What Market Research can Learn from Brexit

Jul 08 2016 Published by neilgains under emotion

The result of the recent referendum in the UK on membership of the European Union (EU) was a big shock for most people, including opinion poll companies. Unfortunately, they had been providing remarkably similar forecasts for the last several months as the poll became closer, sometimes up and sometimes down but almost all with the same prediction. Those that tried even failed to get it right on polling day itself. In this regard, they repeated their poor performance of the UK general election just over one year ago. Read more »

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Picturing Emotions in Research

Jun 07 2016 Published by neilgains under emotion

TapestryWorks has been using Visual Think Cards® for several years now to capture human goals and the emotions and contexts that are associated with them. For most branding applications, these work very well to elicit the balance of positive and negative sentiment associated with a category, brand or experience.

However, sometimes we need to dig deeper into emotions, especially when the topic is more serious and with darker feelings. On these occasions, we have often used a model of human emotions based on evolutionary biology and psychology (read more here and here about Robert Plutchik’s wheel of emotions).

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Has Coke given up on Emotional Advertising?

Jan 22 2016 Published by neilgains under branding

Coca-Cola recently announced a new strapline for the brand, uniting all the different variants of the brand. As Coca-Cola spend more than 3 billion dollars a year on advertising this is quite a big event. The new strapline of “Taste the feeling” replaces “Open happiness”. This strikes me as a step backwards for the brand on two levels. Firstly, they are moving back from a more emotion based positioning to one that is much more functional. And secondly, I really don’t see how “Taste the feeling” differentiates the brand from a multitude of others. Read more »

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The Spectre of Blending Signs

Nov 09 2015 Published by neilgains under semiotics

I really enjoyed Spectre, the latest Bond outing. In particular, the film is full of references to other (Bond) movies. Apart from the fact that Spectre weaves together strands from all three of Daniel Craig’s previous outings, I noticed quiet specific references to several earlier Bond films, including From Russia With Love, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (via Inception) and The Spy Who Loved Me. And those are only the ones that I remember (I wasn’t taking notes in the cinema).

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The Feeling of Muslim Beauty: Is the beauty myth universal or do local truths prevail?

Jul 30 2015 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

The beauty every woman desires?

Much has been written about the rise of hijabers and the modernization of Muslim values. Many such perspectives interpret cultural changes through the lens of Western values, so what is the truth about modern Muslim women in South East Asia and what they feel about beauty? Read more »

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What’s in a Metaphor? Using images to decode culture

Jul 21 2015 Published by neilgains under semiotics

TapestryWorks recently conducted some fascinating research into the meaning of beauty for Muslim women in Indonesia and Malaysia.  The self-funded project looked at the key emotional goals relating to beauty, using our StoryWorks framework and Visual Think Cards, perceptions of local female celebrities in relation to beauty, and an emotional and cultural analysis of how brands are talking about beauty in both markets.

We will be sharing the results with clients and publishing some of the key highlights soon, but one of the major findings is that many local brands are far ahead of global brands in catching the local zeitgeist and communicating messages that resonate with local cultural norms.

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The Importance of Brand esSense: is Vaseline implicitly messing it up?

Jul 09 2015 Published by neilgains under archetypes

In Brand esSense I use many examples of brands that have been successful in finding and articulating a clear and consistent emotional positioning, including at least one Unilever brand. Having just finished fieldwork on a project to understand the meaning of beauty to Muslims in Indonesia and Malaysia, I am in the process of writing up our findings on how beauty really feels and they are fascinating. As part of writing up, I have been spending time looking at beauty advertising in the two markets to understand how different brands are currently talking about beauty.

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Emotions – A body of evidence

May 25 2015 Published by neilgains under emotion

Emotional mapping is a core part of TapestryWorks work, and we have often argued that emotions are much more physical and non-conscious than cognitive (see our white paper here). So I was fascinated to find a paper from 2013 in which the authors reported several studies inn which they had asked people to “map” bodily sensations though a topographical self-report method. The results are fascinating and show that different emotions produce sensations in different parts of the body. They also show evidence that in the majority of cases these sensations and states are culturally universal. Read more »

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Making SNAPP Decisions: A framework for applying “fast” thinking

Apr 06 2015 Published by neilgains under behavioural change

In Thinking, Fast And Slow, Daniel Kahneman provides an overall metaphor for human thinking as well as describing a long list of heuristics (mental rules of thumb) that we all use to make decision-making simpler, quicker and more efficient.  All these heuristics happen in System 1, the description Kahneman gives to non-conscious and implicit thinking.

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A Picture Paints A Thousand Words: Making Research More Visual (White Paper #3)

Mar 24 2015 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

Market research still uses too many words, with most approaches continuing to focus on question and answer approaches to understanding human behaviour. However, we know that most of the brain lives in the physical world and builds knowledge through the sensory system and especially the visual sense. It’s time for market research to get more visual and use the power of images and metaphors to capture the real feelings of people that sit beyond the rational and verbal brain.

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