The Meaning of Red - the Colour of Passion

Nov 17 2012 Published by neilgains under semiotics


Four Darks Red by Mark Rothko

“The true color of life is the color of the body, the color of the covered red, the implicit and not explicit red of the living heart and the pulses. It is the modest color of the unpublished blood.” - Alice Meynell

The nature of red

The power of red colour on human psychology and physiology is well documented (you can read about the ‘red effect’, an important principle of design, here). In nature, the colour red is an important signal for the fertility of females and the dominance of males across many animal species, linked to increased fertility and higher testosterone.  Red is often a mating signal for humans, and although the changes are more subtle than in many animals, women have fuller red lips and flushed cheeks when most fertile, and it is common across cultures to accentuate facial features with rouge, lipstick and other cosmetics, and even by wearing red clothing. Read more »

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Big Data, Big Changes?

Apr 09 2012 Published by neilgains under market research

What will the entry of Google into market research mean for the industry?

Google Consumer Surveys is a deceptively simple product. Limited questions, simple (and low) pricing, and the promise of focused customer feedback. Other DIY tools such as Survey Monkey (which I use regularly), have not yet gained strong traction, perhaps because they lack the access to consumers that is an important part of an agency’s service. Read more »

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Can Market Research Get Beyond Questions?

Dec 30 2011 Published by neilgains under market research

The future of questions

Everyone likes to make predictions as one year closes and another begins with fresh hopes, although fewer go back to check what they said previously (with some notable exceptions). Rather than make predictions, most of which are guaranteed not to happen, I would like to share a hope for how market research can reinvent itself for the future. In sharing my hope I can also share some of the changes that I believe will happen at some time in the near future (I would never be confident enough to say that it will be in 2012).

My big wish is that market research can start to get beyond its obsession with questions. Read more »

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6 Trends and 1 Colour for 2012

Dec 28 2011 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

What does 2012 hold?

In an uncertain world, it’s always good to hang on to someone else’s predictions of what lies ahead, and in that spirit here is a summary of some of the key trends outlined by trendwatching.com in their end of year report (link here). Some of these trends seem very similar to previous years perhaps, and some are less relevant for Asia, so I will focus on six that I find most relevant and intriguing plus a tip for which colour to wear to your New Year’s party on Saturday night. Read more »

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Unfolding the Meaning of Colour

Sep 17 2011 Published by neilgains under semiotics

The evolution of colour

We share eyes which can form images with around 95% of animal species, and colour is an important signal in nature for the safety of food, the detection of predators and the identification of sexual readiness (and Mark Changizi argues also for interpreting the emotions and intentions of others). Colour is caused by the reflection of some types of light and the absorption of others, and all our eyes can tell our brains are which wavelengths (or frequencies) of light are present and which are not. From this information our brain creates the colours which we see all around us, but have these colours always been experienced in the same way and had the same meanings? Read more »

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What’s Growing in China?

Aug 22 2011 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

CNBC have an interesting slide show (click here) and article on Growing Trends for Chinese Consumers and it’s worth sharing them even though some are well known (some are more surprising). The trends are macro-economic, and provide insights into the changing Chinese marketplace and consumer. Read more »

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Future Fundamentals: Emotion, Habit, Context and Age

Apr 12 2011 Published by neilgains under insight

The transformation of market research

Last week I spent a great two days taking part in the MRSS Asia Research Conference (declaration: I had also been involved in it’s organisation).  On the first day, more than twenty young (and occasionally old) researchers took part in two stimulating workshops exploring research in the facebook age, and the busy executive’s guide to social media.  On the second day of the conference, 10 world class speakers spoke on a range of topics connected to the future of research in Asia.

My key take aways fall into four areas: the importance of emotions, the power of measuring real behaviours, the value of contextualising survey questions and the reality of Asia’s ageing population (surprisingly I’ve come back to affect, behaviour and context again!). Read more »

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The Urban Future

Feb 17 2011 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

“For those (cities) which were great once are small today; and those that used to be small are great in my own time.  Knowing, therefore, that human prosperity never abides long in the same place, I shall pay attention to both alike.”  - Herodotus Read more »

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The Road to Asian Brand Success

Jan 03 2011 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

How successful are Asian brands?

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) published a report late last year on Asian branding full of  insights and well worth reading.  The report is based on interviews with a range of branding experts and Asian business leaders and you can download it (in English or Chinese) here. Read more »

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IBM’s Mobile (and Scary?) Future

Dec 30 2010 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

“Never make forecasts, especially about the future.”  - Samuel Goldwyn

IBM have bravely made some predictions about the next five years.  Although none of their ideas are wildly controversial, they are worth reading (and watching).  The five key themes are: Read more »

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