Hong Kong’s smart(er) companies are discovering a powerful new resource that helps prepare them to better position their brands, products and services based on a more accurate view of their customer demographics, purchasing behavior, market trends, etc. You can too. Read on.

Cheah Kim Lean, CEO and Founder.

Startups, SMEs and even multinationals are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with minute-to-minute changes in the consumer market. The internet is bringing consumers varied choice, leaving companies with two clear paths – hit the market at random or; research, aim carefully and hit the target.   

Acorn Marketing & Research Consultants provide consultancy services through concrete, actionable research for clients to help them identify strategies to improve customer experience for their products and services, says Cheah Kim Lean, the firm’s CEO and Founder.

The firm is well known across Asia and its services goes beyond providing data and insights to showing roadmaps for change, growth and innovations that create customer passion for brands – through research of customer aspirations, feelings, needs and wants.

“We should not compete in the analytics space, but beyond, in order to be customer journey-centric and concretize customer experience for clients.” – Cheah Kim Lean, CEO and Founder.

Learning Curve

“A lot of companies do not really appreciate the power of marketing research, they tend to use marketing research to verify their own positions and hypotheses,” says Cheah.

“They overlook the opportunity to identify unmet needs and creating value through customer experience or understanding the customer journey. They are often focused on tactical activities, copying competitors and brand leaders. They do not realize that more market choice means differentiation is what win customers from competitors, not more sameness.”

Customised Solutions!

She says, while the market for quality customer research is growing, competition from international players has become much stronger over the last 25 years. “MNCs from Europe and the US buy marketing research for all their markets from international marketing research companies from their home countries, so Asian based companies like Acorn Marketing & Research Consultants got cut off from large multi nationals. Major competitors also compete on price because they are more interested in the topline than bottom line. Quality of work suffers when they do not charge enough to do a good job. In recent years, many technology companies get into AI, big data analytics and compete with classical marketing research companies to provide information and data to clients. We should not compete only in the analytics space, but beyond, in order to be customer journey-centric and concretize customer experience for clients.”

Acorn Marketing & Research Consultants receives the trophy of excellence at Mediazone’s Most Valuable Companies in Hong Kong 2020 awards ceremony.

“We succeed because we embrace innovative thinking, offer high value consultancy service capability, multi-tool access, strategic thinking and a strong value proposition to reach international clients.”

Asked about the common pitfalls customers face when looking for a competent research company, Cheah says, “assuming that the lowest costs and the least experienced researchers will be sufficient to deliver the required partnership. Not wanting to move away from traditional marketing research practices or use technology to drive new and more sophisticated types of analyses.”

Value-Added ‘People Before Business’ Approach

Cheah says: “For us people come first before business whether they are clients, staff or the consumers we research. People who work with Acorn especially, must go out better in every way than when they join us, as sons, daughters, friends, clients, researchers, parents and as business partners. We place the highest importance on training people to think, to ask the right questions, to deliver insights in a strategic and actionable manner, to grow and to have high moral values. From the start our logo is Rodin’s Thinking Man and our name is Acorn (a small seed of a big oak tree).”

For additional information, please visit www.acornasia.com

Hong Kong’s Business Leaders share market and interest intelligence in the pages of HKMVC 2020