12 Powerful New Insight Gathering Tools
21 May 2018

12 Powerful New Insight Gathering Tools

Without great consumer insights, it’s virtually impossible to deliver marketing success.

But how will you deliver the ‘game-changing insights’ your business needs?

Classic research groups work fine, but they don’t get you deep inside your consumers’ lives or deep inside their heads.

There’ve never been more fresh, relevant insight gathering tools out there for you to use, but which will give you the edge?  Neuro-marketing, Social Intercepts, Conflict Groups, or one of the other nine tools we’ve identified?

Whether your challenge is proposition optimisation, brand renovation or business innovation, check them out here, and find out how we can help you find the insights you need and turn them int your springboards for success.

Four ways to reduce your brand’s plastics footprint!
15 May 2018

Four ways to reduce your brand’s plastics footprint!

The tide is turning against single-use plastic.

  • Brands that fail to act will be rejected by consumers.
  • Those that find solutions fast will be seen as heroes!

Taking action to reduce your brand’s plastics footprint can feel like a big task, so we’ve broken it down into a series of practical options: Replace, re-use, return or reframe.

If you sit and wait for your packaging team to take action for you, you could be missing out on huge opportunities to build your brand’s reputation.

We think it’s going to need a bit of lateral thinking to find the right approach, deliver the solution fast – and work out how to maximise the positive impact on your brand.  That’s why we’re keen to help.

If you would like to investigate these, or other options, to reduce your brand’s environmental impact in a Creative Workshop or in Co-creation with consumers – let us know NOW!

Your innovation concepts need a winning ‘edge’ if they’re going to succeed!
14 May 2018

Your innovation concepts need a winning ‘edge’ if they’re going to succeed!

If you want your innovation or brand-renovation initiative to succeed, you need to get your proposition and marketing mix 100% right.

Our concept-crafting and co-creation tools will give your innovation projects the winning edge they need in these hyper-competitive times!

Just a few hours working collaboratively with Super-Consumers in our Crucible Co-Creators will make sure your consumer insight, product idea, benefit and RTB/claims are all working together to maximise your chances of success.

Check out our post to see how we used co-creation tools in UK, DE and USA to help Unilever achieve 93% concept viability for their new product concepts!

Innovation and the Plastics Pact
2 May 2018

Innovation and the Plastics Pact

Are your products packed in petro-chemical based plastics?

If so, have you considered the implications of the ‘plastics pledge’ yet?

Blue Planet II has forced the problem of ocean pollution and lack of biodegradability into the mainstream

25% of UK consumers are now ‘extremely concerned’ about plastic packaging in grocery with 21% going even further and calling for food, drink, household and beauty brands to opt-out of petro-chemical plastics entirely!

Regardless of your category non-biodegradable plastics are becoming bad news fast!

So, how are you going to react?

We’ve taken a look at some of the emerging tech-solutions in bioplastics and what we’ve discovered is frankly astonishing.

We’ve also uncovered some seriously inspiring examples of how brands are starting to use eco-friendly materials to innovate, differentiate and build compelling added-value storytelling – that we though you might find valuable.  Check them out here!

Then give us a call, because we can help turn this challenge into an opportunity by unlocking insights, strategy, ideation and helping you create compelling innovation concepts!

15 Trends Reinventing the Home
24 Apr 2018

15 Trends Reinventing the Home

Great innovators don’t just keep up to date with existing consumers’ needs …

They stay two or three paces ahead of the herd, by anticipating where change will drive expectations tomorrow …

That’s why trends are so important!

Nowhere is change happening faster than in the home.

We’ve identified 15 trends that aren’t just disrupting how consumers live .. but also fundamentally changing what they expect of your brands and innovation propositions.

If you’re not building Obesity Battleground, Robot Housekeepers, Sleep Reinvented, Fridge as Home Hub, Voice for Everything and the other 10 into your insighting and ideation … you are quickly going to be left behind.

Check them out here


Growth Building Block #3: Innovation
13 Mar 2018

Growth Building Block #3: Innovation

80% of innovations fail.

So, innovation is all about making big bets – in the expectation of gaining big rewards.

But that risk of failure can be significantly reduced – if you follow the right approach

  • Equity-stretch innovation allows you to leverage existing brands – at lower risk
  • Blue-sky innovation lets you create brand new propositions to match emerging consumer needs

Great innovation leverages new technologies, new delivery mechanisms and new business models to fulfil unmet consumer needs in fresh and disruptive ways.  The risks are great, but the rewards can be far greater still!

  • The first step is to gain a deep, rich empathy with consumers – and understanding of the challenges they face.
  • The second step is to build on that empathy – to explore how you can make consumers’ lives better.
  • An understanding of relevant trends can help you predict how expectations might change and markets might evolve over time.
  • Then the next step is to really open up your mind, and challenge your team, to think differently about how your business’s competencies and technologies might be harnessed to create game-changing solutions.
  • Then you need to carefully craft consumer-friendly concepts that clearly explain your idea and express it’s benefits – because we’ve seen far too many great ideas die for lack of compelling storytelling.
  • Only then should you consider concept testing to spot any weaknesses in your proposition – and start building the business case.
  • One of the last, but one of the most important tasks, is to gain the commitment of everyone throughout the business to making your innovation into a success – because every disruptive innovation needs LOTS of support.

We can help guide you through the process and help you generate game-changing results – just like we have for the teams at Kerry, PepsiCo and Unilever

Why not check out the case histories … then give us a call?

Challenge:  How can we help you open up your thinking and innovate your business offerings to exceed consumer expectations as they change over time?

Growth Building Block #2: Brand Renovation
13 Mar 2018

Growth Building Block #2: Brand Renovation

There’s nothing sadder than a great brand that’s beginning to look past its prime.

Brand Renovation is all about stripping away the irrelevant, retaining what’s good and evolving what’s left – to optimise your brand’s core values and make them fit-for-purpose for the next 10 – 20 years.

By identifying the fundamental DNA your loyalists love, redefining your brand’s purpose and then exploring how the brand-house can be contemporised, you maximise your ability to satisfy your consumers’ needs

  • First step is to do an honest assessment of the status quo – and gather some penetrating insights into how lovers and haters really see the brand
  • Then you need to start stripping away the layers of brand history and meaning to uncover its true DNA
  • Once that’s done, you can start the process of redefining the brands purpose, contemporising it’s mission and storytelling – with a view to maximising relevance, appeal ad differentiation

Easy … but not straightforward.

We can help guide you through the process and help you generate game-changing results – just like we have for the sugar team at Nestle.

Why not check out the case history … then give us a call?

Challenge:  How could we help you renovate your brand’s core DNA and purpose to maximise it’s relevance and focus its benefit communication?

Growth Building Block #1: Claims Optimisation
13 Mar 2018

Growth Building Block #1: Claims Optimisation

Optimisation is all about making sure your product or brand’s core proposition is relevantly differentiated and its reasons-to-believe are expressed in the most compelling ways possible.

The objective is to express your product’s fundamental value proposition so clearly, that price-based activity becomes a way of gaining temporary advantage – rather than your sole way of defending your market position!

  • First step is to gain penetrating insights into underlying consumer needs and the ways consumers evaluate competitive offerings.
  • Then work out what features, benefits or attributes you could leverage to convince consumers that your solution is a superior match to their needs.
  • Finally, you need to craft these points of superiority into relevant, memorable and compelling claims!

Simple … but not easy.

We can help guide you through the process and help you generate game-changing results – just like we have for the team at Reckitt Benckiser.

Why not check out the case history … then give us a call?

Challenge:  What are your brand’s differentiating RTBs and how could Brand Development help you optimise their relevance?

What’s a Rubber Chicken got to do with creativity?
2 Mar 2018

What’s a Rubber Chicken got to do with creativity?

Creativity has been defined as ‘making inspired connections’:

  • Connections between unmet consumer needs … and business capabilities
  • Connections between materials functionality … and practical challenges
  • Even connections between product attributes … and consumer beliefs

Creative ideation workshops can be a brilliant place to help your teams make these connections.

But creating the insightful, imaginative atmosphere that encourages connection-making can be a challenge.  Especially if the workshop participants aren’t in the right mindset.

That’s why it’s so important to introduce fun, energising activities into workshop sessions – whether at the beginning of a meeting to relax your delegates and unleash their creative spirit, or mid-session to refresh and re-energise them when they’ve hit a mental block.

That’s why we’re happy to share some of the physical and mind-games we find useful to stimulate and reset team thinking – they’re all designed to get the team working together, thinking more creatively and approaching challenges from a fresh perspective.

Juke Box Heroes:

Split the group into two teams. Give them two minutes to write as many song titles as they can featuring a chosen word, such as ‘love’, ‘baby’, ‘Christmas’ (depending on the time of year!) or ‘you’. When the time’s up count the results and award the team with the most correct answers the title of Juke Box Heroes.

This is another useful exercise to reset a team’s thinking and revitalise their connection-making processes before tackling the next challenge.

Yes! No!:

Pick a member of the team to sit in the ‘hot seat’ and have the rest of the group fire questions at them for two minutes. The answerer must respond to all questions without using ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – if they make a mistake the person who asked that question will take their place and become the questioned. Whoever is in the seat when the time is up is the winner.

Things can get a bit raucous with this one.  It’s a great one to get the team thinking about how they communicate.

Squiggle Birds:

This is a great creative drawing technique demonstrated by Dave Gray – draw a series of random ‘squiggles’ on a piece of paper. Then challenge each member of the team in turn to come up and turn a squiggle into a bird by adding eyes, a beak, feet and a tail.

This is a brilliant exercise for encouraging participants to spot patterns, assign meaning, make connections and get the creative juices flowing in a way that encourages visual and out-of-the-box thinking!

Backwards Pictionary:

A classic with a twist. Split the group into two teams. Write down a series of things to draw, such as animals, landmarks or objects, fold up the bits of paper and mix them up. Choose one member of each team to be the artist and get the rest of the group to choose one description from a hat. Each group must work together to describe the thing on the piece of paper to the artist so that they can draw it – they have 10 minutes to complete the challenge, the team who successfully draw their picture first wins.

This is a good one for team work and getting participants thinking about how they communicate with each other.

Rubber Chicken

This is one of our favourites.  You’ll need to divide your workshop team into sub-groups of equal size.  Then allocate each team a rubber chicken … but if you want to know more, you’ll have to commission a workshop with us and experience it for yourself!

It’s a brilliant energiser and a lot if fun …

it’s almost worth the price of a day’s workshop to experience it first hand.

The huge number of brilliant ‘connections’ we’ll help you and your team make and the fresh, disruptive ideas we’ll help you generate – will almost be a bonus!

Insightful, Imaginative, Connection-Making, Creative Workshops

If your business or team needs to stimulate creativity and generate breakthrough innovation ideas … we’ll be happy to help.

For more tips for leading group innovation sessions have a look at our e-book ‘xxxxx’ or, even better, get in touch to see how we can help plan a workshop that’ll deliver the solutions you need!

Jo or I would be happy to talk you through the creative tools and techniques that are available … or even help you put a workshop programme in place right now!