Behind the scenes at an Insight Hack

Innovation doesn’t exist without insight. It’s like trying to make a house without a foundation – it won’t remain standing for very long. But, stress testing uncovered insights can help create a firmer foundation for innovation.

To unlock consumer insights, the consumer really needs to be at the heart of the innovation. As part of our insight-led innovation process, we place insights directly into their hands at an Insight Hack. Their feedback is pulled out and used to co-create and develop products or services that they would use.

Spread out over two days, the first points to explore are the new insights, hypotheses and brand target audience, allowing us to dig deeper and add richness to our consumer understanding, before bringing them back on a second evening to develop product executions.

Not only do we think the consumers should be hands on – the clients should be too. Rather than hiding behind a mirror, we place the client in the room, right next to the consumers. This allows them to be in the thick of what the consumer has to say about their product or service and ask questions directly to them.

Exploring uncovered insights is a crucial stage of the innovation process and often leads brands to consider new ideas. By having a direct dialogue with their target consumers, fresh takes on an existing product range can be discovered or take them in new directions.

So what happens in an Insight Hack? Well, before it starts, we have to address the problem at hand.


For example, Scottish whisky brand, Glenfiddich came to us wanting to reconnect with a younger audience, to make whisky relevant for younger drinkers. Using insights and Glenfiddich’s desires, we defined a specific target audience and recruited groups of 25-35-year-old men with specific attributes and interests.

Insight hack sessions vary depending on a company’s unique challenges, but typically a session takes place over an evening or sometimes two. Working in groups, we move the insights into themes and ideas that can provide further understanding into consumer thinking.

Placing hand picked consumers alongside Glenfiddich employees and products (free alcohol always seems to be a good incentive), the first evening focused on streamlining insights and uncovering what consumers loved about the brand.

The second evening we focused on the commercial outcomes and insights – asking consumers to think about what whisky they’d drink vs which whisky they think would be commercially successful. While some ideas were more imaginative than others, they gave us a greater perception of what a potential Glenfiddich customer wants to drink.

The hack finale involves consumers pitching their ideas for the business to a panel of employees. From these pitches, themes are pulled to generate commercially viable ideas.

Rather than an exercise to design the product solution, an insight hack is a chance to truly understand consumers’ needs, emotions, and the reasoning behind their decisions. They ultimately allow us to lift their insights, analyse them, and develop them in the real world, into commercially viable innovations.

To find out on how an insight hack could help you uncover growth, get in touch: