HOW TO PROFIT FROM CHANGE

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HOW TO PROFIT FROM CHANGE

Consumer behaviour and technology are continuing to evolve at pace; the rate of change and the potential afforded by new technology is already creating clear winners and losers.

To help businesses better navigate this context, we’ve developed a proprietary model and approach designed to help clients profit from both current and future consumer behaviour change.

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ALL TOGETHER NOW - how to maximise the impact of your insight

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ALL TOGETHER NOW - how to maximise the impact of your insight

2 minute read

It is not unusual to see a client put out a brief for something they’ve already looked at maybe a dozen times before – often re-commissioning the same piece of insight work, because the previous studies failed to get the traction that they should have done.

Why does this happen so regularly?

The thing that most frequently stops good insight from having a positive impact on the organisation, is the organisation itself.

Great insight, insight that really does drive change, has to be purposefully adopted by the whole organisation. Just as we need to re-think and regularly challenge how we derive the most meaningful and commercially impactful insight, we also need to think hard about how our businesses are geared up to action it.

Collectively, we can’t afford to be lazy about this part of the process.

Where we see this working best, a cross-functional team comes together to work on an issue.

A business has a much greater chance of meaningfully enacting insights when they are perceived as agnostic – i.e. free of an agenda from any one particular business unit – it makes for a much more commercially powerful solution.

But cross-functional ownership and creating effective networks in order to enact insight, can be a challenge; here are a few tips from businesses we’ve seen do it well:

1. BRING OUT THE BIG HITTERS - Teams that get senior stakeholders aligned early in the process, find it much easier to drive change and to build the cross-functional buy-in they need to make it happen. Without clear direction and prioritisation from above, strategies will always be harder to sell in.

2. SHAPE WITH CARE - Getting a cross-functional team established early gives everyone a sense of ownership. This works best when the most relevant teams are well integrated – these could include marketing, strategy, product development, packaging, design, technology etc… The more the right people are included, the easier the process and the fewer ‘buy-in’ hoops you’ll need to jump through further down the line.

3. BUILD A COLLECTIVE MENTALITY - One of the biggest challenges can often be the attitude that team members come to a project with. It works less well when participants see their role as effectively ‘rubber stamping’ someone else’s ideas. Steer clear of people you know will want to play this role and look for those who are open to and energised by being part of a solution collective, ensuring that you work hard to maintain an atmosphere where everyone’s contribution is not only welcome, but expected. It will take you much further.  

4. LOOK IN ALL DIRECTIONS FOR LEARNING – Reviewing the past can be helpful in defining what the future needs to look like. It is also a great opportunity to work with emerging ideas and capabilities. Bring them into the conversation – they don’t need to be fully formed or beautifully packaged, as the conversation will inevitably shape them more fully - but fusing consumer needs with R&D capability early in the process inevitably leads to stronger, more saleable products and services.

The strength of multiple insights is they give us a much more realistic picture of what really needs to happen to drive desired behaviour change. The strength of multiple teams working together, is solutions that are likely to focus on the bigger issues that can drive the greatest value.

And that, after all, is why we look for insight.

Just like insight, the strongest solutions aren’t found. The strongest solutions are forged.

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4 WAYS TO BE A BETTER INSIGHT TEAM

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4 WAYS TO BE A BETTER INSIGHT TEAM

Finding great insight can be incredibly valuable, but if that insight isn’t being meaningfully deployed and isn’t generating a commercial return, then what’s the point?

With budgets being squeezed the way they are, how can we stop this from happening and build more effective insight teams?

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LIFTING THE BONNET ON TESLA

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LIFTING THE BONNET ON TESLA

If you have not yet managed to have a ride in a Tesla then we urge you to do so.

The feeling of being propelled from 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds in a vehicle with no emissions and no engine noise whatsoever is a remarkable experience. Add to that a car that has near perfect weight distribution, an energy recovery system and the hardware ready to support full autonomous drive and you soon realise that most of the other cars on the road today are already well on their way to obsolescence. 

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HOW BRANDS WILL WIN USING BLOCKCHAIN

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HOW BRANDS WILL WIN USING BLOCKCHAIN

In our last blog we attempted to demystify blockchain.

It might sound a bit dull, but the application of this technology will be transformative. In this blog we explore the ways in which brands can win while harnessing the technology.

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Blockchain. What’s all the hype about?

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Blockchain. What’s all the hype about?

In the first of two blogs we’re talking blockchain. Why? Because it’s going to fundamentally change our world, and as marketers and brand owners we’re going to be at the front line of that change. Blockchain technology will disrupt established business models, change how we live and work and create new opportunities for growth.

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THE FORGE & THE CREATIVE GENIUS OF BOMPAS + PARR

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THE FORGE & THE CREATIVE GENIUS OF BOMPAS + PARR

Last month The Forge hosted the second in a series of events that we are running throughout 2017. As we have shared previously, the premise of these events is quite simple – we want to say thank you to our clients and spend some time with people away from meeting rooms, workshops and debriefs BUT in a way that feels in-keeping with our ethos and our way of working.

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THE WRONG ANSWERS TO THE WRONG QUESTIONS

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THE WRONG ANSWERS TO THE WRONG QUESTIONS

“If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

It has never been easier to get an answer to a consumer question. If your question has been asked before there is a good chance that a quick search on your company database, or even Google will yield an answer. If your question is a new one, then there is a proliferation of tools that will put it out to consumers and get you the results in double-quick time, sometimes in as little as a few hours.

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CAN CONCEPT TESTING GET BETTER PLEASE?

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CAN CONCEPT TESTING GET BETTER PLEASE?

Concept testing, in its many guises, is one of the core methodologies in our industry. Companies invest significant amounts of money to find ‘winning ideas’. To determine which  ideas to back because they represent opportunity for growth and to eliminate the risk of launching weaker ideas.

However, we find ourselves increasingly questioning whether clients are getting true value from those methodologies.

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WHEN SIMPLICITY IS TOO SIMPLE

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WHEN SIMPLICITY IS TOO SIMPLE

We live in an interesting era of marketing.

On the one hand, the discourse around creating brand experiences to drive real emotional engagement with brands has never been stronger, and on the other, the need to demystifying complexity and simplify brand interactions has reached fever peak.

So is it engagement or simplicity? Can it be both?

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WHAT DANGERS ARE LURKING IN YOUR CATEGORY?

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WHAT DANGERS ARE LURKING IN YOUR CATEGORY?

It appears as if a day doesn’t go by without yet another scare story.

In recent months, we’ve been told that ingredients in Nutella are carcinogenic, that eating burnt toast increases your cancer risk and how can we forget the story from 2015 that warned bacon consumption can lead to bowel cancer?

Now whilst I could happily forgo Nutella and maybe even toast, please for the love of god don’t take my bacon!

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WHY MOTIVATION TRUMPS EASE WHEN TRYING TO CHANGE BEHAVIOUR

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WHY MOTIVATION TRUMPS EASE WHEN TRYING TO CHANGE BEHAVIOUR

I had an interesting conversation with my dentist the other day. We were discussing how to change habits that impact dental hygiene and she told me how she often recommends her patients to see a hypnotherapist. “She’s really good…it always works. The only thing is you have to want to change”.

Apart from realising that this was one of the greatest disclaimers yet invented for failing to deliver a promised result, the conversation also reminded me that this is indeed one of the great truths of changing behaviour – you can make changing behaviour easy, but it will have only limited impact if you don't also successfully increase people’s motivation to change.

 

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GOING LARGE: THE RULES OF PREMIUM

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GOING LARGE: THE RULES OF PREMIUM

As most of us nurse our battered bank accounts after the most expensive month of the year, we thought we would turn our eye to the question of what we buy into when we splash out on premium products and brands...

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STOP CREATING INNOVATION THAT DOESN'T CHANGE BEHAVIOUR

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STOP CREATING INNOVATION THAT DOESN'T CHANGE BEHAVIOUR

It’s a situation we’ve all seen. Concept screening that comes back with lots of green boxes ticked across core metrics – yet one big consistent red: Incremental volume. A concept that people like…but ultimately falls down because it doesn’t offer consumers a genuinely better alternative to their current solution...

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AN UNFORGETTABLE EVENING

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AN UNFORGETTABLE EVENING

Just prior to Christmas The Forge hosted the first in a series of events that we will be running over the course of the next 12 months. The premise of these events is quite simple – we want to say thank you to our clients and spend some time with people away from meeting rooms, workshops and debriefs BUT in a way that feels in-keeping with The Forge ethos and our way of working. So as nice as cocktails and canapés at a fancy London bar are, it’s not quite what we were after.

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DEMAND SPACES - BLUNT OR BROKEN?

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DEMAND SPACES - BLUNT OR BROKEN?

It seems that Demand Spaces are the new black in the world of segmentation.  The shiny new toy that everyone is talking about. And there’s good reason for that. They are consumer derived; they help us understand how a category operates and depending on who has created them, they can be linked directly to rich continuous data sources to give us an on-going picture of our landscape.  A huge advantage! 

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THE POWER OF RAW DEBRIEFS

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THE POWER OF RAW DEBRIEFS

How do you get information into a business in a way that makes sense, makes people think differently and gives them the confidence to make better decisions as a result?

The industry default seems to be a PowerPoint presentation, a Word report or, perhaps, a video.

But we wonder if there is a better way to achieve this?

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THE LITMUS TEST OF BRAND PURPOSE

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THE LITMUS TEST OF BRAND PURPOSE

2016. The year of change. The year of seismic shifts in global socio-politics, precipitated by 2 of the most momentous consumer votes in history.

I’m not commenting on the individual votes and which side of the political spectrum you sit on. But I am interested in the impact that it has for brands and more specifically, brand purpose [...]

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WHY ARE WE ALL FALLING UNDER THE SPELL OF HALLOWEEN?

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WHY ARE WE ALL FALLING UNDER THE SPELL OF HALLOWEEN?

I can trace my family line back to the Witches of Pendle, so I have always enjoyed, what some might say is, an unhealthy interest in Halloween.

But it’s no longer just me.

The board of ‘Halloween UK’ must be delighted with their brand performance in recent years. Just over a decade ago, consumer spending on Halloween in the UK amounted to £12m, but it is now a £300m+ industry. 2012 showed a 12% rise in growth from the previous year.

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