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!

Without great insights, innovation’s impossible!
27 Feb 2018

Without great insights, innovation’s impossible!

Great insights underpin every breakthrough innovation.

That’s why it’s so important to keep your ‘insights bank’ fresh …

But, if the insights you’re using to drive your innovation or brand renovation strategy are more than 12 months old – the chances are they’re out of date!

So much has changed in your target consumers’ lives that now could be the time to reconnect with them.

In the last year:

  • Brexit – has dramatically impacted on consumer confidence …
  • Alexa, Google Home and AI – have made ‘voice’ part of how consumers expect to gain knowledge and buy …
  • Social-media reactions to everything from ‘tactless’ ad storytelling to ‘gender stereotyping’ has allowed activists to hold major brands to account …
  • The continued mainstreaming of discount-retailers – have made the ‘search for value’ a key part of everyday shopping …
  • The growth of social-selling, changing perceptions of sugar and the search for ‘wellbeing’ – are all changing expectations …

The pace of change will just keep accelerating.

So, the need to get close to your consumers and truly connect with them has never been greater!

We’d strongly recommend getting out and re-connecting with your target consumers – not in nice comfy groups, but in their own habitat.  You’ll learn more about their subtleties, complexities and unmet needs from a few online ethnos or in-home safaris than you ever will from dozens of syndicated reports or conventional groups!

If gathering fresh insights and making fresh consumer connections is a live issue for you, we’d love to talk to you about how mobile ethnography, in-home safaris, shopper ride-alongs, life-logging and surf-observations can all be harnessed as power-tools. They won’t just help your team uncover previously un-recognised insights, but also give them the kind of intuitive empathy they need to generate more relevant ideas and deliver even more successful activations.

We’ll help you and your team get out of your comfort zones – and face-to-face with real, live consumers far faster and more cost-effectively than you might think.

We can help you plan, prepare, execute and harvest rich learnings from your consumer connects, but we can also help you synthesise the learnings, marshal the insights and turn them into springboards for agile innovation and brand renovation.

So, if you suspect your insights would benefit from a quick programme of refreshment and reinvigoration, why don’t we talk?

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

Optimisation, Renovation or Innovation?
30 Jan 2018

Optimisation, Renovation or Innovation?

Everyone recognises the need to grow their business in 2018. But which strategy would be best for your business:

  • Should you play it safe and go for optimisation?
  • Should you invest in core renovation?
  • Or should you bet big – and chase the potential rewards of a successful innovation?

We’ve reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of each approach … and concluded that most businesses will need a balance of all three if they are going to thrive!

Why not follow this link to check out our thinking and discover how we can help you make 2018 your most successful year ever …

Nine Key Consumer Trends for 2018
4 Jan 2018

Nine Key Consumer Trends for 2018

If you are tasked with plotting your business’ long-term strategy or innovating the portfolio beyond 2020, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of consumer trends.

But with so many forecasts being published every year – this can be a full-time task!

Every year we analyse dozens of trend forecasts to identify those that we feel would be most inspiring when it comes to planning strategy or generating innovation ideas.

These nine trends have implications for business strategy, claims optimisation, brand renovation, new product development and service innovation.

We’re sure you’ll find them enlightening and inspiring.  Check them out here.  Enjoy!

Christmas Seasonal Innovation 2017
18 Dec 2017

Christmas Seasonal Innovation 2017

Whether you call it the Holidays or Christmas, there is no denying that November and December are key months for lots of categories.

Retailers pile on the Christmas decorations and emotional TV campaigns, food-manufacturers go into over-drive … and some super-smart marketers start working on winning over consumers’ hearts and minds.

Christmas is an incredibly important period for brand optimisers, renovators and new product developers … so what separates the Christmas ‘crackers’ of innovation … from the total turkeys?

We’ve analysed some of 2017’s most interesting festive marketing initiatives … and we’d love to share our findings!

If you curious to see what separates our 12 cracking examples from the numerous turkeys we’ve seen this year .. check out the full post after the jump

Unlocking the secrets of wellness & wellbeing innovation
14 Dec 2017

Unlocking the secrets of wellness & wellbeing innovation

Wellness & wellbeing are amongst the hottest trends this year.

But innovating wellness & wellbeing isn’t easy.

We’ve seen lots of concepts crash and burn.

So, what does the forward-looking innovator need to know before they can capitalise on the trend?

We’ve completed a number of projects digging into wellness & wellbeing themes across Europe and the USA this year, so we thought now might be a good time to share some of our observations …

If you’re curious to know more about the seven challenges we identified that prevent too many innovators delivering wellness and wellbeing success … check out the full article after the jump!