Person walking towards yellow lanterns

Kantar reveal the powerful role of imagination to drive insights and business growth

Sydney, 29 November 2021: Kantar have released its global Insights 2030 report about what differentiates leading companies and their insights organisations from those that trail behind. Insights 2030 – The Imperative of Imagination identifies the guiding imperative that senior business leaders want from insights and the playbook for action.

The international study behind the report has found that the ability to unlock imagination through talent, capability and structure is the multiplier above customer-centricity alone that drives organisational performance, with 87% of companies high on both organisational traits consistently overperforming.

Insights 2030 also found that an emphasis on imagination greatly reduces the risk of failure. Companies with a strong focus on both had a much lower likelihood of under-performing the marketplace.

“There is plenty of room for improvement. Only 14% of respondents in Insights 2030 reported that their companies were high on both customer-centricity and imagination,” says Kantar Australia Partner – Consulting, Colin Macarthur.

“For the typical company, current success does not mean there is nowhere to go. Every company and every insights function can make measurable improvements in ways of working and thus in marketplace performance.

“Imagination may sound like a nice to have that is dependent on visionary leadership, but actually it is a core competency for success that can be unlocked through ways of working, structures and processes, adds Kantar Australia Managing Partner – Consulting, Dennis Wong.

“The work we do consistently shows us that imagination is key to reframing opportunity, particularly in times when growth is challenged. But not just insights teams. Imagination is critical for the business as a whole.”

“The impact delivered by imagination is the difference between good and great,” adds Wong.

“Some companies put all of their focus on customer-centricity. Others put top priority on imagination. A smaller number are committed to a high level of both. By comparing these companies, the value of imagination becomes clear.”

The report’s lead author J Walker Smith says, “The future of insights is a stronger nucleus of customer-centricity that is supercharged and animated anew by the structures, processes and practices of empathy, provocation and activation. In this manner, insights can re-energise the ways that corporate leaders apprehend and envision the marketplace. This is the imperative of imagination.”

Insights 2030 is a collaboration between Kantar and primary sponsor Colgate-Palmolive, along with input and guidance from other advisory board participants: Diageo, GSK, Reckitt, the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, Growth In-Sight, and ESOMAR. Kantar conducted hundreds of in-depth interviews with business leaders around the world as well as a global survey among 1,700+ senior business and insights leaders. These interviews began during 2020 and were completed in mid-2021.

Insights 2030 provides a unique perspective on the value of insights both during and after this major pivot in the marketplace. It also builds upon foundational work that Kantar published in 2015, which played a leading role in recentering the corporate imagination around customer-centricity.

-ends –

About Kantar
Dennis Wong and Colin Macarthur are available for interview. Please contact Jeannie Duhigg |

About Kantar
Kantar is the world’s leading evidence-based insights and consulting company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks, our innovative analytics and technology, we help our clients understand people and inspire growth.