Shifting from Forecasting to Foreseeing

What is it about customers that companies and brands across the world invest so much capital to understand? Customers can be unpredictable in their brand loyalty. Their needs and preferences can be constant and constantly changing at the same time.

Given the complexities in customers' buying preferences, brands are considerably involved in understanding customers' needs on one hand and trying to forecast future buying patterns on the other. The genesis of marketing research was rooted in such a need. Firms such as Nielsen, TNS and Synovate help companies understand their customers' buying habits and evolving preferences.

Despite the evolution of sophisticated techniques that can help brands forecast customers' potential preferences, they are also limited by their focus on forecasting based on prior usage and buying patterns. However, mere forecasting is not sufficient for brands to compete.

The emergence of global brands has ushered in a paradigm shift in the way companies understand their customers' needs and preferences. This shift is from forecasting based on past usage, buying patterns and preferences to foreseeing based on real-time interaction between brands and their customers. Such a shift is based on enhanced opportunities for brand experiences.

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