Turn Up The Signal, Wipe Out The Noise

Jan 23 2015 Published by neilgains under book review

The Signal and the Noise deals with the challenges of making predictions and is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand both the potential and limitations of big data. The author, Nate Silver, famously beat all the professional pollsters in making predictions about the last two US presidential elections and has written extensively on the limitations of models and experts in accurately forecasting the future. Read more »

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How Can Market Research Do Better In 2015?

Jan 21 2015 Published by neilgains under market research

It is now clear that the human brain is immensely complex and interconnected with much of its work unknowable and mysterious. This is hard for us to accept as individuals, including myself, and continues to be hard for the market research industry to accept.too  Perhaps that is why very little fundamental change has occurred.

While there have been great leaps in the technological interfaces used to collect data from research participants (and hurray that 2014 finally appeared to be the year that mobile data collection really took off), the fundamental processes have not undergone the radical changes that they need. Read more »

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Getting to the Core of Brand esSense: Visual Thinking in Research

Dec 07 2014 Published by neilgains under branding

If you want to talk to the emotional brain then you need to talk a language that emotions speak and hear, and that’s much more the language of the senses, especially the visual sense, than it is words. Visual approaches can help us understand the core of the esSense of a brand, by understanding the emotional story that underlies the goals or motivations of customers.

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Exploring and Measuring Emotion: Neuropsychology and Visual Thinking

Oct 04 2014 Published by neilgains under emotion

Our emotional brain speaks the language of experience, dominated by our visual world. It’s time for research to start talking the same language as the emotional brain.

Let’s face it – as researchers we spend most of our lives in the verbal sphere. But does that make sense? And, in particular, does it make sense to try and understand human emotions through questions and answers or sets of words? We are living in the visual age, where many claim that visual literacy is on the rise, with the use of multiple screens and the importance of the moving image in TV, film and online (read a review of The Age of the Image here). But humans have always been more visual than verbal, and technology is now allowing us to share visual information more easily than ever before. So there is no longer an excuse for market research! Read more »

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Finding the Right Emotions - A picture paints a thousand words

Aug 28 2014 Published by neilgains under emotion

Marketers have regained their interest in emotional advertising in recent years and the evidence is clear that emotional advertising beats rational advertising. Great brands have always known this, communicating loudly and consistently around a core message. For example, Dove, IKEA, Nike and Virgin all create a strong emotional connection with customers by shaping both their communication and their brand experience around this core (nurture, equality, performance or fun). Read more »

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The Semiotics of Office Design

Jun 29 2014 Published by neilgains under semiotics

Many companies are waking up to the importance of office design in communicating and supporting their company culture. Most famously, Pixar’s offices were designed by Steve Jobs to maximize the number of random interactions between employees across all company departments.

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Is your Brand using the right Symbols?

Feb 25 2014 Published by neilgains under semiotics

Our world is full of symbols, and we are all surrounded by symbols and signs every hour of every day. Our brains constantly use signs and symbols to access mental shortcuts. These shortcuts allow us to simplify and manage the world in all its complexity. For brands, these shortcuts are important to how customers perceive category and brand identities. Once established, such identities are hard to disrupt. Read more »

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30 Ways to Connect with your Customers

Feb 12 2014 Published by neilgains under sensory branding

How does your brand show its true identity? Many brands focus on their visual appearance and most especially their logo, against an already cluttered and over-crowded visual environment. There are huge opportunities in exploring how brands can connect with their customers across other less densely occupied touch points. Read more »

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11 Brand Colours and their Meanings

Nov 02 2013 Published by neilgains under semiotics

“There is no model; there is only colour”  - Paul Cezanne

Earlier this month, Cadbury lost the fight to fully trademark their distinctive purple colour (although it is uniquely theirs for chocolate). Why do they care so much about their purple and does it have a meaning beyond its specific association with Cadbury?

Colours are powerful weapons in any branding toolkit and rich with meanings. As a starting point, here is a quick tour of the eleven most frequently used colour names. Read more »

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Film, Co-creation and Story: Making Research More Emotional and Impactful

Jun 27 2013 Published by neilgains under storytelling

The need for emotion

The problem with data is that it is, well, data. And data in itself, however prettily presented, always lack a certain something. Even the best use of powerpoint, prezi, or any other tool is incapable of communicating consumers lives and feelings. Data, however well visualized, lacks empathy and narrative structure. It doesn’t tell a story.

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