Daniel Starch

Daniel Starch, born in La Crosse, Wisconsin in the United States in 1883, is considered to be one of the first people to rationalize the way to reach out to people through advertising.

Before the effectiveness of his work was recognized, journalists simply wrote articles and hoped that they would be read.

The simplest definition of advertising, and one that will probably meet the test of critical examination, is that advertising is selling in print. ~ Daniel Starch

Starch, who studied both psychology and mathematics, conducted interviews and collected data to reveal the actual reach of an advertisement and this is considered to be one of the first efforts to use market research.

Two common conceptions with regard to advertising which are held by a considerable number of people are that enormously large sums of money are expended for it, and that much of this expenditure is an economic waste. ~ Daniel Starch

In 1906, he published “Advertising: Its Principles, Practices & Techniques” and in 1923 “Principles of Advertising”.

By that time, Starch was the first head of the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ research department.

Lying and cheating in advertising, in the long run, are commercial suicide. Dishonesty in advertising destroys not only confidence in advertising, but also in the medium which carries the dishonest advertisement… No one can be ill in a community without endangering others; no advertiser can be dishonest without casting suspicion upon others. ~ Daniel Starch

Starch founded Daniel Starch & Staff and ran this company until he retired at the age of 90.

Daniel Starch died in 1979 in White Plains, New York, United States.

Advertising as the printed form of selling would seem… ultimately to be justified in so far as it serves as a means of increasing legitimate human wants, as an agency of fair and economic competition in the distribution of goods, and as a stimulant to social progress. ~ Daniel Starch

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Open World meeting in Amsterdam

The 11th annual meeting of the Open World network was recently held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Partners from all over the world flew in to the Dutch capital to meet at a hotel in the city centre. This hotel consists of 25 historic canal houses from the 17th and 18th centuries. The buildings have been combined but their original details have been retained, furnished with numerous paintings and other works of art.

   

The Open World partners not only met to discuss on-going collaboration and use of the network’s unique research methods and specialisms, but to strengthen personal working relationships. Helping clients achieve reliable market research results all over the world is enhanced with strong communication between partners and it helps to not only have frequent contact by phone or mail but also, for example, by being able to talk in person about cultural differences between countries.

The Dutch Open World partner shared interesting inside information about the history of the country and typical Dutch behavior. It seems that there is more to the Netherlands than just tulips and Rembrandt!

The French partner, also chairman of the board, provided an interesting review of the first 10 years of Open World: 10 years of Efficient and Friendly Cooperation in International Market Research Studies.

Partners from other countries such as Russia, Italy and China presented interesting case studies that prompted detailed discussion amongst partners. At the end of the meeting, the partners enjoyed a trip in a beautiful boat around some of Amsterdam’s canals and the Amstel and IJ rivers. Having then enjoyed a delicious meal, all partners agreed that it had been a productive day of sharing experiences and getting to know each other.

  

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Holistic Approach in Ethnography

The worsening of the geopolitical situation in Russia, the introduction of sanctions and counter-sanctions, the devaluation of the ruble had a negative impact on consumer demand in late of 2016 – early 2017. The population, faced with a reduction in real disposable income, was forced to change its behavior strategies. Many trends in consumer behavior remain relevant now: the real exit from the crisis to the levels of at least 2014 is expected only in a few years.

Among the food products, the reduction of consumption has affected expensive and imported products: vegetables and fruits, meat (shift in demand for pork and beef to chicken and turkey), sausages, baked goods and others.

In the face of increasing competition in Russia, retailers are aware that shoppers have become more sophisticated and knowledgeable. The emergence of a substantial number of very large western type hypermarkets, has expanded the choice of not only products, but also the buying conditions. This lead to a change in shopper preferences too. Shoppers are less than before, “tied” to a particular store, which caused an aggravation of the struggle for the shopper between the trade enterprises.

Such dramatical changes in consumer and shopper behavior require the market researchers to find new and effective approaches to study the Russian consumer. Using just focus groups or online interviews will not give the immediate desired result, i.e. deep understanding of the modern Russian consumer. In such situation, ethnography research is the most effective tool for studying consumer behavior and the consumer trends.

CreaMetrix has implemented holistic approach in ethnography research for the clients recently. Holistic approach in ethnography is a combination of offline and online tools for consumer understanding which may cover various research objectives. CreaMetrix uses both the following offline and online ethnography instruments:

Offline instruments:

  • Ethnography with video / audio / photo recordings
  • Accompanying visits
  • Observations
  • Offline diaries

Online instruments:

  • Online insight communities
  • Mobile ethnography
  • Online diaries
  • Nethnography

Our main expertise lies in the field of FMCG markets and HORECA segments. CreaMetrix was the first company in Russia which used online communities as a tool for deeper consumer understanding. Our company has launched online community of creative consumers in Russia in partnering with Canadian research giant Vision Critical in October 2011.

Applied methods of ethnography research both in, and out of home always consider Russian specific cultural aspect. We spend a lot of time with our respondents in their own environment. This can guarantee that people be more relaxed and feel comfortable to talk openly about not only specific product categories, but also about the real life and respondents’ attitude to the quickly changed and worsening situation in Russia.

Using ethnographic research, we are getting helicopter view of the consumer experience, picking up of unmet needs, and making the observation of unintended uses of products, which may equally lead to new product/packaging ideas.

In the research of FMCG categories pantry check and fridge opening during the home visits are like litmus paper, which reflects real situation with consumer income and purchasing behavior.

As an example of pantry check, we can see on the following picture.

In HORECA segment CreaMetrix uses interviews with chefs in their own environment, usually in the kitchen. It is very important to talk with food service professionals on one-to-one to get to know more about food trends, recipes of the most popular dishes, major ingredients used, etc. We are conducting ethnography with chefs for big multinational FMCG companies in Russia.

CreaMetrix can study online communication between consumers using netnography for understanding their attitudes, perceptions, imagery, and feelings. CreaMetrix proposes to the clients netnographic service and software, which is a qualitative research approach used text analytics and content analyses to gain a more profound insights into the consumers’ world. Netnographic research is able to offer very detailed descriptions of the life worlds of consumers, which researchers usually look for.

Russian consumers like many other people in the world communicate in social networks, forums, and any kind of communities to discuss different products and services perceptions, their attitude to changing economic environment, pricing and wages dynamics. All this is a field for profound research, which is done by CreaMetrix to reveal true motivations and beliefs of Russian consumers.

Another area for ethnographic research, which CreaMetrix developed recently is mobile ethnography. It is a modern technique that allows to record and visually represent a part of consumer experience in the real time “here and now” using smartphones.

Consumers record their attitudes and perceptions with pictures, audio, video and text messages. To do this they do not need sophisticated software or expensive applications. Consumers may use popular messengers, e.g. WhatsUp, etc. CreaMetrix implemented this ethnographic approach for the one client in tea category to get more understanding about tea sachet using in various product consumption situations.

Mobile ethnography tool has a big potential for the country like Russia, because such studies may be conducted simultaneously in different regions of huge country.

In conclusion, it should be emphasized that ethnographic studies of the types listed above, which are used by CreaMetrix, allow one to obtain exhaustive information about how the Russian consumer is going through the current crisis and get more knowledge and understanding their real life and their hopes and fears.

About the author:
Alexander Blinov is a marketing professional with 20 years of experience in FMCG categories in Russia and CEEMEA regions. He has extensive experience on the top management positions of market research companies like GfK, Ipsos, Romir, and CreaMetrix. He has also experience on the client side in Mars Inc., as a market research director of Russia and CIS.

Current position of Alexander Blinov is CEO and founder of CreaMetrix company in Russia. Education: PhD degree in Math, Master degree in Applied Economics.

Contact: alexander.blinov@creametrix.com

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New light on consumer purchasing decisions

In a region as diverse as Europe, consumer healthcare marketers must develop strategies to successfully engage with consumers and maintain their loyalty. It is widely accepted that a one-size-fits-all approach cannot maximise a brand’s full potential, but just how big is the challenge facing marketers who wish to gain an understanding of the diverse range of attitudes, behaviours and needs that affect consumers’ purchasing decisions?

As an example of the kind of research required to get to “know your consumer”, Daccle Research, in co-operation with Nicholas Hall, commissioned a small study to sample consumer behaviour in Spain – a conservative OTC market, where medicines are available only from pharmacies – and the more liberal UK, with an extensive mass market for non-Rx healthcare products. Here, we offer a snapshot of the results and key learnings.

Methodology: Quality-controlled online poll
The study focused on two diverse product categories: cough / sore throat remedies, where the majority of brands are registered medicines, and food supplements. Over 1,200 consumers took part in the survey in July 2016 (625 in Spain and 576 in UK), and the sample included those who:

  • Are responsible for the purchase of OTC products within their household
  • Have bought a non-prescription product to relieve cough and / or throat pain in the past 12 months
  • Have bought non-prescription food supplements, like vitamins and / or minerals, in the past 12 months

The online poll, conducted on behalf of Daccle by surveying and data collection specialist SSI, blended multiple panels to achieve a diverse, representative sample that was subjected to recognised quality controls to ensure the end result can enable informed decision making.

Results

Brands vs PLs: HCP intervention play a huge part
Some interesting findings related to consumer attitudes to private labels / generics. Only 45% of Spanish consumers agreed that such products offer the same quality as brands (vs 53% in UK), while 42% agreed with the statement that brands contain higher-quality ingredients (vs only 31% in UK). This was a more important factor in consumer purchasing behavior than the standard / level of information on packaging (only 30% of Spaniards agreed that the quality of branded packaging gave them more confidence compared to generics). Crucially however, despite their reservations about product quality, 58% of Spanish respondents said they would buy PLs / generics in place of a brand if advised to do so by a pharmacist (vs 46% in UK).

This highlights the vital role played by the pharmacist in consumer purchasing behavior in Spain – and other conservative OTC markets – vs more liberal environments where consumers are more willing to buy without intervention.

Cough remedies: Self-selection has clear impact
Around 80% of consumers in both markets have bought an OTC cough / sore throat medicine in the past 12 months, highlighting a relatively high level of awareness about the availability of such products and suggesting a healthy acceptance of efficacy. The rate was lower – 66% in Spain and 74% in UK – among the older demographic (56+ years), which is likely owing to a more traditional reliance on a doctor to diagnose illness (as well as the availability of state reimbursement for prescriptions for the elderly). Average purchase frequency was around 2.5x per year in both countries (65% of Spanish respondents and 60% in UK made their most recent purchase less than 2 months before taking the survey).

When it came to how “involved” consumers felt when making their purchase, around half of consumers in each market declared themselves “very involved” (taking the time to select the most appropriate product, etc), but a significant proportion of Spanish consumers (20% vs only 9% in the UK) classified themselves as “not very involved”, highlighting the strength of pharmacist recommendations in that market.

Owing to the different pharmacy distribution models of each country, direct comparison between consumers’ preferred purchase location is not possible for the cough / sore throat category. However, the survey does provide some interesting insight in the UK. Just over 60% of consumers picked the pharmacy as the most likely place for them to buy such a product, with the remainder split between drugstores and supermarkets (only 2% most regularly shopped online). Advice was one of the main factors given as a reason, but this was still relatively low at 24%, with as much weight given to convenience (in terms of location). Price was the key determining factor for purchasing at a drugstore or supermarket, with the latter channel also popular owing to the attraction of a one-stop-shop destination (groceries and medicines).

In terms of purchasing decisions, Spanish consumers are more likely to know in advance which product they would prefer to buy rather than making up their mind at POS (51% in Spain and 43% in UK). This perhaps reflects Spanish consumers’ favorability towards brands (32% said they only buy cough brands, vs 14% in the UK). Loyalty to the same brand is not particularly high however, with only 37% of consumers buying the same brand in the previous two purchases. Loyalty to a particular brand was higher in the UK at 47%, owing especially to the strong market position of Benylin (J&J). Around 15% of UK consumers and 13% of Spanish consumers could not remember which brand they bought most recently.

Among the most important factors behind making a product choice, previous use and advice from a doctor scored highly in both countries, but there were some interesting variations. In the UK, where self-selection of OTCs is widespread, over 60% of consumers claimed that packaging information was a key choice factor, while less than 30% of Spaniards agreed. Price was another notable difference: in the UK – where there is a thriving discount retail channel and competitive drugstore market – 57% of consumers selected price as an important choice factor, vs only 33% in Spain, where consumers are more likely to buy what they are recommended by a pharmacist.

Food supplements: Large potential market remains
Only around half of consumers in both markets had bought a food supplement in the past 12 months, suggesting many are yet to embrace preventive healthcare. Some good news for the supplements industry however is that the younger demographic – up to 35 years – were the most likely to buy (61% in UK and 55% in Spain). Consumers aged 56+ years were least likely to buy (52% in UK and 44% in Spain). As a large percentage of supplements are used daily, it is not surprising that consumers recorded a higher number of average purchases per year compared to cough / sore throat remedies (3.8x per year in UK, 3.3x in Spain). More than 75% of respondents in each market claimed to have made their most recent food supplements purchase in the past 2 months.

Unlike registered medicines, food supplements are available for sale in non-pharmacy retail in Spain. However, 68% of consumers still prefer to buy supplements in pharmacies (vs only 39% in UK), with only 20% choosing a drugstore / parapharmacy (this channel took 30% in UK). Those who remain loyal to the pharmacy in Spain to buy supplements do so mainly owing to confidence / trust (32%), and pharmacist advice (20%). In the UK, the highest reason given for buying supplements from a pharmacy was the convenience of the location (22%), with the low score for advice (8%) further evidence that consumers in the country are happy to self-select. The highest motivation for UK consumers to buy supplements in a drugstore was cheap pricing, reflecting the fact that many mass market retailers offer multi-buy price deals on such products (3 for 2 is especially common).

Once again, a far greater percentage of Spanish consumers claimed to only buy brands than their counterparts in the UK (38% vs 12%), although almost 20% of consumers in both countries claimed to mainly buy PLs / generics (only 14% said this for cough / sore throat remedies). Once again, loyalty to a particular brand was not especially high – 50% of UK consumers bought the same brand on their previous two purchases, compared with 44% in Spain (18% and 9% of consumers respectively could not recall the brand they bought most recently).

Similarly to cough remedies, there were some important differences between the two countries in relation to the most important choice factors behind purchase. Previous usage, peer and HCP advice were equally important in both markets, but UK consumers are far more interested in packaging information (71% vs 45%), price discounting (62% vs 38%) and a packaging design that “makes the product look like a drug” (59% vs 39%).

Conclusion: Value of research should not be underestimated

This report highlights the considerable amount of valuable information that can be gathered through through consumer research. While this report focused on the test markets of Spain and the UK, many of the findings are relevant to other conservative / liberal regulatory environments across Europe, providing a useful regional insight into some of the key factors that affect consumer purchasing decisions. Some of the results confirmed what we thought we knew about each market – it is important to continually test assumptions to avoid complacency – but the study also brought new information and trends to light, which can be used to improve marketing stategies.

Consumer behavior can evolve quickly owing to factors such as economic trends or regulatory changes. This is especially true of a diverse region such as Europe, where the factors influencing a Spanish consumer’s purchase of a cough medicine in a pharmacy differ greatly from those of a British person buying a similar product in a supermarket. An awareness and understanding of these contrasting experiences can be the key to whether a product launch is a success or a failure.

Key learnings
• Spanish consumers are more likely to consider brands superior to PLs / generics, predominantly owing to a belief they contain better-quality ingredients
• UK consumers are more open to PLs / generics, and place a higher level of importance on price / discounting in general
• The role of the pharmacist remains vital and can play a significant factor in consumer behavior …
• … especially true in Spain, where advice is a key reason consumers give for visiting a pharmacy
• Reliance on recommendations in Spain also sees fewer consumers feeling “highly” or “moderately” involved during the buying process than in UK, citing branding / packaging as less of an incentive to buy
• In contrast, UK consumers place more importance on packaging information, brand image and price promotions, reflecting the higher incidence of self-selection
• Brand loyalty is relatively low in both markets for the categories sampled
• Only around 50% of consumers in each country had bought a food supplement in the previous 12 months (vs 80% who had bought a cough remedy), highlighting the large potential market for preventive healthcare …
• … however, younger consumers are more likely to buy, indicating that the new generation may be more open to investing in wellness products

About the Author:

Jozsi Toth is a Partner of Daccle Research in The Netherlands and Treasurer of The Open World Network.

Contact: jtoth@daccle.nl

 

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A Successful Case of New Product Development Insight in China

Every country has its own culture, values and history. To understand what attracts people to the products or services you want to provide, it is important to learn what people appreciate as valuable and what creates positive feelings.

In the following presentation you’ll find an interesting example of a case of developing a new product which has proved to be very successful.

 

Tae-Kim-open-worldAbout the Author:
Tae Kim is a Partner of RisingSun Marketing and Consulting in China who endeavors to deliver tangible and actionable insights to clients.

RisingSun is specialized in the China Market across various industries of FMCG (Foods & Beverage, Cosmetics, Hair & Body Cares), Consumer Electronics, Automotives, etc.

Contact: Tae.Kim@risingsun-mr.com

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Newsletters from the Open World Network

Click here to find an archive of all our previous newsletters

Screenshot 2014-02-19 at 17.35.52To be able to work together and offer significant added value to our services, research agencies in 16 countries worldwide have combined their individual expertise into the Open World Network.

To communicate with business partners, we use our website and our newsletters.

You can subscribe to our newsletters bij entering your email address here:

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Application of Hurdle Point (HP) in New Product Development

Using Hurdle Point Evaluation (HPE) as benchmark for New Product Development in Korean Food & Beverage Market to maximize profit

In this age when food & beverage market is saturated with products, accurate evaluation of a new product’s potential competitiveness in the market before launch becomes crucial. Adding new products in the product line helps businesses remain compettitive and permanent. As a result, a great deal of cost and effort go into developing a new product so failure after its launch is an enormous loss.

Since 2005, R&R has collected product and concept acceptability scores and developed all-inclusive food & beverage HP of not only our client’s products, but competitors’ as well. Many research and consulting firms compute Hurdle Point using their own methods, but R&R’s HPE is the only research firm in Korea to use actual data accumulated for over 10 years.

R&R conducted surveys with more than 25,000 consumers since 2005.

R&R conducted surveys with more than 25,000 consumers since 2005.

Over 190 surveys are conducted with more than 25,000 consumers on more than 340 food & beverage products since 2005. R&R analyzed accumulated scores on ‘satisfaction’ and ‘intention to purchase’ of new products in 20 general product categories. Products in each category, such as noodles, tofu, and Kimchi, have different HP, which allows for comparisons among same types of products as well as general categories.

These data allowed R&R to analyze average score (Top2(%), 5 point score) and standard deviation of each product and category; the average satisfaction scores of all food and beverage products studied so far are Top2 49.5% and 3.3 points, with standard deviation of 17.4% and 0.4 point respectively. The average scores are then divided into four rating system of HP standards:

[Top 20%] : Very positive
[Top 20-39%] : Modification required, but positive
[Top 40-59%] : Many modifications required, and need to be reevaluate d
[Top 60-100%] : Stop development

Hurdle Point Evaluation can test product’s competitiveness in the market before release.

Hurdle Point Evaluation can test product’s competitiveness in the market before release.

Although the standard of HP differs for each client, with R&R’s HP, any food and beverage products can be tested for competitiveness in the market. Clients with leading brands have higher standard of HP than less competitive brands when testing for new products. On the other hand, less competitive products within the same category can be compared with the leading brands in Korean food & beverage market.

The strength of HPE is that with each survey on food & beverage products and with accumulating data, the HP is updated annually, which enables more accurate analysis and adds more products. In addition, HP can be applied to other families of products such as cosmetics, electronics, etc, so the implication of HPE is endless.

Dr. Noh profile pictureAbout the Author:
Dr. Kyu Hyung, No, is the CEO of R&R Marketing in South Korea, a fieldwork oriented market research institute specialized in Food & Beverage.

Contact: kyuno@randr.co.kr

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We are what we eat

G&G_article on FOOD_IMAGEOn food habits: We are what we eat

Consumers’ behaviour and habits in food consumption are deeply changing, especially in the Italian market and especially today because of the current economic crisis.

The well-rooted concept of the classic three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) is declining in popularity since people most often prefer to take more breaks during the day, allowing themselves a snack: they eat less food but several times a day.

As shown by the case study “Survey about single dishes” (G&G Associated) in fact, meal structure has totally changed: eating has become a matter of feeding ourselves but quickly, dedicating proper time and space during the day only to one meal.

Dinner has become the main meal, and only on Saturdays and Sundays, people maintain the tradition with more dishes during the same meal.

pasta-329522_640The majority of the population chooses traditional food, less expensive: more and more often, the decision about food shopping is to cut the usual grocery shopping in order to save money.

In the last decades, there has actually been a strong fall in grocery shopping, which is due to a combination of factors such as lower salaries and changing consumer behaviour. The main reasons behind this are connected to the growth of new needs: more affordable prices, promotions and time saving products that become the top priorities in general, but especially in food consumption.

Most often, people put in their trolley bread and cereals, sweet food and white meat (white meat is preferred to red meat, because of its lower price, but also because of health issues). At the same time, we see a negative performance of milk, cheese and eggs. A recent survey, conducted by Ismea analysed the food purchase variation in more detail, confirming that products like cereals and its derivatives have grown in volume (+1,2%) and price (+2,3%), and in contrast dairy products have fallen slightly both in volume (-2,2%) and price (-3,8%).

Moreover, gluten free food is growing in popularity, because of the increased incidence of food intolerances such as celiac disease. As a result, bread is leaving its previous important space to new products containing cereals or their derivatives, which are tolerated instead.

tomatoes-743678_640As far as where food is consumed, where people eat, during the week usually lunchtime is a time spent outside home, whereas dinner is consumed at home. This scenario is reversed during the weekend and dinner becomes a social event to be spent outside and enjoyed with family and friends.

What can we expect in the next years? Probably meals will be about an “outside habit” a trend that is not driven by a healthier way to eat, but due to the need to eat outside during the week and to spend less and less time cooking.

In fact, people consume ready meals, frozen food or whatever takes the least time possible to prepare, as confirmed by the exploratory research “Spinach” (G&G Associated) focused on the microwave role, which has largely become the most time saving tool in the kitchen. From this research it is clear how microwave cooking wins considerable approval: for its speed and convenience, as a simple food heater or in defrost mode.

italian-93237_640All these events are the result and reflection of the impact of the economy on social habits, on lifestyle, and, in our case, on food habits and food related issues. This leads to a strong standardization of food turned into a standardization of taste itself, which brings to more of a growing food distrust.

It is really interesting to underline how 70% of the Italian population aims to consume the daily proper quantity of fruit and vegetables, but it is also important to highlight that the majority of the population does not know what the daily recommended intake actually is (the 5 per day). This low awareness about the “5-a-day” leads to an overestimate of the real quantity. However, as the research “Survey about vegetables dishes” (G&G Associated) highlights, the key role of fruit and vegetables is growing, thanks to the special attention people pay to their good nutritional values and healthy properties.

After all, “living a good life” seems to be one the main rules for Italians (32% of the population will be above 65 y.o. in 2025): consumption habits, also within the food environment, are no longer just symbols of socio-economic status but they represent a whole system of cultural values. New sensibilities open the way to bio products, no ogm, organic food (A Research on Nutritional Styles, G&G).

open-world-nicoletta-italy-g-gNicoletta Giacomi is associate director of G&G, a market research institute based in Rome, providing field and full service in several industry areas, mainly focused, among others, on healthcare, food, energy.

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Understanding Consumer Ethics in Latin America

Understanding Consumer Ethics in Latin America: A guide for boosting respondent engagement through ethical incentives

Using donations to non-for-profit organization as respondent incentives is a practice used by many MR companies. At first glance this seems to be a win-win strategy, making the process simpler while doing a good thing. Furthermore, having more affluent consumers donating their incentives to their needy nationals sounds particularly appropriate for Latin America. In spite of recent economic success in terms of growth and poverty reduction, the region still shows world records in social inequality, being this topic on the top of the political agenda and public concerns.

Screenshot 2015-05-11 at 23.36.08However, what still needs to be proved to turn these practices into sustainable corporate social responsibility programs (CSR), is that using donations as incentives might not only be a goodwill gesture, but also an effective strategy that actually encourages participation.

Ethical incentives do work if they are set properly!
We often hear about the contemporary world’s moral decadence, lost in hyperindividualism and consumerism. But this simple view ignores, among other things, the amount of voluntary work, and the emergence of new values related to tolerance, human rights or ecological concerns.

In Latin America is very famous the experience of Teleton a charity that has organized in Mexico, Chile and other countries in the region all-day TV shows to collect millions of dollars for disabled children.

Over the last decade, we have witnessed in several surveys through out the region that same kind of generosity trough a proportion of participants who have been happy to donate their incentives instead of taking the money, demonstrating that self-interested economic reward is far from being the only argument that motivates respondents to take part in surveys.

But of course we shall not be as naïve as to believe charity will do all the work. Overestimating respondent willingness to donate can also be misleading. Some years ago, on a pilot consumer panel building effort, we offered donations as the only possible reward to join, leading to a total failure and tiny response rates. The underlying insight was that forced moral choices generate rejection.

Understanding this optional feature of contemporary social ethics becomes critical for CSR programs success.

Lessons from the Campaign for Haiti
In January 2010, Haiti,, the poorest country in Latin America, was shocked by a catastrophic earthquake. This lead to hundred of thousands of victims and over one million homeless people. UNICEF organized the initial humanitarian efforts and 6 days after the disaster we received their request for help.

Screenshot 2015-05-11 at 23.37.47Even when by that time we had used donation schemes for several surveys partnering with UNICEF offices in Brazil and Argentina, we realized that the only way we could respond quickly was involving our Latin American Physician Panel enabling doctor panelists to donate their fees for online survey participation to this cause.

In a matter of weeks we were surprised to collect over 2000 school kits for Haiti children, which exceeded all our prior expectations.

However, timing proved to be critical. On the first week of the campaign, a couple of weeks after the disaster, 39% of the doctors decided to donate their honoraria but 5 weeks later, when the topic disappeared from the news, only 8% decided to do the same. The first lesson was that that we shall expect solidarity to work with the same kind of impulsiveness than the TV show donation campaigns.

vlag-haiti-open-world

Haïti

We also faced an unexpected result, which turn out to be an interesting finding. On the initial tests we conducted an experiment by offering to half of the respondents only money, while offering to the other half the option of taking the money or donating it to Haiti. The unexpected result was that the fee-only option got a significantly higher response rate.

The interpretation of the data suggested that the ethical dilemma before engaging paralyzed many panelists discouraging their participation. Deciding to participate or not, and if they did if they should privilege their pocket or their hearts, was too much for many.

The solution we came up with, was offering the money as usual and presenting the donation choice only once the person had taken part. So our second lesson was to avoid placing early ethical dilemmas!

The third lesson was less of a surprise. We offered full incentives (equivalent to a private consultation fee) to those doctors who completed and a smaller incentive to those who were screened out. While roughly half decided to donate their small screen out incentives, only one tenth decided likewise with the larger amount.

After this regional pilot experience with the UNICEF campaign for Haiti, we have developed a systematic CSR panel program with other organizations. And again we have consistently seen these same results with 3 different national beneficiary institutions.

No doubt that generosity pours more easily when pennies are involved! However it is also true that including small amounts has helped to increase the penetration of panelists participating in our CSR program who donated part of their honoraria either in Brazil (47%), Mexico (46%) or Argentina (54%).

Screenshot 2015-05-11 at 23.46.13

Gilles Lipovetski

Final Thoughts
As aptly suggested by the French Sociologist and Philosopher Gilles Lipovetski, whilst there is no doubt that the ideals of moral sacrifice and rigid self-discipline seem to be things of the past, mobilizations for ethical reasons, undoubtedly more spasmodic and inorganic, instead of being opposed to hyper-individualism could be one of its privileged expressions, a way of constructing self identity.

Thus, if you want to run a successful CSR program by using donation of incentives, be prepared for an ongoing communication with your respondents to keep them engaged over time, include small incentives as part of the package, avoid placing early ethical dilemmas and most importantly make sure you rule out you-must-do-it commandments but offer instead the chance to help in a meaningful cause as an opportunity for a free will expression.

We hope that by sharing these experiences we can encourage to develop more and improved CSR programs, since a good execution of them will not only be appreciated by respondents, clients, suppliers and staff, but will also be a modest contribution that we, as market researchers, can make towards a better world.

diego-casaravilla-open-world

Diego Casaravilla

About the Author:
Diego Casaravilla, is Managing Director of Fine Research Latin America, a fieldwork oriented market research institute with offices in Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Buenos Aires.

For more information feel free to write to dcasar@fine-research.com

A preliminary version of this article was published at Esomar news Magazine.
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Prestige Perfumes: The Cultural Marketing Exceptionality

Prestige Perfumes:The Cultural Marketing Exceptionality

Frédéric Miedzinski*
Howard Moskowitz **
Batool Batalvi ***

Prestige perfume is not a product like others
Many people, including those in the perfume industry, think that prestige perfume is a product like any other, to be handled by traditional marketing approaches. This would be convenient for management … but it is not the case. Despite the fact that prestige perfumes are sold and bought as any other products, they are truly different.

One does not buy a prestige perfume for the benefit of “a unique selling proposition”. Prestige perfume is an involving product; one wears a prestige perfume to display one’s personality. We can indeed regard prestige perfumes as “a cultural marketing exception”.

And there lies the problem. Not everyone wants to express the same message: “tell me what you wear and I’ll tell you who you are!” A same perfume mix, appropriate and effective for one brand of perfume, proves disastrous for another.

The DNA of a Prestige Perfume brand
It is through the values of its ‘brand’ that a perfume enters into the personality of its user. Indeed, women never buy a prestige perfume of a brand with which they don’t feel some affinity … as the brand is meant to speak volume about themselves. Thus to be successful, a perfume mix should fit its “Brand DNA”, that is to say that it has to meet the specific needs of women who are “in affinity with” its brand.

The DNA of a brand varies from one brand to another. For example, research suggests that the DNA of the Estée Lauder brand is made up of “good American values,” whereas the DNA of the Calvin Klein brand is made up of “rule-breaking values”.

Being ‘in affinity’ with a brand is not particularly difficult, in practice. Research by Open Air market research, unveils that for every person who buys a brand there are approximately six or seven who may be ‘in affinity’ with the brand, but who do not buy. For example, women in affinity with the brand Estée Lauder amount to 45% of American women, and women in affinity with Calvin Klein may amount to 35% of American women.

To succeed, a prestige perfume should fit its brand’s DNA. For example, “the wise beauty concept” works when it is expressed by Estée Lauder in its perfume “Beautiful,” but the same concept fails when it is conveyed by Calvin Klein in its perfume “Beauty”. In the same way, “the rule-breaking hallucinogen concept” leads to a success when it is expressed by Calvin Klein in its perfume “Euphoria,” but ends up in somewhat of a disaster when it is conveyed under the Estée Lauder brand in its perfume “Beyond Paradise”.

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Defining a Brand’s legitimate territory
A brand’s ‘legitimate territory’ is a function of its DNA. The “territory” is defined by:

-the “types of women” that the brand attracts with its perfumes; “classy women” or “naughty girls” …and so forth,

-the “positioning that the brand grants users” through its perfumes; the positioning of a high-end upper class woman or the positioning of fashionable trendy woman, etc.

-the “message” that the brand conveys through its perfumes: such as the promise of seduction or of radiance, etc.

-the “product benefit” that the brand puts forward: such as the benefit of an excellent scent or an acquaintance with a celebrity, etc.

-the “tone” that the brand uses for advertising its perfumes: such as a romantic tone or a “rock’n roll” tone, etc.

-the “setting” in which the brand places its perfume communication: such as an exotic setting or an urban setting, etc.

-the “type of femininity” that the brand uses through its models: such as eternal femininity (grace) or desire, attraction (hot, sexual) etc.

-the “families of fragrances” that the brand uses for its perfumes (its “natural olfactory territory”): rather fruity, sweet, sparkling or amber, powdery, sensual, etc.

The legitimate territory of a brand, as defined by these eight criteria, is broad enough for a brand to exert its creativity. It moves creativity in the right direction by drawing boundaries beyond which a brand should not venture. A corollary to this notion of legitimate territory is that which may be fruitful for one brand indeed often turns out to be counterproductive for another brand. For example, “OneMillion” would not have succeeded had it been branded Chanel. Correspondingly, “Bleu” would not have succeed had it been branded Paco Rabanne.

Market research – the need for sector experience and ‘experimenting empathy’
By now the point has been stressed that one should not deal with the psychology-laden, identity-laden world of a new perfume using the simplistic, normative, and often inappropriate methods of market research, methods which may work for cereals, services, and finances, but fail in the world of perfume. One ought not pre-test a new perfume according to the “plain Jane” (or “everybody’s”) criteria; women and men wear a fragrance specifically to stand apart from the average Joe, and thus to define THEMSELVES as they wish themselves to be. It’s far more sensible to assess any new proposition of perfume according to the DNA of its brand’s criteria, that is to say according to the specific expectations of the women in affinity with its brand.

It is however impossible to identify these specific criteria by asking direct (and naïve) questions. One might be better advised to adopt an indirect way to achieve this pivotal goal. This is “Mind Genomics3”, conjoint analysis applied to perfume. It is based on the statement of fact that “although people are not able to tell by themselves what they want, they can easily assess a product comprising a mixture of benefits”.

Thanks to the science of “experimental design”, submitting each respondent to 50 ideas of perfumes, made up of the seven components of a perfume mix, Mind Genomics elicits the role of each dimension (its “utility”) in the response of a woman towards a perfume. Each criterion can be positive, neutral or negative … depending on the brand: “what is good for a brand can be toxic for another”. The science, the experimenting, is well worked out. What remains is the empathy, the intuition, the creative, which focuses the science, and is rewarded by the resulting knowledge.

Rating a new perfume mix “by variable geometry” depending on the brand
Once we have established the expectations of women in affinity with a brand towards a prestige perfume, the marketer now ‘profiles’ any new mix of perfume according to the DNA’s of the perfume brand. This is achieved through the “Utility Rating System” that grants the new mix points when it is associated with a feature of “high utility” for the brand and subtracts points when it is associated with a “counterproductive” item.

We can define this approach as the “rating by variable geometry” because one does not use the same criteria, depending on the brand. Why would we consider the opinions of women that don’t like your brand when assessing a new proposition of perfume mix of your brand?

The bottom line – WiiFY (What’s in it for YOU?)
Techniques which have proved reliable for many other products fall short for prestige perfumes. WHY? Because perfumes are a cultural marketing exception that demands sector knowledge and experimental science conjoined with empathy.

Ignoring this oddity may drive a brand, operating out of the main stream, to the bruising experience of a failed launch because women in synch with this brand are precisely looking to “stand-out from the crowd”. The mass market approach, one size fits all, simply does not work. Psychologists, experts in psychodynamics, know the reality of individuality. It’s time that the perfumers and perfume marketers of challenging brands avail themselves of this science-based empathy and intuition. Lest the perfume market may stall, stagnate and become dull … at the expense of everybody for “joie de vivre” is the cornerstone of perfumes.

* Frédéric Miedzinski is a Market Researcher having worked for brands: Alexander Mc Queen, Armani, Azzaro, Boucheron, Burberry, Cacharel, Calvin Klein,  Carolina Herrera,  Cartier,  Cerruti,  Chloé,  Christian Dior,  Chopard,  Davidoff,  Estée Lauder,  Escada,  Ferragamo,  Givenchy,  Gucci, Guerlain, Issey Miyaké,  Jean Patou,  Jennifer Lopez,  Jil Sander,  Joop, Kenzo,  Lacoste,  Lanvin,  Lolita Lempicka,  Montblanc,  Nina  Ricci,  PacoRabanne,  Roger & Galet,   Sarah  Jessica Parker, Shiseïdo,  Vivienne Westwood,  Yves Saint-Laurent,  Zegna,  …among others.
**Howard Moskowitz is an American market researcher and psychophysicist. He is best known for the detailed study he made of the types of spaghetti sauce and horizontal segmentation. By providing a large number of options for consumers, Moskowitz pioneered the idea of intermarket variability as applied to the food industry. Dr. Moskowitz graduated from Harvard University in 1969 with a Ph.D. in experimental psychology. Prior to that he graduated Queens College (New York), Phi Beta Kappa, with degrees in mathematics and psychology. He has written/edited sixteen books, has published well over 300 articles and serves on the editorial board of major journals.
***Mrs Batool Batalvi is a Strategist Psychologist / Psychoanalyst, co-owner of SB&B Marketing Research (Canada). She integrates leading-edge psychotherapeutic techniques with her strong entrepreneurial background when managing qualitative research projects. She has successfully utilized Transactional analysis, Gestalt, Cognitive and Psychodynamic approaches, among others, to gain a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour and emotions. This makes each project innovative, insightful and a compelling force for change – which has earned recognition and enthusiastic praise from international clients and research agencies.
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