Who wants to be a consumer?

November 05, 2014 | Benoit Beaufils

Brands with purpose. Sustainability as a business driver. Social innovation. It seems like marketers and consultants everywhere are starting to explore new ways to make business a force of progress. The days of destructive business practices may well soon be over.

But one aspect of business remains stuck in its ancient ways, which poses a critical risk for real progress and change, because it is very often the genesis of thinking behind brands.

Market research today largely operates in the same way as it did 20 years ago. Most of our research conversations are framed within the context of a category, and seek to understand why and how consumers make their choices. We ask the same questions, so we keep getting the same answers.

In reality, the whole world has changed. Our research processes have missed an essential point in human history. We are no longer mere consumers, but have evolved to become social identity shapers, and it transforms the way we look at everything.

Read our full article on Research or download PDF.


Posted By Benoit Beaufils

Change and intuitive human understanding have been at the core of Benoit’s life. Twelve years of marketing experience at both Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola have prepared him well. Managing the marketing work of Coca-Cola in Belgium and Thailand in periods of deep crises gave him a unique insight into how brands can be shaped to best overcome cultural anxieties. Working as a consultant and researcher across Asia and Europe has given him further opportunities to facilitate change and engagement processes within companies and between companies and consumers. Benoit finds sources of inspiration living in a 100-inhabitant dust road serviced village on an Asian island and raising four children.

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