Quick-and-Dirty Consumer Research on Clubhouse

Clubhouse is more than a social audio app. It’s also a barometer of culture. On any given day, its 10 million members are talking about news, tastes, and topics that define the contemporary zeitgeist, ranging from racial justice to the growth of NTF art. Brands can become culturally relevant by tapping into the conversations occurring on Clubhouse literally around the clock – even though technically there is no home for brands on Clubhouse. 

Why Clubhouse Matters

Clubhouse, launched in 2020, has rapidly ascended to become the most popular and influential social audio app. After being launched on an invitation-only basis, Clubhouse has achieved rapid growth, as the appeal of voice-based social media has taken hold more broadly. On Clubhouse, members can form clubs organized around specific topics and participate in moderated rooms. Clubhouse matters because it’s potentially a red-hot proving ground for new ideas as they percolate within clubs and rooms. 

The Opportunity with Clubhouse

Many brands use social listening tools to systematically listen to customers and understand what people are saying about them and their competitors on platforms such as Facebook. But because Clubhouse is so new, and is designed to give people a place to freely and casually exchange ideas, it provides an immediate glimpse at the here-and-now topics defining modern-day culture. Businesses can learn from those insights to become more relevant to the wants, needs, and values of consumers. These insights can be crucial at a time when consumers increasingly choose brands whose values align with their own.  

For example, Clubhouse has become a thriving home for the Black community and a source of passionate conversation about LGBTQ+ issues. There are clubs devoted to women empowering each other. The B.A.S.S. club – the Black Asian Secret Society – is a forum to chat about Black and Asian culture and issues. There are clubs about film. Clubs for sneakerheads. Clubs for people interested in plant-based food and wellness. And that’s just a small taste. 

The opportunity for any brand that wants to make an authentic connection with people is to rely on these chatrooms to learn. Not to market. But to listen. Clubhouse could be especially effective for identifying trending topics before they become mainstream. For instance, anyone paying attention on Clubhouse would have known Judas and the Black Messiah was going to become a cultural phenomenon by following some of the early reactions to the film on the app.  

The Challenge

Technically, Clubhouse is not a place for brands just yet. Clubhouse allows people to create personal accounts (by invitation), but not brands. But the key is for brands to rely on their own people to tap into Clubhouse and learn individually. This might not be the most efficient way for a large organization to learn, but the organic approach is an excellent way to glean insights from the front lines.

Clubhouse presents other challenges when it comes to learning. Like every social media platform, content is unstructured and people share information in a free-form way, so gleaning learnings from Clubhouse requires a heavier lift. There is no artificial intelligence tool available (yet) to aggregate and parse all the audio content people are sharing. But with a bit of imagination and a lot of patience, you can listen and learn.

What Brands Can Do

Here’s what we suggest:

1. Identify Clubhouse enthusiasts in your organization. Do some digging around to find out who is already on Clubhouse, who is joining, and who is interested. A simple call to action on Slack might suffice.

2. Organize your Clubhouse subject matter experts. Encourage your Clubhouse team to get immersed in the app. Get their buy-in to share what clubs they’re joining and what rooms they’re listening to, in the spirit of people learning from each other. Doing so will help you get a better sense of potential issues and topics each team member wants to follow. 

3. Encourage your Clubhouse team to share best practices for joining clubs and chatrooms. If they are moderating rooms, share best practices for moderation.

4. Create a channel for your Clubhouse team to report back interesting learnings. What’s hot? What’s an emerging topic that they are seeing discussed nowhere else? Who are they meeting on Clubhouse that everyone else should be following, too?  

By following the four steps above, you’ll establish your own way of getting quick-and-dirty insights – insights that you can then share more broadly with teams ranging from marketing to product development. 

Contact Us

To learn how to improve your approach to testing and learning with new customer experiences, contact Asher Wren.  

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