• Focus groups, mini/friendship groups, IDIs are all still highly relevant but we can add value to their strengths:
    • pre-tasks like diaries, 'lifebooks' etc to illuminate contextual understanding of the brand experience
    • pre-reads and initial screening of concepts, adcepts, and other stimulus to bring 'pre-engagement' at individual level..to maximise group participation
  • Extended 'workshop-style' groups:
    • 'Expert' groups to drive development and co-creation
    • 'Provocative interaction/conflict' groups deliberately recruiting advocates of directly competitive brands
    • Creative spaces to encourage/facilitate participation and creativity
  • A whole gamut of projectives from brand personifications to testimonials, Gestalt room fantasies, collages, lateral stimuli exercises etc
  • Not only classic ethnographies but 'live' moments in the consumer's product/brand experience both in and out of home:
    • personal and social consumption experience
    • product/brand shopping behaviour
    • feedback on communication, activations, different media usage, content and experiences
  • Either accompanied/observed/video'd by researchers or self-recorded on smartphones by respondents/friends/family etc
  • Online groups, IDIs are relevant in circumstances where the ultimate 'depth' and flexibility with (for instance) stimulus is not required; for example screening of concepts, adcepts etc
  • Online platforms to gather self-completed responses like diaries, 'lifebooks' and uploaded materials like collages, photos, videos and brand 'testimonials' can add real value both as 'stand-alone' brand projection exercises and as pre-tasks
  • Longer term online vehicles like communities, forums, bulletin boards and blogs etc can create a proxy for 'real' online interaction with and about the brand…
  • We have access to sophisticated software packages enabling us to design and deliver bespoke approaches
  • Semiotics can provide a valuable extra frame of reference for brand understanding and insight
  • Understanding different cultural codes can be particularly relevant to global brand essence, personality and communications issues
  • It can guide the consumer research process (both inputs and output analysis)
  • But we do not believe it is a substitute for direct consumer response ...Its principal value lies in developing upfront hypotheses and illuminating overall interpretation
  • We collaborate with a small group of specialists recommending their input where we believe it appropriate
  • Brand Activations often take place outside traditional media, in conditions where 'viral' responses cannot easily be replicated in research (e.g. social media).
  • But given their increasing importance to the brand mission or story, we believe we should treat them no differently from 'traditional' media communications
  • We may not be able to 'pre-test' viral response but we can explore the ideas and content developmentally in much the same way as for other communication using various forms of concept stimuli
  • Stimulus is indeed critical but technology gives us sophisticated techniques to enable our more techno-savvy consumer to understand the idea
  • In our view, 'emotional authenticity' is key to brand activations content to engage the target with the brand
  • Qualitative techniques can certainly explore emotional fit with the brand, its story or mission, its brand voice, and any core communication platform that already exists
International brand insight