Working independently and in concert with Kearney teams and clients across a variety of practices, industries, and geographies, as well as with our network of external experts, the KCI creates original, thoughtful, and provocative consumer insights and solutions that cut through traditional corporate clichés and institutional industry wisdom to address and anticipate the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s consumers. Using our real-world experience and expertise across a variety of markets and industries alongside original, customized consumer research we develop provocative and insightful positions on established consumer trends, identify new trends, and deliver original, insightful, and often provocative, real-time marketing insights.

Our goal is to make KCI, and our clients, smarter, not by putting together heavy decks and documents, but by shining a fresh light on customer insights based on what consumers are telling us they need and want from the companies that serve them, and having productive, personalized discussions. We develop cross-category and global viewpoints, focused on overall consumer behavior, attitudes, and values, expressed through stories supported by data that allow us to trace the progress of consumer change in ways that clients can easily act on. We are dedicated to helping our clients better address the needs of their consumers, which isn’t always easy.

Consumers, and people, all of us, are complex creatures. Sophisticated yet naive. Impulsive yet methodical. Indulgent yet thrifty. We behave in ways that we often can’t explain and can’t predict. Our spending behavior is no exception—whether it be goods or services, experiences or content. As our options of how, where, and what to buy increase, so do the challenges of understanding consumer behavior, habits, and rationales.

The one constant is that, without consumer-first commitment, companies that rely on these consumers will continue to struggle and fail, one after another. Not only are consumers evolving; they have run out of patience.

In today’s market, where everything starts and stops with the consumer, missteps are instantly noted and quickly punished. By the same token, decisions based on a genuine, deep, and accurate understanding of shoppers gives organizations both an edge and a clear point of differentiation that can be used to advantage across everything from advertising strategy to new product development.

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The Kearney Consumer Institute is led by Katie Thomas and supported by the Kearney Consumer and Retail Practice and consultants across all practices.