The rise of modern Muslim values

Nov 23 2016 Published by neilgains under book review

There has never been a better time to improve our understanding of Islamic traditions and Muslim values. Ignoring the current political climate in the US and elsewhere, the more important and long-term trend to know is the projection by PewResearchCenter that the number of Muslims in the world will increase from 1.6 billion in 2010 to an estimated 2.76 billion in 2050. The book Generation M could not be more timely. Read more »

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Trumping Certainty and Reason: What can market research learn from the US election?

Nov 11 2016 Published by neilgains under market research

The final result is in and already the vultures are circling over the record of the pollsters in the US election. Is this another nail in the coffin of opinion polls, another Brexit moment or something more profound? I believe there are three important lessons for market researchers and one more profound lesson for everyone.

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More on Emotions and the Long-Term

Nov 08 2016 Published by neilgains under advertising

Dr Disruption recently wrote about a recent IPA report on short-term thinking in advertising, in the context of business culture that is increasingly short-term thinking and digitally distracted. Peter Field was the author of the report, and he has recently teamed up again with Les Binet to present more insights into advertising effectiveness following on from their important report The Long and the Short of It (which I wrote about here). They presented their most recent analysis at The IPA Effectiveness Week Genesis Conference, with more insights into how advertising can best work for brands. Read more »

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Beauty - Science or Art?

Sep 22 2016 Published by neilgains under book review

“When I was a little girl no one ever told me I was pretty. All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they are not.”

Marilyn Monroe

“Natural beauty takes at least two hours in front of a mirror.”

Pamela Anderson

Asked why people desire physical beauty, Aristotle said, “No one that is not blind could ask that question”. Is there more to what we find beautiful than just our individual preferences and prejudices? In Survival of the Prettiest, Nancy Etcoff reviews the evidence that beauty is more science than art. In particular, she discusses the role of evolution and natural selection versus culture in shaping what makes someone beautiful.

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Feeling the Gap: Why goals matter for employers and brands

Apr 29 2016 Published by neilgains under archetypes

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”

(William Shakespeare, Sonnet XVIII)

Marketers have finally got the message and are paying increasing importance to the role of emotions in helping consumers make choices about brands. Decisions about brand, or more generally decisions about life, are not just about associating an emotion with a brand or company, but about associating the right emotion. William Shakespeare was right when he talked about the gap between reality and desire, between being hot and rough or fair and temperate.

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Are Most Insights Obvious? And what does that mean for market research?

Apr 14 2016 Published by neilgains under insight

Stan Sthanunathan (Senior Vice President of Consumer and Market Insights at Unilever) recently said that great insights should appear obvious when you look back. Market Researchers, Data Analysts and Consultants shouldn’t feel offended by this remark, as most great human insights are obvious once you understand them. Read more »

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Which Burger Archetype Wears the Crown? (Importance of Brand esSense part 4)

Mar 02 2016 Published by neilgains under brand essense

McDonalds and Burger King have recently been in the news with their tit-for-tat advertising in France, and in many ways the exchanges are a good summary of the history of advertising between the two. Whatever you think of their burgers, or of fast food in general, the story of McDonalds and Burger King communications has frequently been the story of the small guy chasing after (and reacting to) the big guy. Through its history and size, McDonalds often seems to have had the upper hand and the more consistent brand story (although things seem to be changing more recently).

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On Creating Value with Semiotics

Feb 12 2016 Published by neilgains under semiotics

Creating Value is Laura Oswald’s follow up to Marketing Semiotics with much more emphasis on the different applications of semiotics in marketing and market research, as well as an attempt to rethink some aspects of semiotic theory and how they relate to brands in the modern world.

In terms of theory, Laura Oswald argues that we need to shift perspective away from traditional cultural analysis and its emphasis on a (semi) permanent structure of cultural values, towards something more dynamic and more focused on how brands create meaning (and value) at the intersection of category codes, cultural trends and the real-life practice and behaviours of brand users. Read more »

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Are You Available? (Part 2)

Feb 10 2016 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

In How Brands Grow Part 2, Jenni Romaniuk and Byron Sharp continue the arguments of the original book (read a review here) with much more evidence and detail on a range of specific topics including emerging markets, service categories and luxury brands.

The evidence they present is clear, consistent and comprehensively nails many of the marketing myths that they sought to challenge in the first book. And specifically they seek to challenge the “but my category is different” argument with data from a range of categories and markets including China and Indonesia that will be of interest to readers of this blog. Read more »

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How does it Feel to be a Market Researcher?

Jan 25 2016 Published by neilgains under archetypes

How does it really feel to be a market researcher in Asia? Is market research all about feeling smart, intelligent and insightful or do the goals of researchers go beyond the rhetoric of most agencies?

As part of the Asia Research magazine Staff Satisfaction Survey, TapestryWorks used the StoryWorks® Emotional Profiling tool to capture the feelings of staff through a simple visual card sort. Emotional Profiling is based on 12 motivational segments that capture the most fundamental human goals: courage, creativity, discovery, freedom, fun, love, belonging, nurture, innocence, control, knowledge and mastery.

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