Consumer attitudes to innovation defy conventional wisdom, says Kline

Do C&T companies lack sustainable practices?

A new report from Kline & Company has revealed that attitudes among US consumers toward innovation are not what conventional wisdom dictates. According to KlinePulse: Consumer Insights of Personal Care Innovation USA 2010, consumers recognise an innovative product when they see one, but the report also reveals that innovation is not foremost in all consumers’ minds. Analysis of the differences between various age and ethnic groups showed interesting differences between the importance of innovation, with some consumers saying that innovation should be balanced with stability and reliability.

The report, says Kline, was conducted using emerging research methodology to quantify qualitative results. Based on a mix of complexity science, cognitive science and cultural anthropology, the approach combines open-ended indirect questioning techniques with three other types of questions and provides respondents with the opportunity to share their experiences and suggest ideas.

The research also uncovered differences between consumers’ current perception of the industry and desired reality. For example, consumers envision their product ideas being made by innovative, creative companies that are environmentally and socially responsible, but from experience they perceive C&T companies as lacking sustainable practices.

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