Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What the What??

I live in Portland, Oregon where coffee is a food group.  A new coffee shop advertised free coffee for their Grand Opening and cars lined up around the block.  No surprise.  What caught my eye was Starbucks across the street.  They too had a line of cars around the block.  What the what??  Huh?  Then after some thought I said, "wow."  That's the power of the brand.  It rivals free.  It transcends price.  I wonder if they could sell a $10 Venti Whatsahoosit... and then I stopped thinking.  Of course they could! 

I'm intensely interested in this dynamic, the choices consumers make, and the motivations for those choices.  This hit home while exploring the agenda for TMRE 2012.  Looking at the tracks it's ridiculously full of action.  How do I choose?  Which path will inspire me and ignite my next idea?  Do I look for big name speakers?  Do I focus on a track area where I am less adept so that I learn more?  Or do I let my curiosity guide me - making decisions on a whim?  Probably the latter.

I find that two principles hold true at these events:  1) whatever sparks my curiosity leads to my next big idea; and 2) attending a session because I think I should unleashes my inner rebel.  She listens poorly and filters badly.  So, instead of doing that, I'll seek out presentations that made me go "What the what??"  So hopefully after I can say "wow."

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Today's guest post is from Kelley Styring. Styring is principal of InsightFarm Inc. a market research and consumer strategy consulting firm. She has led insights for Procter & Gamble, Pepsico, Black & Decker and NASA prior to founding her own firm in 2003. Kelley is a published author and has been featured in USA Today, ABC News, Good Morning America, Brandweek, Fortune, Quirk's Marketing Research and The Market Research Daily Report from RFL Online.  She will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida.  If you'd like to join her, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

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