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5 Tips for Writing Great Insights

Insights are the fuel that drive great communication and innovation. They are a short sentence that shows a deep understanding of the motives that drive consumer behaviour. They ensure everything your brand does is grounded in a consumer truth.

Insight writing is one of the most exciting but most complicated tasks for Insight and Strategic Planning professionals. It takes lots of practice and patience to encapsulate the insight in the perfect sentence but when you do, it is the most rewarding and satisfying achievements. When you see great insight (or Higher Order Insights as I like to call them) it is truly inspiring. My favourite examples are the insights from Dove (real beauty) and Old Spice (be a Man). These are great case studies to explore further.

So where do you start when it comes to writing your insight? Here are 5 tips to give you some direction.

It should come from multiple sources

It starts with observations you gather about your consumers these are the ‘whats’ of their behaviour. In order to validate that you are onto to something big, you need to see these observations coming through from multiple sources not just one piece of research.

It has to the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ and go beyond the observation

The ‘what’ or the observation is important but the insights shouldn’t just be an expression of the observation. An insight needs to go beyond the observation and be an articulation of ‘why’ people do, ‘what’ what they do.

It starts with a feeling of the essence

Humans think in pictures and feelings. In order to identify an insight we see it in pictures and feel it first. We then need to translate that into words, which is the tricky bit! You need to feel the insight like a tension in your body before you try to put it down on paper. Writing insights is not about playing with words, the minute you feel you are doing this, return to the essence and start again.


An insight should be one sentence and a short one. If it is turning into a paragraph or needs too much explanation then you have lost the meaning of what you are trying to say or don’t have an insight in the first place.

It should focus on a positive resolution

It is okay to articulate a consumer negative or issue in the insight but as long as focuses on a positive resolution. The best insights try to focus on the positive that will come from them.

When you have your insight, there are five principles that all great insights share, how does your insight measure up to these? Check out my article ‘5 Principles of a Great Insight’ to find out.

I hope this gives you some guardrails to writing great insights and there are more tips for writing great insights I can sure. However, if you need an expert, we need to talk!

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