What is Insight
Insight is a vision. A vivid example of insight is a familiar plot twist in cartoons when the character can’t find a way out of the situation, but then a light bulb lights up above their head. It means that the character could develop a solution to catch insight and generate the right idea.
People often think that an idea is a synonym to insight, but this is not true. The distinctiveness of insight is the intricate nature of its interpretation. Therefore, the question of what this means for other areas of human activity is highly complex. After all, business, management, marketing, and even psychology interpret insight differently.
Insight in psychology
Initially, the concept of insight refers to the field of psychology. Insight means a sudden guess that leads to an entirely new understanding of the problem. However, for the first time, the term was used by Wolfgang Köhler in Gestalt psychology. Gestalt psychology is a branch of psychology that primarily tries to explain the phenomena of perception.
To explain the phenomenon of insight visually and simply, Köhler conducted experiments with chimpanzees. One of his most famous experiments is the one with a box and a banana. According to the experiment's settings, the chimpanzee had to get a banana that hung high on a tree, too high to get just by jumping, so the animal had to put a box to stand on.
For a while, the chimpanzees couldn't solve this problem just by jumping for a banana; they couldn’t understand how to reach it. But then theywould stop, look around, and notice the rescue box. So to find such a solution in the case of chimpanzees meant to catch insight.
So, what is insight in psychology? The concept of insight, according to Köhler, is “Aha-reaction” —an immediate insight that allows you to see the situation from a broader perspective and find an alternative and unexpected solution for the existing problem. However, in everyday life, this means a sudden and prompt understanding of the internal structure of a phenomenon or process. For example, in psychotherapy, insight means that the patient can understand the objective and subjective nature of their perception. For example, the patient understands that some of their surreal sensations are caused by an objectively existing disease. Today the term insight is used not just in psychology and psychiatry but also in many other areas.
Insight in marketing
What is insight in marketing? Psychologists understand insight as a sudden understanding of the essence of a problem and marketers — as information collected by studying the consumer, their needs, and aspirations. That is why the term consumer insight is more often used in marketing.
Consumer insight in marketing is a hidden motive that guides the consumer when buying a product. Likewise, you can find such a motive when conducting marketing research. Simply put, in marketing, consumer insight is an effective tool for marketers to distinguish the company's offer from the competition.
Even though the word "insight" has an entirely different meaning for marketing than for psychology, it is distinct for the same reason — it means searching for an unexpected and effective solution to a problem. Although in marketing, both the solution and the problem are directly related to the consumer and the brand's success. This is why consumer insight is often beneficial for advertising and promotional materials.
Insight in advertising
Insight in advertising stands for an advertising campaign or product created based on marketing research of the target audience. In this context, the idea behind insight is that the marketer pinpoints a customer’s need and proposes a suitable solution to that issue.
In practice (for example, on Instagram), you can often find posts from the rubric Insight of the Week or Insight of the Day. Insight of the day is an inspiring quote, picture, video, or a list of valuable materials. So how do you write insight if that's how you understand it? Just find an interesting quote or material that can prompt a subscriber to exciting thoughts and make a post.
In advertising, insight can perform different tasks. For example, it can help a brand build relationships with its audience. Inspiring and useful phrases and quotes will attract new subscribers, form a brand image, express solidarity with the audience, and so on. But you should not use this as the primary tool for brand promotion: it is much more important to look for and find consumer insights.
To sum up, insight in marketing and advertising is not the same as insight in psychology or insight in life. Even in learning, there can be a variety of insights.
Insight in learning means virtually the same thing as in psychology: for a student, the state of insight is a feeling the material has been studied comprehensively. What does that mean? In the process of learning, insights allow you to quickly and efficiently master any area or subject while enjoying the process because insight always comes with a feeling of relief and joy from the long-awaited discovery.
This is why insight plays a crucial role in modern learning because it can help the student even when a book or teacher does not help. Therefore, the teacher needs to provide their students with more opportunities to work with the material independently to help them regularly catch insights.
For example, courses on self-development without insights are useless because they require a student to radically change their worldview and lifestyle, which is impossible without insights. This is proved by the example of successful people, most of whom decided on something only after an insight. Probably, every person can give examples from their life when they caught insight and find non-standard solutions.
The state of insight is available to each of us, and to make it happen, you must let go of the situation. So, do not try to tackle a problem head-on; instead, collect more information, relax, and just let the brain find a new and more productive way out of the situation.