving no one well. We don’t know what features to build, how to market effectively, or how to price our products because we can’t afford to neglect any of our diverse customer segments.”

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High Churn

“Our churn rate is high in a subscription-based model. In a transaction-based business, our existing customers are not returning. In the past, customers return within months and spend increasingly more money in each cart but that trend is withering. We don’t know why.”

 

How We Do It

We use a wide variety of techniques to uncover the truth behind customer decisions in your market. Every Langston project involves a custom-designed methodology that meets the circumstances, nuances, and budget of the situation at hand. Share the basics of your challenge with us, and we will craft a custom research plan just for you.


 

Interviews

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The best way to understand your customers is also the simplest - just talk to them. We encourage all of our clients (and indeed everyone in business) to regularly talk with their customers. In fact, we often find that the most threatening challenges in business often arise out of the simple fact that owners and managers have stopped talking to customers as they focus on internal issues and lose touch with the needs and desires of the people they’re selling to.

Despite their importance and convenience, interviews can also be dangerous. The interview setting creates a breeding ground for cognitive bias, misinterpretation, and over-emphasis on the part of the interviewer. Companies wrestling with a specific challenge or opportunity should engage an expert for conducting interviews and analyzing the results. The Langston Co combines expertise across many disciplines with our mastery of the latest research in human psychology and interview methods to deliver reliable and impactful information from customer interviews.


 

In-Space Observation

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The most valuable insights about human behavior are almost never born in a controlled environment. True insights about how and why people take actions are generated in the space where decision-making occurs in every day life. That’s why The Langston Co. has achieved so much success studying people in their naturalistic environments.

Whether its inside the home, out shopping, or in the workplace, our expert ethnographic researchers meet customers where they are to uncover the most valuable insights about the beliefs, cultural norms, hopes, and motivations that drive people to do what they do.


 

Product Testing

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Great design always starts with empathy. Because of this, we tailor our product testing services to focus on understanding the details and implications of each user’s experience. We understand what works for them about a particular product and what doesn’t, what’s confusing and what makes sense, what is delightful and what is frustrating. But we also incorporate deeper questioning techniques to understand the rich emotional and behavioral drivers that explain why each of these things is true. We uncover how users want to feel while they use your product and compare that with how your product or prototype makes them feel, and use our understanding of the underlying desires to show you how to close the gap.

Product testing is not just for smartphone apps and websites. Customers interact with every product they buy, whether its a packaged good, a piece of content, or a personal service, and the best insights about those interactions are often found in the time and place that they take place in everyday life. Langston researchers meet users both inside and outside of controlled research environments, where we leverage our expertise in empathetic understanding to deliver powerful information about how your products make customers feel.


 

Jobs To Be Done Analysis

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A growing trend in consumer insights is the exploration of “jobs to be done” by products and services. In this mindset, researchers temporarily forget about product features or brand attribution and instead focus on the needs and desires of users. A famous example of this distinction is that a lawn and garden company might believe that a customer in the lawnmower section of a hardware store is looking for a product to cut the grass whereas she is actually looking to accomplish the job of having a tidy yard. A product developer believing that the user wants to cut the grass will be limited in the number of ways they can serve the customer while a product developer believing that the user wants a tidy yard has a much wider variety of creative options.

By understanding the “ideal state” of customers, we can understand more deeply the jobs that they are hiring products and services to accomplish. At The Langston Company, we specialize in combining expertise across disciplines in order to get to the core beliefs, needs, and hopes that drive customer behavior. When we apply this powerful skillset to the Jobs-to-be-Done methodology, our team unlocks new horizons for your business.


 

Willingness to Pay Assessment

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At Langston, our entire business is fueled by the understanding of a simple truth - that people buy and do things that they perceive as the most worth what they put in. A major part of that determination is how much a product costs. Langston’s pricing practice is based on years of practical experience pricing products in thriving businesses. Our understanding of the internal and external dynamics of pricing in an operating environment, combined with our team’s unmatched expertise in human behavior, allows us to identify opportunities for you to improve perceived value and maintain pricing power at the same time.

Let our seasoned research team explore the ways in which your customers understand pricing for your products - you will probably be surprised about how complex this relationship really is. We will dive into the relative value of different features as well as the competitive landscape and, most importantly, the impact of your product’s benefits on customers’ lives. Through this process, we construct a clear picture of your customers’ willingness to pay for your products and construct a set of tiers and options that keep your offering straightforward while still offering the choices that make customers feel empowered and ready to buy.


 

Laddering

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Believe it or not, most purchase decisions we make stem from much deeper hopes and ideals about our lives. Our choice of dog food is rooted in our vision for our family’s future. Our selection of car model stems from our beliefs about how humanity will thrive in the distant future. However subtle, each individual’s grand ideas about the world craft the lens through which they view products and services everyday. Good news - by understanding how these ideas are driving customers in your market, we can unlock product affinities that marketers and executives dream of.

The Langston Co. offers our ladder modeling services based on years of fine-tuning in our own practice, which allows us to quickly form a complex picture of the relationship between your products’ specific features and your customers’ core beliefs and hopes. With this map, we provide your team with a clear picture of the opportunity to connect with your customers at a much deeper level than the bullet-point list of product features. This connection empowers you to build more defensible, market-defining products as well as richer marketing campaigns that put your brand on an entirely separate level from competitors that are stuck A/B testing individual product attributes.