Is Jelly a new market research tool for brands?

This week saw the launch of Jelly – a new service from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. The app is simple – you use images and text to ask questions. By connecting to one or both of your Twitter and Facebook accounts, this question is then sent to people you are already connected with on these platforms. Simple – and a great way of getting answer to questions from known audiences. For brands with large Twitter and Facebook audiences already, could this be a new market research tool for them?

The app is very new, and the current use is very nascent – current questions in my feed range from “What tea should I have this morning” and “Is this man attractive” to “What should I do on a weekend in Budapest” and “What examples of innovation in financial services have you been most impressed with”. Diverse, and a sign that people are playing with the app to see how and why it might be relevant to them. And it might not be relevant to many people.

But one area where relevance seems strong to me is as a new market research tool for brands. Many brands have spent considerable time and money building relevant audiences on Facebook and Twitter. To date, most use of these audiences have been for brand, marketing and customer experience reasons, but does Jelly offer an opportunity to do something different. Asking a question about a new product – showing a photo of some new marketing and getting feedback from the very audiences that you have spent that time and money acquiring.

The app lends itself to visual questions – here’s an image of a new product, what is your reaction. It also lends itself to questions in the moment – I am currently thinking about this issue, can you give me some quick feedback. As such it is not necessarily a replacement for more considered research processes. But it does provide quick, visual feedback from a targeted audience. And this sort of insight is increasingly useful for brands taking a more agile approach to product development and marketing.

So in this context brands should be experimenting with Jelly, and it is the market research teams who should be taking the lead on this experimentation – asking questions and finding out the type of questions and the areas of the business where this type of feedback could be most useful.

To provide some other voices to this post I used Jelly itself to ask if and how people thought it could be used by brands for market research, and here is a growing list of responses:

  • “Product development and design would be a great application”, @ronschott
  • “Immediate consumer feedback / exclusive voting rights on new product offerings”, @jslieberthal
  • “Could be a future way to monitize the platform”, @armano
  • “Secret jelly-ers. (Like secret shoppers)”, @mmakuch
  • “I’ve already seen business owners using it to crowd source opinion on imagery and creative (eg logos)”, @leebenecke
  • “For impulsive responses such as product design or anything aesthetic due to the short period of attention users have on these apps”, @matthewaquinn
  • “Seems like it could become a simple way to get lightning fast consumer feedback”, @powkew