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    Toluna and Sony Europe Partner to Ensure Success of Key Product Launches

    James Pickles, Director, Client Solutions

    Mark Gurney, Head of Consumer Insights for Sony Europe, faces a situation now confronting so many people in positions like his. He needs to be able to provide immediate and accurate customer insights.  In a highly competitive global market—where consumers are apt to post impressions of products on message boards and in social media—a company like Sony needs to ensure that they take advantage of customer sentiment in real-time.

    In one particular case, following an important launch of the company’s new, 4K TV, Mark conducted a survey of early TV buyers to determine how the quite large TVs were being used and displayed in the home. First, a group of TV buyers had to be assembled. This was a challenge because the product has a typically upscale, tech-savvy customer base – often a challenging group to find and survey.

    Mark found that early buyers of the 4K who opted for wall mounting had to buy an additional bracket not included with the original product parts.  Following the survey, Mark was able to get results back to his product team in just 24 hours. The insight allowed the product team to add to the product package an extra fitting to allow the stand to be used as a wall mount.  While customers weren’t venting their frustrations to SONY, Mark did find an opportunity to improve the product in real-time and ensure product success.

    “We had a very small window of opportunity to get the information we needed to feed back to our development team, so they could make any necessary product changes. In this case, we only had a few short weeks before the opportunity to make changes would be lost,” Mark explains.

    And as global competition continues to increase for companies like Sony, so too does the pressure to access customer insights in an ever-shrinking timeframe.

    “Customers under pressure from shrinking windows of opportunity, along with constantly increasing competition, are finding that quick-turn research can get them the results they need quickly and inexpensively,” explains James Pickles, Director, Client Solutions, Toluna UK.

    For Mark, that meant giving his product team the information it needed to improve the product’s wall mount and increase customer satisfaction.  In an increasingly competitive market, that kind of agility is critical.

    “Our competitors are becoming more and more agile. If we are to succeed with new products, we need to give our customers exactly what they want with every launch. That means getting the information we need when we need it. We can’t afford to do anything less,” he concludes.