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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WHAT CAN MARKETING LEARN FROM...'WHAT CAN MARKETING LEARN FROM [INSERT ANYTHING]' ARTICLES?

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WHAT CAN MARKETING LEARN FROM...'WHAT CAN MARKETING LEARN FROM [INSERT ANYTHING]' ARTICLES?

When we look back on the craziness of 2016 there’s a risk we’ll miss one further worrying development.

This was the year the world became slightly obsessed with ‘what can we learn about marketing from [………] posts.  

I thought I’d do my bit and make a contribution. I’ve been searching for a relevant topic to have a go at for quite some timeIt’s no easy feat, let me tell you. It seems no topic, no matter how obscure, has been spared the treatment.

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BE SAFE, BE SEEN

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BE SAFE, BE SEEN

I’m watching House of Cards. It’s excellent. It’s so good, in fact, it’s made my life a lot easier. I downgraded my Virgin subscription and got rid of thousands of things I never watched. I’d rather have a smaller selection of great new stuff from Netflix than options over every show produced in the last 20 years.

‘Everything in one place’ has been a natural progression of many categories, not just entertainment. Seeking to stand out and make it easy for customers by offering a ‘complete’ range of things in one place, whether this be an enormous shopping shed or an online portal.

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WHY MARIO BALOTELLI IS NOT THE ANSWER TO YOUR PROBLEM

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WHY MARIO BALOTELLI IS NOT THE ANSWER TO YOUR PROBLEM

I was recently having a conversation with a client who, having had the traditional CFO late summer whip-round for any unspent budget, had to massively scale back their research ambitions and was now exploring a very different solution.

Now whilst The Forge are massive fans of research efficiency (don’t get me started on the amount of work that is commissioned that just repeats old work…), as the conversation started to talk about the revised approach being ‘no risk’, the alarm bells started to ring.

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FEELING YOUR WAY INTO PEOPLE'S LIVES

FEELING YOUR WAY INTO PEOPLE'S LIVES

When did brands start trying to reason their way into our homes?

It feels for too long brands have been appealing to our logic in order to be accepted into our lives.

Serving up a series of rational arguments about the quality of the product, or how much cleaner our clothes will be, or how it will make us healthier: as if the most well constructed argument is the difference between someone saying yes or no.

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I'VE GOT A GOLDEN TICKET

I'VE GOT A GOLDEN TICKET

“I’ve got a golden ticket” sang Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Well, I’ve got a golden ticket as well now courtesy of British Airways. I am not talking a gold executive club card, I am referring to an entirely new initiative. BA have sent me a golden card I can hand to a member of staff who I believe has demonstrated exceptional service.

Although I am unsure as to what happens next – do they trade these in at duty free? Do they get to add stripes to their uniform? Are their achievements championed within BA–  I find myself intrigued as to what lies behind this idea..

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IS JIMMY ANDERSON A GOOD BOWLER?

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IS JIMMY ANDERSON A GOOD BOWLER?

Here at The Forge we like to ask the big questions

Given I grew up in Burnley and recently watched the ‘Burnley Express’ take 10 wickets in the first Ashes Test – swinging the ball beautifully both ways –  like many, I would intuitively answer…yes.

However, when you dig a little deeper maybe it’s not as straightforward as that. Let’s take sentiment out of the equation and look at the evidence…

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