The culture of Christmas

Nov 30 2017 Published by neilgains under culture

Sinterklaas from Wikipedia "Santa Claus"

“At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year” (Thomas Tusser)

Although winter celebrations had been a part of people’s lives for millennia (at least in the Northern Hemisphere where it marked the turning of the year), many of the traditions of modern Christmas were inspired by two literary works.  C.S. Lewis wrote in 1957 that there were three versions of Christmas: religious festival, merry holiday and commercial racket, and while the first two go back long before modern times, the last can definitely be blamed on these two works. Read more »

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Does Size Really Matter? Emotion, Culture and the World of Small Data

Nov 29 2017 Published by neilgains under emotion

“Forget artificial intelligence – in the brave new world of big data, it’s artificial idiocy we should be looking out for.” (Tom Chatfield)

Rather than focusing on artificial idiocy, let’s think about how we can be naturally intelligent in our use of any size of data to be better marketers. While data is a powerful tool to provide evidence for better decision-making, too often it misses the human empathy, cultural perspective and creative thinking that make us wiser. Read more »

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Positive, Sincere and Natural: Indonesia Beauty Buying Patterns

Nov 09 2017 Published by neilgains under brand essense

There are several myths I have heard about Indonesian beauty, mostly from outside Indonesia (and often from outside Asia). The first myth is that Indonesia is not an important market for beauty products, and that women are less engaged with beauty than in other countries. The second myth is that confidence is a key goal of female beauty, a myth that is perpetrated around the world and not just in Indonesia. And the third myth is that creating a successful beauty brand in Indonesia is all about being halal. Read more »

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Why visual research approaches are more insightful than words

Oct 31 2017 Published by neilgains under brand essense

The standard model of market research has relied on language as the main medium for understanding behaviour for more than 100 years. Recent discoveries in psychology and behavioural economics suggest that behaviour is driven more by emotions than reason, so is language still the best medium for communication in marketing and research?

TapestryWorks recently undertook research-on-research to understand the impact of different stimuli, verbal and visual, on human responses to the same set questions (read more here). Our focus was on the motivations underlying women’s perceptions of beauty, and we ran the same study across four different countries: Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and the UK. Read more »

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Emotional concepts need cultural context

Sep 01 2017 Published by neilgains under emotion

TapestryWorks have long used visual stimuli to capture the motivations and emotions associated with customer jobs, categories, brands and executions, and in a recent self-funded study we looked at the role of context, and specifically cultural context, in shaping the feelings of women about beauty. Read more »

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Emotions are constructed just like our experience of the world

Aug 31 2017 Published by neilgains under emotion

The latest science of the brain and emotions is rather disconcerting until you sit and think about it. What Lisa Feldman Barrett says about the working of our emotions is almost exactly the same story that I tell about perception in Brand esSense. Given the links between experience and emotions, her story makes complete sense. And she has plenty of evidence from a wide range of sources to back up her arguments. Read more »

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Cultural Insights Help Marketers Connect Universal Truths to Local Truths

Aug 21 2017 Published by neilgains under brand essense

Little by little the past few years have seen a weakening of the dominance of multinational brands in Asia, as local players win consumer’s hearts with greater understanding of local culture and its importance in consumer decision-making.

For example, beauty is big business in Asia, but in many countries local brands are the most popular with the highest penetration and market share, with international brands increasingly struggling to compete. In Indonesia, local brand Wardah has come from nowhere to take around one-third of the cosmetics market. It’s secret? Understanding the values of Indonesian women (and halal certification, something that has now been legislated to come into effect in the coming years). Read more »

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From Morning Lift To Nighttime Gift: Jakarta beauty routines

Jun 30 2017 Published by neilgains under brand essense

Two years ago, TapestryWorks collaborated with ABN Impact Indonesia to explore beauty goals among Indonesian women, and exactly two years’ later we went back to their Jakarta Beauty insight community to learn more.

In our earlier study, we learnt about a range of motivations that are important to Jakarta women and the beauty that they desire, including Confidence, Knowledge, Care, Belonging, Love, Fun and the desire to be (a little) Unique. In our latest study, we decided to look more deeply into these different motivations to understand how they relate to different aspects of women’s daily lives. Read more »

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Understanding Muslim Beauty: The endless growing opportunity

Apr 25 2017 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

What is the real opportunity for Muslim beauty? Let’s start with the numbers, which are truly impressive, before sharing  some research on what Muslim women want from beauty and the relationship between beauty and Muslim values. Let’s then look at one beauty brand that I think has been successful in capturing these needs and values, before putting Muslim beauty into a broader context of global beauty trends. Read more »

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The esSense of a new insurance brand? (The Importance of Brand esSense #6)

Feb 14 2017 Published by neilgains under brand essense

Walking through Singapore yesterday, I noticed for the first time the eTiQa insurance brand, owned by Maybank. Perhaps I should have noticed the brand before, but I was struck by the colours and naming of the brand which struck an immediate resonance for the category.

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