The Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance and Banking: The Customer Knows Best

by John Hoeppner– Jul 31 2014

The Customer Knows Best: Wall Street Needs to Prioritize Consumer Research


For consumer-facing businesses like restaurants, grocery stores, and automotive manufacturers, competition on price, quality, and convenience is fierce and leaves little space for differentiation. Yet, even in this parity market, companies such as Chipotle, Whole Foods, and Tesla have achieved spectacular growth. Are these companies positioning themselves in a significantly different way than rivals?


Mission Measurement research has shown that these companies have capitalized on emerging consumer demand that financial analysts have largely overlooked. To date, Wall Street’s use of deep consumer research has been limited. Most analysts use observable metrics like historical sales trends, demographic data, and business cycles to inform their sales forecasts. Still, direct consumer research is rare because extracting meaningful information from consumers is challenging. But consumer data is increasingly valuable, and for industries with largely undifferentiated products, understanding consumer decision-making is essential to forecasting sales growth.


Read the full article here.  Learn more about 2014 Summer Edition of the Journal here.

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