Friday, July 31, 2015

This Week In Market Research: 7/27/15 - 7/31/15

Do you work from home and feel like you can never get anything really done?? In a recent article by Fast Company, Carson Tate details 5 ways that will make working from home REALLY work. “According to research by the financial software company Intuit, nearly a quarter of U.S. workers telecommute for at least a few hours every week.” So according to Tate, a few of the ways you can make working from home really work include “communicating well and often,” and “being a proactive team player.” The first suggestion is to use many forms of communication to be sure things are being communicated thoroughly and efficiently. To be a proactive team player, you have to be diligent about reaching out to your coworkers and connecting with them not just on a work level. In other words, being a part of the team includes comradery and you have to put in a little extra effort in order to gain those relationships. Interested yet? Well, read the full article at Fast Company.

This week The Guardian posted an article for younger graduates wanting to go into the market research industry. They list five different tactics, however the two that really stood out to me included 1. Choosing a research path and 2. Building on online profile. For the first one, the article suggests that “…it is important to pick a research path….identify whether your skills lie in numeracy or whether talking to people face to face and learning about cultures is more appealing…” On top of picking a research path, building an online profile and getting connected with the research community can bolster experience and resumes. According to the article, “…it’s important to create a professional online profile…and hide any potential controversial Facebook photos.” There you have it. These 5 tactics will surely get you closer to your dream job in market research. 

“Where do I begin?” It’s the common question, whether asked internally or outwardly, when dealing with the launch of a new product. So where does one start when marketing a new product? Well, according to a recent article released on Entrepreneur this week, all one needs to remember is “Search, Social, and Content.” In this sense, search means your search engine optimization and making sure your page is searchable through google. Social refers to the sharing of information through social media and taking advantage of getting the word out through social. This third component, content, means ensuring that the content that you are marketing is strategic and clearly thought through. All of these avenues together make up the “Holy Grail of Startup Marketing.” Want to learn even more about this? Visit Entrepreneur’site and 

We have all been there. When a crisis hits at work, we work reactively rather than proactively. Well thanks to an article released this week on Entrepreneur, we now have 7 habits to get us working more proactively. Now, in order to get the full gist of the email you’ll have to read it on the Entrepreneur website. However, a few to the points listed include, blocking out time to answer emails 2-3 times a day as well as celebrate what you ARE getting done. Both of these pointers stood out to me because making sure you answer emails throughout the day ensures that you won’t get behind and making sure you celebrate what is actually getting done helps you focus on the positive around you. Focusing on the positive, helps you negate many negative emotions that occur at work and slow down your productivity. If you’re one of those people, like me, who works much better in a proactive environment this list is insightful and in its own right, proactive.

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Trend Trek: Exploring Trends and Collecting Insights in Chicago

By: Stephan Paschalides

As part of OmniShopper, Stephan Paschalides from Now Plus One, led a group of conference attendees on a 3.5-hour Retail Trend Trek through Chicago. The fundamental goal of this inspirational immersion was to explore current marketplace trends and collect valuable insights that are relevant to participants, no matter their brand or agency affiliation.

We visited several retail locations of new and established brands, including Bonobos, Shinola, TOMS, Warby Parker, The Tie Bar, DAVIDsTEA and BucketFeet. At each stop, a brand associate shared thoughts about the brand and specific retail location, and then we had the opportunity to ask questions and explore the store space and products. We were very impressed at the high level of engagement by the group, and at the sheer amount of insights we uncovered in such a short time!

We’d love to share some of the highlights of our Trend Trek in terms of insights:

·         The brands we visited actively encourage employee participation by inviting them to share feedback, incorporating their ideas into the brand or store, and allowing them to make changes to the retail space. Because of this two-way relationship, employees act as enthusiastic and powerful brand representatives, rather than mere retail workers.
·         Each of the individual retail establishments we visited takes pride in participating in the larger community. They hold events for the neighborhood, share products with other stores, and give back to local Chicago communities. This allows even the bigger and global brands to feel authentic within the local community.
·         The brands we encountered are transcending the retail experience by creating a movement for change. Shopping at many of these store locations is more than just a transaction; instead it feels like a way to participate in the brand’s movement whose goals included issues like eradicating poverty, connecting people to artists, and revitalizing craft in America.
·         Despite the current industry obsession with having digital presence, there remains a strong consumer desire to offer tactile, sensory and emotional experiences in physical retail environments.

The Trend Trek participants reported than they felt invigorated by getting out of the building and exploring Chicago. We consistently find that there is a lot of power in exploring parallel categories, as it helps participants think more conceptually, and allows them to translate fresh insights to their own category.

Stephan Paschalides is the Principal of Now Plus One, a cultural insights agency specializing in market immersions. He will be leading a Trend Trek at Foresight & Trends 2015 in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The “Internet of Things” and The Future of Insights

By: Gina Joseph, Communications Manager, inContext Solutions 

Renee Brandon’s afternoon session on the Internet of Things gave attendees a moment to think futuristically. What if washing machines could order you more detergent when you run low? What if in-store beacons could ask you if you needed help as you walked down the aisle at a grocery store? What if your health monitor could tell you when you missed a dose of a medication, and could suggest a different meds to take instead?

Would these things creep you out, or do they sound like useful technologies?

These were some of the questions posed when Brandon and her company, Field Agent, created sample studies to find out how people would use and respond to connected technologies just like these.

The future of insights 

While the above scenarios may sound sci-fi, they are the kinds of technological capabilities that are coming our way 10 or 15 years down the road, maybe less. So learning how the Internet of Things will affect consumers and shoppers, and what types of insights can be gleaned from these technologies, is imperative to planning how store experiences will work down the road.
When Field Agent conducted studies related to these connected futuristic scenarios, there were certain considerations they wanted to measure:

·         The appeal of the technology (how consumers viewed the benefits of being connected)
·         The comfort level associated with having to answer surveys triggered by the technology (Brandon referred to this as the “creepiness factor”)
·         And their likelihood to actually respond to a survey

Field Agent came away with some insightful results. When it came to a connected home—a house where connected thermostats and light sensors regulate your homes temperature and energy usage while you’re away—sample tests showed a strong appeal to the usefulness of that type of technology. However, when respondents were asked whether or not they would be comfortable with surveys asking about where the homeowners are going on vacation, or for how long, the correlation was low—only 37% were comfortable with that kind of personal information being asked.

In contrast, being able to be connected through health monitors and receiving notifications about medication refills and doctor appointment suggestions also had a strong appeal as well as a high comfort level—the takeaway being that consumers are more likely to answer survey questions about their own personal health in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

This kind of data on the Internet of Things and the insights they will produce is still in an early phase. But more and more, these kinds of data sets and technologies will become the norm, and we need to make sure we’re ready for them. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Meet Your OmniShopper International 2015 Keynotes

Jumpstart your next best shopper strategies by collaborating with some of the best in the retail industry at OmniShopper International this November. Formerly International Shopper Insights in Action, OmniShopper International 2015 brings you the best mix of leading retailers, brands, visionaries and thought leaders to arm you with the insight you need to make your next shopper breakthrough.

Download the brochure here:

Introducing Your 2015 Keynotes: 

·         OmniChannel Experiences
Simon Russell
Director of Operations,

·         Creating Ideas that Matter
Tim Harford
Best-Selling Author

·         Shaping Consumer Decisions
Nina Mazar
Behavioural Scientist, Associate Professor of Marketing

·         In-Store Strategy
Pierre Chandon
The L'Oreal Chaired Professor of Marketing-Innovation and Creativity, Director, Sorbonne Behavioural Lab, INSEAD 

·         Changing Shopper Realities
Vijay Raj
Vice President, CMI, Research Innovation, Media & Shopper Insights

And more!

See the full keynote lineup here:

Plus, stories to help you rethink the future of retail and shopper realities from:

Carrefour France * Tesco * Philips * Warburtons Limited * British American Tobacco * Coca Cola Italia * Campofrio Food Group * Coop Danmark * Metro * GSK Consumer Healthcare and more.

Join us 11-13 November and revolutionize your shopper strategy to win in the emerging retail landscape.

Use code OMNIPARIS15BL for $100 off the current rate. Register here:

We hope to see you in Paris! 

The OmniShopper International 2015 Team

Friday, July 24, 2015

This Week In Market Research: 7/20/15 - 7/24/15

There’s a new boss in town and guess who it is? The customer. Five or six years ago a marketing campaign was deemed successful if there was an increase in sales. Now a marketer is held to answer to the customer and their social media scrutiny. According to a recent article on Entrepreneur, “As customers’ voices become louder, and as they interact with brands in more ways, the modern marketer’s job has become a lot more visible and complex...” This article discusses the 5 attributes that a marketer in today’s day and age must possess. Among the traits listed is “join today’s conversation.” In other words, customers are having conversations everywhere on social media and marketers would benefit greatly from joining the conversation and providing useful content. With the world of marketing evolving and placing heavy importance on how the customer interacts with the campaign, these 5 attributes provide an insightful take on what it means to be a marketer today.

Imagine the place you work. More than likely images of cubicles, four white walls, printers, and break rooms are seeping into your mind. Now imagine a work setting with none of that. In fact imagine your work location being whatever you want it to be whether it’s your kitchen at home, inside a local coffee shop, or outside in the park. This incredible dream is actually a reality for Amir Salihefendic’s organization “Doist.” Doist is an organization designed to manage any sort of to-do list. When Salihefendic took this idea to the next level at full-time capacity he realized he needed employees and couldn’t be picky about where they were located. The organization now employs 40 people from over 20 different countries. In the respect of market research do you think this could work to the organization’s advantage as a way of being more “global”? You decide.

What do you think has the fastest growing rate on social media? Is it Facebook? What about Twitter? If you guessed either of these two, I’m sorry to say, but you’re wrong. Instagram is actually growing faster than both of these platforms due to its engagement rates soaring. So if you’re a company like Tom’s from Maine, how do you get a coverage on this platform without an obvious visual appeal? Well, according to a recent Adage article, the Local Main company plans on turning to what is called
“micro-influencers.” In the Instagram world more and more companies are starting to make payments of $15,000 or more to Instagram “mega-influencers” in order to have them post product photos to their millions of followers. However, in Tom’s approach, they are targeting ‘micro-influencers’ “who have maybe 1,000 to 5,000 followers but engage a very high percentage of them around a very specific topic.” In other words, Tom’s will be reaching out to users who may not have an exuberant amount of followers, but have a rather heavy engagement with the followers they do have. To me this is a brilliant change in market strategy for Tom’s and one which will be interesting to follow (no pun intended).

Ivy Lee? Every heard of him? Well, he was a very successful businessman, the man considered to be the father of public relations, and the genius who will increase your productivity. According to his method for productivity, your business can reach peak productivity. Here’s how: 1. “At the end of each work day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write more than six tasks. 2. Prioritize those six items in order of their importance. 3. When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished and before moving on to the second task. 4. Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the
day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day. 5. Repeat the process every working day.” You may ask, “Why should we take his word? How do we know it works?” Well, back when Charles M. Schwab asked for Lee’s advice, Schwab asked how much it would cost him. Lee responded by saying, if it worked Schwab could pay him whatever he thought it was worth. Charles M. Schwab ended up giving him $25,000 dollars, which, back in 1918 is the equivalent of $400,000. Convinced?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Insights to Strategy: The Story of Chobani

Sonia Dalvi, Brand Manager of Shopper Marketing at Chobani, opened up the session with a genuine introduction of Chobani’s founder, Hamdi Ulukaya.

“If I’m going to have peaches in my yogurt, then they’re going to be peaches, there is just no other way.” – Hamdi Ulukaya, founder if Chobani

She continued through the history of Chobani and the vision of the company. 

History: Turkish by decent, Chobani’s president wanted to provide better food options to people.
DNNA- deliecious nutritious natural and affordable- characteristics Chobani wants to leverage across. Usually price point is off, or products are healthy yet taste bad.

**call out important nutritionals, colors are important, being transparent with the consumer is most important

When she first started, Sonia was given a shopper insights project. This came to be a very insightful experience providing invaluable information that the company had not even thought about. 

Through completing the project, she came up with a few guiding principles. 

1.       1. Shopper insights= a journey, not a destination
a.       Think more than just
2.       2. If it’s not actionable, it’s just academic
b.       There are valuable insights for both internal and external teams. Keep insights relevant for all involved
3.       3. One size does not fit all
c.       They wanted to connect with the growing millennial shopper but growing as a brand think of all the shopper groups at your disposal and you can even segment within that group.

She continued to describe the project, first defining the goal and parameters. 

What was the goal?
                How can yogurt become a destination again- fun

Who is the shopper?
                Who are the influencers- how does she navigate, what value does she bring to the category

Focus on IN THE MOMENT research:
                Qualitative and quantative elements to discover how is the shopper environment is influencing her decision making.

Pre-shop is critical in the category- yogurt consumption is highly planned and purchased out of habit. You must drive awareness before she enters store. Use media content, online coupons, ads to remind all to drive trial. 

Brand and flavor are key influencers as they are the most important factors in the category. Consumers had a specific set in mind before even getting to the shelf.

Shoppers spend minimal time at shelf vs other food categories. The shelf is confusing with so many options so make your brand the "go-to" leaving no time for guessing. 

Are there differences by region?

East coasters are planners- they know Greek and know their brands- they do their research and make informed decisions. 
West coasters are newer to Greek- they have a wide consideration set and value global ingredients. For this reason they are prone to impulse purchases which is highly uncommon in a non-impulse category. Chobani ensures they capitalize on this. 

Shoppers desire portability- the on the go pouch option is really valuable in this space.

Shoppers’ desire for yogurt extends beyond breakfast. Full fat yogurts are growing – expanding consumption was a big theme.

Now what

After deriving the insights, Sonia next had to turn this into a strategic plan. She kook these results and worked with marketing team to revamp their story and strategy. They focused on a few key elements:
                Pre-store connection
The emotional connection with yogurt- how does it make you feel? Driving this buzz and excitement was a powerful tool they utilized.

Cluttered shelf makes it hard to break through- extenuating the packaging and logo and also call out the nutrition facts.

                Engaging consumers in store to drive brand
                                Colorful powerful way to engage the consumer though in store danglers and setups.

The key was to build solutions around entire path to purchase.

She left us with some takeaways: 
-        - Strong vision and mission can aid navigation in a  competitive category
-        - Contextual “in the moment” research is an effective tool to both understand and change behavior

-        - Research provides the most value when it is actionable and used to connect with shoppers through integrated programs

Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at

The Seamless Model: Evolving Beyond One Size Fits All

By: Gina Joseph, Communications Manager, inContext Solutions 

When stores and CPGs think about the ways they can engage the customer, many things probably come to mind: creating compelling in-store signage, using mobile apps, providing expert customer support, and interacting on social, just to name a few. These are known as touchpoints; engagement points designed to make sure your shopper is aware of your brand.

But how do we make all those touchpoints come together in a seamless way?

Unveiling the people behind the curtain

At their OmniShopper 2015 conference session, Scott Jeffrey and Lori Parrett of Interbrand Design Forum talked about the idea of “seamless” shopper experiences. These experiences happen in part because shoppers are happy and satisfied with a brand, without knowing all the intricacies of why. They know they are loyal customers or advocates of certain brands and retailers, but they never have to think about the many factors that go into a seamless experience.

It’s our job as retailers and CPGs to be the people behind the curtain, making everything run smoothly.

Omnichannel is the template, Seamless is using it

The shopper journey is not linear. The reality, as Parrett put it, is that people bounce in and out of moments where they serve as the shopper, the customer and the consumer. Having multiple channels to support these moments it what creates that seamless experience.

As retailers and CPGs, we have to depict the total shopper journey—in the right moment, with the right message, and at the right place.

How to overcome the hurdles

So what are the hurdles that appear when we are trying to create these interactions? And how can we overcome them?

One such hurdle is the question of internal silos—how to make people realize that just because that’s how they’ve always done things doesn’t mean it’s the best way. These tentative adopters of new technologies and ideas can be hard to convince. Knowing the best channels to reach them at could make all the difference.

Another is data, and how it’s being used. Understanding the data available for your brand and then using it in a smart or creative way to engage your customers can make a big difference when it comes to a seamless shopper experience.

In addition, disruptors (things that pop up in the middle of a project that derails progress) and crowds (the shear amount of chatter and noise that gets in the way of your message being heard) are also hurdles to overcome. Having a plan in place to deal with derailments, and auditing your touchpoints—putting yourself in the customers shoes to gauge what will interest them—are both important when thinking about our shopper experience.

The bottom line? A “seamless” shopper experience will vary by retailer and brand as far as tone, story, and voice: but those who know their customer will be able to seamlessly create brand advocates.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dad's wallet is open. His heart and mind are too.

- Kitty Hart, Capsule

Jen Drolet and Julia Eisenberg from iModerate provided a deep-dive into understanding Dads of today and what motivates them.

A study was done with 2,500 dads with kids living at home. They were asked about what they put in their cart, what they see in retail, who is with them and how they felt. Interesting to see that statistics show dads are becoming the new "regular" shopper. In fact, 80% of millennial dads are becoming the primary shopper or at least equally sharing the responsibility.

Well, we always knew dad was a softy, but the research definitely put some insight behind this theory. 

Dad's wallet is open as are his heart and mind. 

In a snapshot, the study shows dad is brand loyal, adventurous, convenience-driven, less phased by price and seeks information. While mom seeks value and deals, dad is actually less concerned with price. See, we're not always the spenders.

The findings support the fact that he is primed for impulse purchases. So what circumstances lead to these purchases? What can retailers do to motivate dad? To answer these questions, research needed to uncover how dad feels.

Using the Luminoso text mining tool iModerate was able to dig into the language they use to describe their experiences.

Why do dads impulse buy?
They have cravings. They want to reward. Dads love convenience and they love to treat and/or indulge their loved ones as well as themselves. Dads are brand loyal so if they see a trusted brand come forward with something new, they are apt to try it. And, dad will impulse buy if he sees a good deal. 

We are all kids at heart. 
Part of the study included a look at how impulse purchases differ when dad is alone versus with kids. Well, well, well. Check this out. When dad is alone, he fills his cart with ice cream, chips, beef jerky, beer, tools and electronics. Wait, was the study done on adults or teenagers? 

When dad shopped with kids in tow, the impulse purchases included less beer, fewer tools, toys, DVDs, candy and games. Dad rocks!

Research showed that dads feel amazing, appreciated, proud and accomplished when they can treat or indulge their kids. But don't worry, there is also some conflict here about spoiling or creating ungrateful kids. As with everything, it's another example of a need for balance. 

One brand doing a great job in speaking directly to these dads of today is Cheerios and their recent #HowToDad by Cheerios campaign. 

If this spot doesn't make you want to be a super-hero dad, there's something wrong with you.

So, how can brands tap into dad's open wallet?

Within the store environment, prompt dad in the following ways. Create opportunities to treat his family, to share experiences, to make memories. Helping dad reminisce about his childhood and helping him embrace his status as a parent are highly motivational. Dad wants to feel cool, successful and have great feelings about his kids in general. 

So dads, let go of the macho persona. We know you're all just big teddy bears.

Kitty Hart

I am the HartofCapsule, caring for our clients, friends, colleagues and partners. When I’m not deep in strategy and design thought, I dream of belting out Diana Krall tunes in the blue haze of a nightclub. Until that dream is realized, I help Capsule’s clients understand and rise above business challenges through designed conversations.

Life is full of "micromoments" retailers need to capitalize on

The World of "Search"- we go on there with a purpose and a specific intent to go on there. We see 100 Billion searches every month- and we’re seeing a rise in these coming from mobile. They’re searching with an intent to shop. Vikram Tank of Google delivered an insightful presentation to describe these "micromoments" consumers are on mobile that brands need to take advantage of. 

Intent and immediacy

We’re tuning in more than ever. We’re doing this on multiple devices. With less time, consumers are ticking in a higher conversion rate.

Moments are those short times you are on your phone when the user is in control. Brands and retails don’t have too much time to play.

Micromoments- These are where brands can flourish. Users are showing intent to do something with a brand or retailer- where to go to lunch, watching makeup videos. These happen throughout the day. These opportunities are replacing those longer research at the desktop

Tank described 4 different micromoments and how brands can play a role.

 I want to know
To look up anything and everything. They are immediately satisfying their curiosity. 66% of people pick up their phone too looking up info in the middle of a conversation.
This is multi-tasking at its’ finest.
I want to go
The “what’s near me” searches- they show intent of where consumes are going. 50% of consumers who search out a place on their phone end up going there within 2 days; 18% of them actually make purchases. What happens to the rest? They don’t go- they’re afraid something will be out of stock – they don’t want to waste the time since they’re not fully convinced.
Looking at these searches- people aren’t looking up brands- they’re looking to meet their needs. Brands need to provide a more useful experience here.

I want to do
These are really under the radar and brands can play a role here. Online tutorials allow people to learn themselves. Retailers need to take advantage here and really offer the support and experience customers want.
I want to buy
When purchase decisions are being made. There are many funnels and consumer are jumping down at different points. 82% of consumer use their smartphone while in a store.
BUT, where are these conversions happening? Conversion rates on desktop are 2X higher- we need to work on making it easier for consumers to purchase on mobile where all of this research is being done.
While in store, 1 in 4 people have changed their mind about buying something while in check-out line because of something they saw on their phone.

Topics that live across all moments;
                                Research and ability have allowed us to demand immediacy and this is not going away.
                Higher expectations
                                No one wants to deal with the annoyances of inserting address over and over.
                Loyal to needs

                                People know their needs and want them to be met. 

Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at

The real insights on connecting with your consumer: how generational characteristics impact marketing strategy

How did “Millennials” come about? We all use this term but little know the actual meaning behind it.

Neil Howe opened up with this insightful fact explaining that this group will graduate in 2000- granting them the title, “Millennials”.

Generations last about 20 years and they have attitudes and behaviors in common that differ from those of other generations. It’s a length of a socially defined phase of life. This causes discontinuous gaps of generations.

One important note: always consider thinking about someone’s parents when describing their fit into a generation as this also impacts their traits.

G.I generation: Think Kennedy, Reagan, Walt Disney- they had this spirit of sacrifice. We gave them respected, granting them the name “Senior Citizens” as opposed to “Old People” used in the past.

 Silent generation: Signal a break- Think Elvis Presley, John McCain, Colin Powell, MLK. “We don’t want to change the system, we want to work within the system.” They were not risk takers

Boomers: Clintons, Oprah Winfrey, Springsteen- Their individualism, their sense of self sufficiency. Women began to think of themselves as economically self-sufficient. Their value orientation- good vs bad, true vs. false, right vs. wrong. They like the experience of things. The “yuppie” culture.
They’re suspicious of omnishopping. They don’t like those cameras, they don’t want their name noted, but they do account for majority of shoppers. They’re not retiring instead they’re working longer.

Gen X: Think Obama, Michael Jordan, Kurt Cobain- today 32-52- lack of commonality- most spread out in terms of income and wealth. “I get somewhere form being different form my peers.” Generation born into divorce rate, economic struggles, and skepticism. Maximum individualism and risk taking. They appeal to efficiency, incentives, and survivalism.
Omnishoppnig to them deals with competition- extreme couponing and coupon codes- they want to get the edge on people.

Millennials: Think Zuckerberg, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars- They came right after the divorce rate peaked as did the abortion rate and recreational drugs – this caused society to want to give kids a new sense of structure, optimism, etc. Baby protection home devices become popular- cities become safer- child well being considered much higher and children are considered “special”. X’ers are resentful and so take this out on Millennials which has shown to be less than optimal.
This change can also be found in the military where a completely new approach has been taken to train these Millennials involving a more work along- personal approach as opposed to the previous “break them down and rebuild them” hardcore approach.

They’re more positive in all aspects of life. Risk seeking and independence are lower. They’re looking for long term planning. They look for gamification. They like to be connected with family and use technology to do so.

They will face huge crises- geopolitical, economic, and this will reshape them profoundly.  

Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Moving Beyond the Bullseye: Building a Powerhouse Home Brand within Target

-Kitty Hart, Capsule

Tisha Boarman, Group Manager Owned Brand Strategy from Target drew a crowd. Everybody loves Target insights, right? Right.

In 45 minutes we got the cool, inside story on how Target took a hard look at HOME, one of their original owned brands, and decided it was time to rebuild.

Target knew they needed engage in a more authentic way. Consumers are more connected today than ever so they knew they needed to leverage their brands as a connection to guests. With this in mind, they made a commitment to the philosophy of relationships first, transactions second.

Expect more, pay less.

But the question remained, how do we get our owned brands to stand on their own? And further, how can we get the owned brands to actually contribute to the master brand? Wouldn't it be great if Target's owned brands were actually trip drivers?

So, the new goals established included:

Move from "labels" to loved brands.

Engage the guest beyond the product.

Maximize owned brands for the future.

They went to work on HOME because this once flagship brand had been declining in sales. They needed to know why. A comprehensive process began with data mining. They also engaged Target loyalists and got them talking. Core Target team members collaborated in work sessions to generate ideation and then again, loyalists were engaged to provide feedback and insights. The major finding? The brand lacked a point of view. The brand no longer resonated with guests.

When Target spoke with guests during the exploratory research, they learned something very important. When the guest shopped, she wasn't just thinking about products. She's busy and wants her home to be a reflection of her. Her desire is to unlock the home's potential. The HOME brand had not delivered on this.

The brand was rebuilt from the ground up. Brand position and framework informed name ideation generating 8,000 potential names. Once they landed on Threshold, the identity was designed along with a whole new product line.

Again, thinking about relationship first, transaction second, they saw great opportunities for launching the new brand. They now had an opportunity to bring guests and designers together. This was the birth of the Threshold Design Event in select markets.

While social media had done great things for bringing consumers closer to brands, this concept would take engagement to a whole new level. Guests came to Target with drawings, notes, photos, ideas and dreams. Designers conducted workshops first and then offered one-on-one sessions with designers to bring their visions to life.

Huge success. The Threshold brand is now aligned with the guest and delivering on established goals. But the effort doesn't stop there. The questions now focus on scaling the effort and continuing to push the brand. This is just the beginning.

Tisha closed with one of her favorite quotes from Scott Bedbury. "A great brand is a story that is never completely told."

We look forward to future chapters.

Kitty Hart

I am the HartofCapsule, caring for our clients, friends, colleagues and partners. When I’m not deep in strategy and design thought, I dream of belting out Diana Krall tunes in the blue haze of a nightclub. Until that dream is realized, I help Capsule’s clients understand and rise above business challenges through designed conversations.

Uncovering Aisle Shopper Myths

How can you drive impulse purchases? Red Bull continues to explore this concept in order to optimize their presence. Together with DataMining representatives, Laura-Lynn of Red Bull North America they presented a compelling story about in store shopping.

There is an art to it. The art is very basic:

  • Tempt by being in their path- analysze the store consumers and segments
  • Be relevant- what are the needs of the demographic in store- do they want your product?
  • Timing is right- what are the dynamics of the store- proximity plays a key role in placement. 
Red Bull worked with a team to monitor every second of every consumers' shopping trip. Each segment is different - males vs. females, millennials vs. boomers, etc. To complicate things even more- these trends change by channel. 

5 Myths about Center Store Shoppers:
  1. Center store is primary stop for many shoppers
    • This is not true  - the majority of shoppers are looking for products that are actually in the perimeter
      • 18% shop center store  vs. >50% Shop perimeter
    • What does this mean? Perhaps use messaging on the perimeter to drive traffic to center store..
  2. Shoppers spend more time center store 
    • Most time is navigation followed by 28% of the time spent on the perimeter while only 22% of time is spent in center store. BUT- 75% of spending is made in center store- so how can we make this more relevant to shoppers to drive even more purchase in this shorter amount of time spent here which amounts to about 3 minutes in grocery? 
  3. Shoppers engage longer with center store categories 
    • People spend just 23 seconds on average shopping center store. How can you engage in that short period of time? 
  4. If they come they will buy
    • Not necessarily true - for ever 100 people walking into a store, only 6 buy from a perimeter category. This is even less for center store categories. 
    • This creates an opportunity- when people don't shop a category it's tough to convince. BUT if people already shop the category, it's quite easy to convince them to make this purchase. 
  5. Front of store end caps are more effective
    • High traffic does not equal sales. The conversion rate for category shoppers actually making a purchase is 44% for front end caps while BACK END CAPS show 58%. 
Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at

You had me at Kit-Kat...

What better way to kick off a presentation than to hand out candy? Better yet- Immediately after- read off trivia questions in exchange for Hershey’s newest products?

Shelly and Tony delivered an intriguing presentation offering insights around touchpoints. With OmniShopper the focus of this conference- understanding touchpoints is an important aspect to truly reach success. 

First off- what exactly is a touchpoint? It is a point in time when a brand comes in contact with the audience. Ex – packaging, instore promotion, coupons, flyers, etc. Hershey used a qualitative approach, focusing on shop-alongs, mobile shop alongs (both for exploration), as well as shopper diaries for validation. They asked consumers who they were buying for, when are they buying, etc. This led them to reveal the best touchpoints to focus on and in turn maximize shopper reach at core retailers.

This approach also included steps to better understand the consumer:
o   Where
§  Where do we look for consumers and thus focus on these touchpoints?
o   How many
§  Using TURF, they looking into the impact of how many touch points are needed to maximize sales.
§  About 4 touch points are necessary.
o   Which Ones
§  What is the best combination of touch points.
·         Segmentation
o   This is key as all consumers are different. Did consumers plan to purchase this confectionery or was this an impulse purchase? While this may seem simple and all end up in the same place- with a sale- it is actually very important to understand how and when to reach this consumer based on their motives.
·         Opportunities
o   Using data they found that some consumers just need to be reminded. Perhaps an in store ad seeing the treat at check out- a simple touch point on their trip is enough to drive a purchase.

They also offered a set of truths about touchpoints:
·         The shopper ecosystem is cluttered with touchpoints but shoppers really only see 3 products on average in the confections category. How is this possible and how does this impact strategy? This drives the importance of understanding the segments and learning how influential each touchpoint can be. 
·         Most touchpoint usage occurs for planned trips since consumers are being hit with something pre-store so they then add to their list- essentially leveraging many more touch points
·         Shoppers recognize and use more touchpoints on involved trips- especially for stock up trips that are planned.
·         On unplanned trips alone, touch points form 4-6 increased dollar spending about $2.00
·         Allocate spend across different touch points: you can reach most consumers using 4 touch points
·         The most influential touch points differ by channel: Grocery relies most on coupons.
·         Word of Mouth is most important: Case in point- the presenters mentioned candy to the audience yesterday and people were overly excited to join!
·         Digital provides an incremental space for touchpoints, adding 4 additional touchpoints for consumers.
·         Higher income use more touchpoints yet least involved

·         Life stage: we know Millennials are big users of digital which goes hand in hand with the additional touch points exposed earlier. 

With these points we realize just how many touch points exist, how important it is to leverage these touchpoints based on consumer segments, and how these are continuing to change as technology advances. 

Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at

Private Label brand quality : I'd serve that to company!

- Kitty Hart, Capsule

There is always place for conversation about private label brands, no matter the conference. This category continues to grow so it was great to hear from Peggy Davis today, a pioneer in the space.

Facilitated by my friend Chris Durham of My Private Brand, Peggy shared her experiences with the birth of private label and her career.

Have you been around long enough to remember this brand?

Back in the 1970s, Why Pay More? was Laneco's entry into the private label brand business. Laneco was a grocery chain in eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey. At the time Peggy was starting her career in grocery and was instrumental in helping Laneco explore this new path. Through trial and error, new product categories were explored and the concept stuck. Surprisingly though, back then, quality didn't matter. It was all about price. Well, no wonder many private label brands have a bad reputation.

In 1985, Peggy made her way to Daymon Worldwide and Wegman's, one of my favorite premium grocers on the east coast. Wegman's had just started exploring private label, a big step in the premium space, and asked Peggy to lead the way. Creating some disruption, Peggy pushed the team into categories they hadn't considered before. They went into the space of private brands conservatively but have embraced it fully. Continuing to focus on building the premium reputation of the Wegman's brand, the product had to meet quality expectations if it was going to take shelf space inside this beloved retailer. Customers expected quality no matter the brand. This expectation was met and Peggy could confidently say that at no time would you hear any Wegman shopper say, "I wouldn't serve that to company." 30 years later, Wegman's continues to embrace their private label family of brands and likely has one of the best selections in the country. 

Peggy has done great things as a pioneer in this space. And while she pleads for more women to enter this traditionally male dominated category, she is proud to be the only female inducted into the Private Label Hall of Fame. Peggy continues her career today as VP, Vegetable Business Unit and Industrial Sales for McCain Foods.

If you're female and working in the grocery and/or private brand space, I encourage you to get involved with WISE - Women Impacting Storebrand Excellence. You can learn more here.

Peggy, thanks for paving the way.

Kitty Hart

I am the HartofCapsule, caring for our clients, friends, colleagues and partners. When I’m not deep in strategy and design thought, I dream of belting out Diana Krall tunes in the blue haze of a nightclub. Until that dream is realized, I help Capsule’s clients understand and rise above business challenges through designed conversations.

OmniShopper15: We have all the data... now what?

David Schweidel delivered an eye opening presentation on data. From big to small to complex to simple- he was able to explain the more important fact of the matter- drawing insights. 

Big data = big insights. But this gives us too much data and not enough direction as to where to go with it. It’s not about the size- it’s about what can we extract.

Defining Big Data
-          3 Vs (volume, variety, velocity)
-          4 Vs (volume, variety, velocity, veracity/value)
-          So big that Excel can’t handle it

Big insights drive decisions. Collecting data from customers (in a loyalty program) allows us to draw simple insights. We don’t need big data to figure out who purchases certain products. If you purchased a big screen TV, you’re most likely to come back for another for your bedroom.

We need smart thinking and smart use of big data more so than the big data itself.
How do we convince consumers to give us that data. Should we make investments and what do they get in response for providing data. Most importantly-customers want something out of it.

Disney has taken data to another level- in using these bands where consumers can pay for things and wait in line allows underground operations to recognize XX ride has a long line- let’s send out beverages or costume characters to entertain.

Identify what we need, collect it, and Analyze it.

How do we make use of the data that is available to us?
Start to derive trends from within the data. It is possible to segment consumers based on purchase decision and discover who your most equitable consumer is. Is that full service cable purchaser who later drops the HBO package your most important customer or is it that customer who starts basic and upgrades to full service later?

Primary vs. secondary data

What causes people to end their cable service? It’s important to find out these obstacles and find out how your business can improve. We need to utilize the post purchase evaluations and gather data from web blogs, etc. to understand consumer mishaps.

Retailers are typically open to sharing some information they receive from consumers in order to show they are collecting and using this for a good cause. Retailers are trying to improve consumer satisfaction and this is a step in the right direction to doing so. This also helps to reaffirm to consumers that the data being collected is relevant to their future experience with the brand.

Know your competitors and how to react to their actions.

How can your brand react to competitive moves from other companies out there? Stay on top of trends and learn from what others have implemented.

Bring social to CRM
Paint the full picture of the customer and reach them in relevant areas. This is all to important to courting the omnichannel!
Social influence on purchase
Brand engagement and advocacy

Lead generating

Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at