Ripping Off the Band-Aid®

Ripping Off the Band-Aid®

Recently, I was invited to facilitate a session with a prospective client about how to better utilize market research and voice-of-consumer in its innovation process. Apparently, it was a hot topic: the room was filled with people from R&D, product development, marketing, sales, and even finance. I expected to spend four hours going over the basics like determining consumer needs and building product concepts. Within...

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Fool’s Gold:  Innovation without Hearing

Fool’s Gold: Innovation without Hearing

Market research and voice-of-the customer is often expressed as listening. I argue that organizations struggling with innovation do so because they lack the necessary insights to guide their efforts…and insights are a function of hearing – not listening. Here’s the rub. When talking to customers, there are different layers of feedback. Customers are great at giving opinions, but opinions are NOT the same as the...

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Avoid the Herd Mentality – Focus on Who Matters

Avoid the Herd Mentality – Focus on Who Matters

I recently attended a presentation by Youngme Moon, the Dean at the Harvard Business School who spoke at The Market Research Event (TMRE) conference. She reminded me that brands who have “come out of nowhere” in the past decade have taken a new twist on differentiation by purposefully making themselves irrelevant to segments of the population. Take IKEA. It continues to steal market share in...

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Branding Junkies – I Feel Your Pain

Branding Junkies – I Feel Your Pain

I hate to admit it, but after 10 years in business we started practicing what we preach. We hired a marketing director and her first assignment was to help us further clarify the StandPoint brand. I thought this was going to be easy. We are usually a congenial bunch, but I was surprised at how passionate people get when asked for their point of view...

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Krazy for Kotler

Krazy for Kotler

Call me weird, but I recently ordered an updated copy of Kotler’s textbook on strategic marketing and have been reading it. If I’ve done my math right, there have been at least 10 versions of this book since I completed my graduate studies. Now that I’ve “done marketing” for 20 years, Kotler’s lessons have considerably more relevance. In that time span, the tools and tactics...

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