Turning the Tables on Traditional Market Research

Agile research often gets confused with lower costs and speed to delivery, with a focus on quicker, fast turnaround research solutions often bound by templates and black box approaches. Such approaches can stranglehold creativity and the delivery of insightful and instructive solutions.

While speed and value are important and lie at the heart of our approach, this is achieved through flexibility, innovative tools, iterative approaches and engaging key team players throughout the process. Adoption of these principles can provide high value, comprehensive and instructive information, the first time around.

A Framework for Agile Research

Do you fully understand
the business objectives?

Frame the research around the real business issues at hand. These objectives should serve as the guiding light throughout the whole research process.

Have you exhausted all
existing data sources?

Spending the time up front can accelerate the research process, feeding into more instructive, richer data. Look beyond traditional sources, for example, social media and product reviews can shine the light on new ways of thinking about a brand or how a product is being used by consumers.

Are you asking the right questions
in the right way

The old adage ‘garbage in/garbage out’ still rings true today. Consideration should be given to the wording of questions, filtering these to the right audience and streamlining the structure of the survey – can 1 comprehensive question be asked instead of 3.

Do the findings align
with other work conducted?

Rather than treating each project as a ‘one off’ study, adopt a broad brush approach to the analysis, building in learnings from other data sources to uncover new insights and translate these into addressing the business issues at hand. These additional data sources can often cut down the need for extra question areas, fuelling speed to delivery and value.

Mary Logan is the President at Research & Incite, a Toronto based strategic research consultancy. 

Globalization – It’s a Local Thing!

As Globalization continues to break down borders is there a chance that brands will become synonymous the world over? For instance, a number of celebrities and musicians have a global reach, portraying a consistent image across the globe – a case in point being the omnipresent Kim Kardashian and the singer Taylor Swift.

Could brands be facing a similar future?

The recent and swift exit of Target stores from Canada is a prime example that this is not the case and simply implanting a brand into a different country without truly understanding the local market place, can have huge financial consequence, as well as potentially a longer term impact on the brand itself.

However, the increasing pressure on marketing budgets, the rise of online shopping and social media has meant that some companies are underplaying or simply ignoring the important role that ‘on the ground’ research can play in highlighting the needs and habits of local consumers, which ultimately drives the success or failure of a brand. (more…)

Crafting Relevant and Engaging Concepts

Writing winning concepts can be an onerous task and often those closest to the brand or new product idea will find the job even tougher as they strive to develop an objective yet persuasive product offering.

There are 4 core elements to any good concept:

  • The Insight
  • Benefit
  • Reason to Believe
  • Tagline

The Insight plays a critical role and is at the heart of successful new products. It should reflect how a consumer would actually
articulate a need or challenge. Refrain from use of extreme or virtuous language or talking down to the consumer by telling them how they should think or feel. A consumers automatic reaction will be to disagree with and potentially reject the concept. (more…)

Packaging Research – Ten Steps to Actionable Insights

  1. Don’t rush the research process – the stakes are high and the risks too great.
  2. Set clear benchmarks for success – and stick to them irrespective of the results.
  3. New packaging cannot ‘win’ on every metrics – it is important to assess performance on the core objectives outlined in the design brief.
  4. Include the current packaging as a benchmark – this will provide clear direction on the implications of a change and the potential for success of the new design. (more…)