Archive for the 'business' Category

Are You Available?

Jul 13 2011 Published by neilgains under business

“It is impossible for ideas to compete in the marketplace if no forum for their presentation is provided or available.”  - Thomas Mann

“Always within an arm’s reach of desire.”  - Robert Woodruff (former chairman of Coca-Cola)

Getting connected

In the final chapter of How Brands Grow, Byron Sharp focuses on the key to great marketing: making your brand easy to buy.  There are two aspects to making brands available which are covered extensively throughout the book: mental availability (something discussed at length in this blog previously) and physical availability.  He argues (based on empirical evidence) that product innovation only works when a brand is salient and well distributed, through distinctive and clear branding and breadth and depth of distribution. Read more »

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Smarter Thinking Frameworks

Jul 08 2011 Published by neilgains under business

Framing thinking

In Don’t Think of an Elephant, George Lakoff provides a practical guide to the way that our mental frameworks shape the way we see the world, in turn shaping the goals we seek, the plans we make, the way we behave and how we interpret good and bad outcomes in life.  These mental frameworks are often ‘invisible’ to us (he calls them the ‘cognitive unconscious’), consisting of structures in our brains which we are not able to access, although we can see their consequences in the way we reason, the decisions we take and our personal values (what we see as ‘common sense’).  We also see them in the language we use, as our words are defined relative to these frameworks, and the stimulus of a word, triggers frames which are activated in the brain. Read more »

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Connecting with Customers

Jun 20 2011 Published by neilgains under business

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”  - Chinese proverb

Connecting the dots

The tremendous advances in brain science (along with changes in the media landscape) mean we need to rethink how we engage customers, taking on board some of the lessons of neuroscience and behavioural economics, and sometimes going back to ancient wisdoms which preceded the rise of rational approaches to consumer behaviour, especially in the West.  The truth is that most of our decision making is unconscious, emotional and highly context dependent (especially social context). Read more »

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“Show Me the Money!”

Jan 29 2011 Published by neilgains under business

What makes research valuable?

I had a great time running a Tapestry Workshop earlier this week on “Winning the Hearts and Minds of Clients”.  One of the key, and often repeated, messages on the course is the importance of linking research to business value creation.

I have read several defences of market research recently, with articles by Spych, Frankie Johnson in the last few days.  As a passionate market researcher, I love to read other passionate researchers standing up for the industry and the importance of linking everything back to the customer, and I applaud them for it. Read more »

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Data is the Tip of the Iceberg

Nov 26 2010 Published by neilgains under business

Is Market Research the iceberg that keeps the Titanic afloat?

At the APRC and JMRA annual conference in Tokyo yesterday, Hatsunori Kiriyama of Procter & Gamble gave a thoughtful keynote speech on “My expectation from research”.  Although Kiriyama-san comes from a sales background, he clearly values research, as do his company, placing it at the heart of the business he runs in Japan, or as he described it, “our brand stories always start with the consumer”. Read more »

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The Price Advantage

Nov 17 2010 Published by neilgains under business

“There is no victory at bargain basement prices.”  - Dwight D. Eisenhower Read more »

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5 Questions Every Innovative Researcher Needs to Ask

Nov 11 2010 Published by neilgains under business

5 questions every innovative researcher needs to ask …. and the one answer they need to give

by Mike Sherman, Neil Gains and Linda Collard Read more »

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Have You Squeezed the Lemon?

Aug 13 2010 Published by admin under business

A recent Accenture study of senior marketing executives highlights the growing need for smarter use of data, creation of unique value propositions and squeezing more business impact from less budget.

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Crystal Balls or Navel Gazing?

Aug 02 2010 Published by admin under business

Has market research dropped the (crystal) ball?

I came into the market research industry because I was curious about people.  I love uncovering the motivations and behaviours of others, and enjoy exploring and connecting data to find new meanings and inspirations.

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Treasure Mapping Together

Apr 05 2010 Published by admin under business

Treasure maps have long appeared in works of fiction to mark the location of buried treasure, a lost mine, a valuable secret or a hidden locale. In Sir H.Rider Haggard’s popular Victorian novel, King Solomon’s Mines, a group of adventurers led by Allan Quatermain, follow the clues on a mysterious map into the African subcontinent, to find the lost treasure of fabled King Solomon.

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