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The Encounter Business http://www.encounterbusiness.com Wed, 06 Nov 2013 13:18:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.3 Bulmers http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/10/bulmers/ http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/10/bulmers/#comments Tue, 02 Oct 2012 17:11:39 +0000 http://www.encounterbusiness.com/?p=703 Bulmers are at last claiming their natural territory.  After hopping around as a me-too Magners for years, they’re hitting their stride. This is a nice strong claim. Great British cider. We’ve been doing this stuff for years, people.

The odd thing are these fantasy Bulmers drinkers, presumably there in order to tick the ‘a drink for younger people’ box on the LINK test. But distracting, don’t you think?

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Just three questions http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/09/just-three-questions/ http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/09/just-three-questions/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2012 20:10:40 +0000 http://www.encounterbusiness.com/?p=667 Talking with my friend Fiona McAnena of Clearhound fame. She recounted how the London 2012 team asked the following of each of their key audiences (athletes / spectators / sponsors etc) the following questions.

What do you expect?

What would delight you?

What would disappoint you?

So, for example, they uncovered that a lot of the athletes felt intimidated by the imagined cost and complexity of the London transport system. So they gave them all free Oyster passes. Simple, really.

I guess the question is, could you ask these of your prospects and act on the answers?

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Stop looking for insights and start looking for revelations http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/09/stop-looking-for-insights-and-start-looking-for-revelations/ http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/09/stop-looking-for-insights-and-start-looking-for-revelations/#comments Wed, 12 Sep 2012 13:24:10 +0000 http://www.encounterbusiness.com/?p=637 Courtesy of Richard Huntingdon over at adliterate.

So much that passes for insight is commonplace or wishful thinking that we need a new standard, rather like universities now insist on A* to find the really clever kids.

Richard in full:

That’s why at Saatchi & Saatchi we use the word revelation in place of insight. This isn’t yet another definition it’s an action standard that demands people raise their game and their expectations when it comes to finding and delivering insight. A revelation does exactly what it says on the tin, it insists that what follows is in some way an astonishing disclosure about people, the brands they engage with or the wider world.

No revelation, no insight, it’s as simple as that.
And how to you find revelations? Well I have a few handy tips to help you on your way.
Firstly and simplest of all, ask yourself does it sound and feel like a revelation to you? Is what you have found, been told about or read truly an astonishing disclosure or is it a statement of the bleeding obvious ?
Secondly, real revelations live in the real world not in viewing facilities or behind one-way glass. They show themselves in the day-to-day lives of your customers as much to be observed as reported on. Get out and understand what your customers really care about and what is actually going on in their lives.
Thirdly, in the words of that great marketing commentator, Donald Rumsfeld, look for the unknown unknowns. Revelations will come from the least expected places not simply from finding the answers to questions that you already have – look for the things that you didn’t know, you didn’t know.
And finally the truth is that much that claims to be insight in the world of marketing is actually corporate wishful thinking that over estimates the importance of a brand or product in people’s lives. The route to revelation is through banishing vanity and accepting the honesty and rawness of genuine insight.
Enjoy the conferences, articles and presentations about the killer trends for 2012, but remember two things. Try as I might can’t find a single presentation on trend predictions for 2008 that contained the phrase ‘global economic cataclysm’. And remember that it’s genuine and behaviour changing insights – revelations even – that offer the best protection and opportunity for our brands in the coming year.

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There are only six markets http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/09/there-are-only-six-markets/ http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/09/there-are-only-six-markets/#comments Mon, 10 Sep 2012 06:53:31 +0000 http://www.encounterbusiness.com/blog/2010/04/29/there-are-only-six-markets/ I’m still taken by Rolf Jensen’s notion that there are only six markets. Here they are, with some examples:
1 The market for adventure – lastminute.com, Ann Summers, Boardman Bikes, , Cisco, Virgin Atlantic
2. The market for love and belonging (togetherness) – BBC Worldwide, Wickes, Centreparcs. National Trust
3. The care market: To care and be cared for – Guide Dogs, Body Shop, babeswithbabies, BUPA, Hilton, Fairy
4. The who-am-I market: defining ourselves – The Economist, London Business School, Sunday Times
5. The market for peace of mind: feeling safe and secure – UPS, Pfizer, Bosch, Zurich, AA, Sage, Eddie Stobart
6. The market for convictions: having opportunities to demonstrate them – The Medical Foundation; BBH; Liberal Democrats

Or perhaps this only does a good job at defining which category you’re in? Perhaps you get interesting when, having established your category credentials, you begin to taste of something else: c.f. Eddie Stobart or UPS, where peace of mind is essential, but you’re really buying the taste of adventure, expansion and possibility. To be continued.

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Make an offer http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/09/make-an-offer/ http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/09/make-an-offer/#comments Sat, 01 Sep 2012 09:36:16 +0000 http://www.encounterbusiness.com/?p=246 Spent  some timeMullarkey-ing around with Neil Mullarkey of the Comedy Store Players He comes recommended if you’re looking to liven things up in your team.

One of the core things he (and improv theatre teaches) is that you have to make an offer. Nothing happens unless you do. If you tune your offer to what’s going on in front of you, interesting things happen. If you make a positive, bold, human offer, very interesting things happen.

What else is marketing about? (Discuss)

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Beautiful insights No 10 Create dissonance http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/08/beautiful-insights-no-10-create-dissonance/ http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/08/beautiful-insights-no-10-create-dissonance/#comments Thu, 09 Aug 2012 08:15:42 +0000 http://www.encounterbusiness.com/?p=554 The re-relaunch of the Independent  reminds us of the strength of facing down an audience with an idea they weren’t expecting: (originally It Is, Are you?)  It’s the strategy of bringing forth a lurking dissonance in the buyer’s mind. The insight here is

You value independent thought: at the same time,  you read a paper that you know has a specific political or commercial agenda.

Once you’ve established this, it creates a tension between our thinking and actions that we seek to resolve.



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Some conviction for you http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/07/some-conviction-for-you/ http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/07/some-conviction-for-you/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 11:02:30 +0000 http://www.encounterbusiness.com/?p=256 Working with a client who is very unconvinced about what direction she’s going in. We looked at this. It helped.

Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.

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Who is your customer? http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/02/who-is-your-customer/ http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/02/who-is-your-customer/#comments Mon, 06 Feb 2012 11:47:32 +0000 http://www.encounterbusiness.com/?p=622 Great post from Seth. There is always a customer who matters more than anyone else. It could be the athlete (Nike), the musician (Columbia Records), the retailer. Or if you’re Apple, he passed away last year. What do you do when your most important customer dies?

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Standing out from the crowd http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/01/standing-out-from-the-crowd/ http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2012/01/standing-out-from-the-crowd/#comments Fri, 13 Jan 2012 18:11:14 +0000 http://www.encounterbusiness.com/?p=603 This is the scene that greets you on a video that is all about how important it is in business to stand out from the crowd. Of the three middle aged white men in grey suits it’s the one in the middle giving the advice.

It’s actually quite good advice, and Sticky Marketing is full of good ideas.

But still.

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Beautiful insights #14 Outgrowing your natural market share http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2011/11/beautiful-insights-14-outgrowing-your-natural-market-share/ http://www.encounterbusiness.com/2011/11/beautiful-insights-14-outgrowing-your-natural-market-share/#comments Tue, 22 Nov 2011 14:08:39 +0000 http://www.encounterbusiness.com/?p=592 I owe this insight to Martin Lee at Acacia Avenue. When he was heading marketing at Waterstones, he developed the hunch that they were attempting to outgrow their natural market share. Waterstones was conceived and grown as a store for book lovers, run by booksellers. Whether you were customer or staff you shared an affinity for books and their power. Waterstones did this brilliantly, but were gradually overtaken by the whip hand of having to post revenue growth beyond what was realistic for this constituency. The store was a big niche, but nevertheless a niche. So the insight:

Some niche / ‘deep’ brands are growing towards their natural share; some are struggling because they’ve grown beyond it.

If you have the sense that you are disfiguring what is natural and strong about your brand,  or you’re getting breadth at the expense of the depth that made you grow, then you may be trying to outgrow your natural share.

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