Welcome back to our monthly series on CMF data!

In the last two chapters, we discussed the logic of applying data in CMF storytelling. In the following paragraphs, we will explore common sources of CMF data. Then, in the next chapter, we will start to delve into common mistakes when using CMF data.

Data comes in many formats. There’s no right or wrong answer, but it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each. This way, when you are in situations where data can help to strength your CMF storytelling, you will know how and when to use it effectively.

Sales records are usually automatically generated when a product is purchased or activated by customers. They often include CMF-relevant information such as retail price, color SKUs, and/or product pairings, making them very convenient to keep up-to-date and accumulate a large amount of quantitative data.

However, sales data is typically highly confidential and restricted to internal use only. In many cases, even within a company, it requires special approval to access sales records. It is nearly impossible to obtain accurate sales records of other companies because no company would want this sensitive information to fall in the hand of competitors.

It is also important to note that sales records reflect the past sales, not future trends. We must not be confused by the fact that sales records only reveal the performance of those specific CMF scenarios released to the market. They do not represent future trends or the full range of CMF possibilities.

Consumer Research, in both qualitative and quantitive formats, can generate consumer opinions that can be translated into numeric insights.

Quantitative results are already in numeric forms that anyone can easily understand. Qualitative feedback goes beyond numbers and point out blind spots where designers might have previously missed (e.g. “This CMF detail makes me feel…”).

When possible, consumer research should always be conducted in person, such as focus groups. This provide more meaningful outcome, though it requires greater time and resources.

Non-CMF Data from trusted institutions are widely available and offer quantitative insights into societal trends shaping CMF preferences. If accessing sales records or conducting consumer research proves challenging for your company, consider this alternative.

Some of my personal favorites include McKinsey & Company, Statista, Wunderman and Thompson (now VML), the World Happiness Report, and many more. These institutions have years of experiences in consumer insights. They offer a wealth of data on societal trends, and taste in CMF preferences are heavily influenced by societal changes.

While obtaining specific CMF-related data can be challenging, think differently to enrich your CMF storytelling. For example, data on luxury travel trends can enhance CMF proposals for luxury travel products by highlighting shifting consumer mindsets in that segment.

Again, data comes in many formats, and we want to use it right. In the next chapters, we will delve deeper into common mistakes that occur when trying to apply data in CMF scenarios. Stay tuned!

Problem-solving ??? ?????. Former head of CMF at Motorola. A New York-based and world-traveling Design Consultant with over 13 years of specialty in CMF Design. 高雄囡仔,前摩托羅拉CMF設計團隊負責人,目前定居於紐約並遊牧世界,任自由撰稿人兼CMF設計顧問,持續投入在CMF設計的科普推廣,並為WGSN及羅技等公司提供CMF專案支持或諮詢服務。

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