by Carrie Janot
Vice President, Marketing

Moments that Matter – Product Usage

How to Craft Winning Product Usage Experiences

In the ever-evolving realm of consumer behavior, relying on traditional demographic-based strategies often proves insufficient. At InsightsNow, we understand that consumers are not mere statistical entities; they are unique individuals whose behaviors are shaped by the context of the moment they find themselves in. Whether individuals possess distinct traits or similarities, their actions are tied to the specific moments they experience.

Moments are contextual circumstances or occasions when a consumer interacts with your product. These moments encompass internal needs, such as hunger, and external motivators, including environmental or product-related experiences such as sensory cues.

We believe that to create product experiences that people love, it’s crucial to understand and influence key consumer momentssearch, shopping, usage and sharing.

Let’s dive deep into the usage moment – explore what defines this crucial interaction and unveil strategies for your product to win the hearts and minds of the consumer.

Understanding the Usage Moment

A usage moment spans a broad spectrum of product touchpoints; , from unpacking to disposal. Consider the usage moment of a frozen pizza: opening the box, unwrapping the plastic, checking cooking instructions, placing it in the oven, cutting, eating, and cleaning up. These are all integral components of the usage moment – a sequence of experiences involving the consumer’s interaction with the product.

Winning in the Usage Moment

There are three key design principles to winning moments of use:

1. Design Products that are Familiar with a Twist

Create products that offer a sense of familiarity with a distinctive twist. While familiarity helps orient consumers, the twist introduces product attributes delivering a unique benefit. Twists can effectively fill behavioral ‘whitespace’ by addressing unmet consumer aspirations or establishing a competitive edge through enhancing how a product delivers benefits in real-time usage scenarios. Think of Beyond Meat burgers – the familiarity aligns with what is expected from the category, but the twist is that this plant-based burger looks and tastes like real meat.

2. Go Beyond Liking

Move beyond mere liking; design products that evoke emotional impact. Emotional experiences form lasting memories, and a positive encounter generates emotions that leave enduring impressions. The twist in a product drives this emotional impact. The absence of the twist – to disrupt or compete within a category – results in a lack of connection to memorability; instead, the product is ordinary, blending with everything else.

3. Incorporate Cue-Driven Design

Integrate cues into products that signal the twist. Product cues are sensory qualities perceived during use moments, associated with differentiating benefits (the twist you will experience during product use). For example, tThe distinct (and not necessarily pleasant) flavor of original Listerine mouthwash, for instance, subconsciously signals cleanliness and freshness. A cue such as this brand-defining flavor signals the product is getting the job done, reinforcing the its unique value of the product.

To triumph in the usage moment, design principles must lead to a competitive advantage. Products that are familiar with a twist, go beyond liking, and incorporate cues signaling the twist deliver experiences that are rewarding and memorable. These experiences, uniquely associated with the brand, build lasting relationships necessary to win the usage moment.


Putting Strategies into Action

Insights are crucial for the three design principles that will win you the usage moment: they are indispensable for uncovering innovative twists that can either disrupt or compete within a category, providing brands with a competitive edge. Insights that transcend mere liking are vital for guiding product development, as they offer measures of implicit reactions that ensure products resonate emotionally with consumers. Insights play a crucial role in identifying the right cues to integrate into product design and packaging, signaling the unique twist that consumers will enjoy when using the product. By leveraging insights to inform these design principles, brands can create product usage experiences that deeply connect with consumers on both rational and emotional levels.