For this episode, we had Ahmed Abdelhamid, a seasoned market research expert who heads Market Research and Consumer Insights for one of the most trusted brands in Kuwait, which has a significant footprint across the Arab region. During the discussion, he shed light on why organisations can not paint all Arab consumers with the same brush, in that context he spoke about the distinctiveness of the Kuwaiti consumer and the risks associated with organisations considering Kuwait as a “roll-out” market.
During the discussion he discussed the current status of Market Research, the challenges, his first-hand experience with AI-powered Consumer Insights and his take on the future of the industry.
Here are some key aways from this episode:
- The misconception of treating Arab countries as a homogeneous entity is debunked, emphasising the need for market-specific strategies. Kuwait for instance is not simply a “roll-out” market where strategies from neighbouring countries can be replicated without adaptation.
- Kuwait stands out as a rich and culturally vibrant nation, offering unexpected insights that can only be uncovered through in-depth study and understanding. For instance, while comparing Kuwait to Saudi Arabia, it becomes evident that the market demand for high-protein in Saudi is driven by gym-goers but in Kuwait the need is wider where consumers acknowledge the role of each Macronutrient, that is, Fats, Carbs and Protein. Failure to understand such nuances may lead to ineffective marketing campaigns and missed opportunities.
- Market Research is crucial for market viability and success. Investing in comprehensive consumer insights helps companies avoid pitfalls such as launching products with inappropriate names or targeting niche segments without considering broader consumer preferences. Although conducting research in Kuwait can be challenging, given factors like time constraints and locals’ hesitancy to participate, the cost of research is far outweighed by the potential costs of launching ineffective products or underestimating market dynamics.
- Over the years, research methodologies in Kuwait have evolved from traditional pen and paper surveys to more advanced solutions. The introduction of mobile research brought some advancements. Now you can leverage AI-powered research for faster insights, especially to identify trends and to truly differentiate between what is trending vs. what is a trend.
- Before the advent of AI, researchers manually analysed data to gain passive insights available in the online space. AI-powered research has revolutionised the ability to mine data efficiently, leveraging organic consumer feedback online. It has the potential to address issues like overclaiming and underclaiming, as it allows for anonymous and candid responses. However, AI research should be seen as a complement to traditional research, as both methodologies serve distinct purposes.
- Despite the challenges, there is optimism about the future of Market Research in Kuwait. With the recent influx of global companies, like Google, and the emergence of platforms dedicated to consumer reviews, the culture of expressing opinions and reviewing brands is expected to grow.
- There is an uphill battle of motivating colleagues and industry peers to embrace new research approaches. While some are receptive to change, others are resistant due to the limited scope of research in Kuwait, primarily focused on customer satisfaction within banking and telecom sectors. To drive progress, it is crucial for FMCG companies and organisations in various domains to recognize the value of research and invest in its implementation.
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You can also watch the full recording on our Youtube account below.