The other day my married son asked me what my wife and I would like for Christmas (they're overachievers getting started early). I did a double take because I hadn't really thought about the question. As I began to contemplate the gifts I've received through the years that were the most memorable, it was clear that they all included those that lead to some life experience. A bike when I was young that gave me freedom, play tickets that took me out of my life experience, a painting that I look at often, were at the top of the list. So I answered him that the thing we'd like most was something we could DO with him and his wife rather than an item that would be stored somewhere in our house...some experience.Read More
The Landmark Blog
When did they stop singing the jingle in Kit-Kat commercials? I don’t watch a ton of TV, so I’m not the best judge of this, but I think its been a few years since the Kit-Kat jingle was actually sung in a commercial. It’s all sound effects now, but when a Kit-Kat commercial comes on, I still sing the words in my mind along with the sound effects. I can’t help it. It’s as if I don’t even have a choice in the matter. “Gimme me a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar.” Having me repeat those words in my mind is of course far more effective than simply hearing those words. That’s powerful advertising.
So much of what we think, believe, and even decide occurs without our own awareness. In his book “Unconscious Branding,” author Douglas Van Praet provides several insights into the way our mind works when it comes to forming opinions about brands. The following is my effort to summarize some of his key points. As a marketing researcher, much of the book resonated with what I have already come to know, but he also provided several new insights that I know I will find applicable to much of the branding research I do with regard to focus groups, survey development, and consultation.Read More
Recently I've been spending quite a bit of time following up on conference attendance, reaching out to clients and potential clients to help plan for the upcoming year, and helping design market research studies to assist businesses in making good strategic decisions. I was speaking with an industry friend the other day about their market research plans for 2015 and we started to discuss the survey research process that gets wrapped around events (concerts, fairs, festivals, shows, farmers markets, etc.).Read More
Have you eaten at a food truck recently? I ate at one for dinner last night. I'm about to age myself, but I can CLEARLY remember when food trucks were a little sketchy, not the gourmet food they've turned into in the past few years. Growing up, we used to eat at one of two food trucks in our town (very cheaply I might add). One was bad Mexican food. The other was even worse Mexican food. The better of the two trucks served radishes with your meal. You were bound to get sick from eating at either of them, but you could stuff yourself for $3. We had a couple of names for these trucks. When we were being nice, the trucks were called Taco Rockets; when we were mean they were Roach Coaches. They WERE NOT very clean and I'm fairly sure that no government/food approval process ever "evaluated" them.Read More
A much younger version of me used to play right forward on a soccer team. And I was fast. I remember frequently racing with the ball up the sideline, past the other team’s defenders, and then centering the ball to a teammate who would hopefully put it in the net. I recall on one occasion, after racing up the sideline, centering the ball directly to a defender instead of my teammate. I mistakenly assumed that my teammate would be there, I obviously should have looked first, but had he been playing his position, the outcome could have been very different.
Soccer, football, lacrosse, basketball, with just about every sport positioning is a critical component of success. The same can be said for any brand. As you watch football this season, notice how many big plays are made as the result of a receiver finding an open position on the field. In business the action is far slower, but the same principle applies. If you can outmaneuver a defender (the competition) and find or create an open position, you can make the big play. Easier said than done, but when you have a sound game plan (a positioning strategy), the likelihood of success is much greater.Read More
I'm sort of a Netflix junky. I love that I can sit down for twenty minutes, catch an episode of some random television show and walk away. I'm also sort of a binge watcher. I find myself totally addicted to different shows and watch them for hours on end. An awesome evening for me is to hang out with a cool drink, a bed, and just veg out and do nothing (I like my time off).
I was putting together a market research proposal the other day for a quasi-governmental organization. The RfP was huge (they always seem to be), for a relatively conservative sized engagement. In any case, I reached a point in the proposal process where it started to ask for information on research that we provided that did NOT include telephone surveys, online surveys, and focus groups. I found it oddly interesting.
A few weeks ago, when World Cup 2014 began, we did some social media analysis going into the soccer tournament. The article was titled "A Social Media Research Read on World Cup 2014." The World Cup is always full of high drama, and this year was no exception. We had biters and hunters, high profiled players with broken backs, teams with early exits, and did you see that US goalkeeper? In any case, here's an "end of tournament" infographic on the most mentioned social media content from World Cup 2014. Enjoy!
Every one of us has "OUR THING." If you think about it, you'll know what I mean. "Our thing" is the "thing" that we talk about incessantly, the "thing" that gets us excited, the "thing" that people politely avoid talking to us about (unless they really want to know). A question on the "thing" opens up Pandora's Box...a conversation that, as a casual participant to the conversation, you can never get back in the box. That "thing"...is "our thing."