Earn money by answering our surveys

Register now!
Marketing, customer satisfaction and loyalty
Satisfied customers will follow you everywhere
Data Mining : a concrete example for SME’s
Jan21

Data Mining : a concrete example for SME’s

In 2015 one of the topics we would like to discuss more often on this blog is data mining. You have all heard about Big Data, data mining, business intelligence ; but what those terms really cover remains mysterious for most of us. I guess there is also a desire to keep these terms opaque and fuzzy so that they actually seem complicated and reserved to specialists. But is it really the case? Everyone can do data mining What I do...

Read More
Competition forces traditional taxis to change : finally !
Dec12

Competition forces traditional taxis to change : finally !

The traditional press is full of articles regarding the legal procedures against Uber in Europe. In this judiciary fight, traditional taxis and VTC (Vehicule de Tourisme avec Chauffeur) have joined forces to fight Uber’s aggressive strategy to enter the market despite legal requirements (for more information read our previous article on this topic). Brussels minister for mobility was proud to announce that he had seized vehicles...

Read More
Can a normal airline still compete with a low-cost pure player ?
Nov05

Can a normal airline still compete with a low-cost pure player ?

After SN Brussels Airlines announcement to launch a low-cost alternative, Air France tried to do the same but the plan was stopped by 2 weeks of strike (which may have cost up to 300m€ according to newspapers). Yet what you observe on the market is that low-cost has become the dominant business model. Ryanair had been the undisputed leader for years (in terms of profit) and became the #1 airline in Europe. This year EasyJet took...

Read More
Zalando : e-commerce giant recruits clients offline
Oct17

Zalando : e-commerce giant recruits clients offline

How can you push your organic growth in e-commerce? That’s basically the problem that Zalando is facing. The e-commerce giant is still not profitable and believes that profitability will come with economies of scale, which can only be achieved through recruitment of more customers. But customers are difficult to convince and Zalando must therefore go offline to find them. Two types of consumers with different behaviors This may seem...

Read More
Marketing strategy : Hello Bank launches a pop-up store in Brussels
Oct13

Marketing strategy : Hello Bank launches a pop-up store in Brussels

Pop-up stores belongs to the marketing toolbox as a promotion instrument. Fact is that they have been usually used by brands in the fashion sector to promote a collection, raise awareness in conjunction with another event (for instance the Fashion week), or to touch customers in some particular areas. Pop-up stores are much less used by players from other sectors and that’s why the initiative of Hello Bank (a brand of BNP Paribas) is...

Read More
Quality improvement through reengineering of business processes
Oct08

Quality improvement through reengineering of business processes

We are currently conducting a big assignment for a BEL20 company to improve financial provisions processes and increase operations quality. This assignment encompasses the description of AS-IS processes across several divisions, reengineering them into something “lean” and improving the quality of the output. A big challenge given the complexity of those financial processes and the variety of people involved. Most assignments of this...

Read More

Online gambling : how has the market evolved since the opening of the market to competition?

On May, 13th 2010 the law was passed to open the market of online gambling to competition. Two years after, how does the market look like? Prior to that date online gambling was forbidden in France and gamblers using Gilbratar- or other exotic countries-based websites were in complete illegality. After May 2010 numerous new actors popped up and everyone was expecting hard times for the old and venerable PMU, which had the monopoly of...

Read More
Pop-up stores: what do they reveal about the future of retail
Aug27

Pop-up stores: what do they reveal about the future of retail

I’ve received several interview requests during the summer to discuss the future of retail. In today’s article I want to share with you my thoughts about pop-up stores, a (relatively) new forms of retail that reflects changes in our world and changes in the way the consumers behave. 1999 : the start of the pop-up stores It seems that the first pop-up store opened in 1999 in Los Angeles. The word pop-up meant at that time a “time...

Read More
Marketing strategy : how Tic Tac uses downsizing to make you buy
Aug06

Marketing strategy : how Tic Tac uses downsizing to make you buy

Tic Tac is a brand of the Italian group Ferrero that has a been on the market for more than 40 years. Literally everyone knows the little transparent box containing a few dozens of hard mints. In its country of origin (Italy, where it was introduced in 1969), Tic Tac is now also sold in a new packaging that fits with its time. Downsizing trends in packaging With the crisis we’ve witnessed a general downsizing of packaging to reduce...

Read More
What does it cost to be a franchisee ?
May12

What does it cost to be a franchisee ?

The questions and myths around franchising are very present in the heads of entrepreneurs. Would-be entrepreneurs dream of creating a brand with the potential of launching a franchise, while others are interested in becoming franchisees. The question of the costs attached to the franchising concepts are however difficult to answer. Except if you take the time to do some market research and compare a 13 brands as we did below.  13...

Read More
Innovations in the postal sector. Episode 6: let’s go digital
Apr04

Innovations in the postal sector. Episode 6: let’s go digital

We went through many different innovations during the last weeks. Some of them were centered around postal services, other were completely new but took advantage of the cost structure in place. The challenge is incredible for postal operators. If they want to survive they have no other choice than to innovate widely. In this last episode we explore the digitization trend. Postal operators have long understood that the need for paper...

Read More
Innovations in the postal sector. Episode 4: returning online purchased goods
Mar26

Innovations in the postal sector. Episode 4: returning online purchased goods

One crucial challenge of e-commerce today is to manage the offline part, i.e. the delivery. Yet, not all customers order right from the first time; nor are they protected from malfunctions, defects, and the like. Getting returns right (and free-of-charge) has become a must for e-tailers as this impacts the overall customer experience. Read here the fourth episode of our series on innovation in the postal sector (you can access past...

Read More
Innovations in the postal sector. Episode 3: new delivery options
Mar21

Innovations in the postal sector. Episode 3: new delivery options

Here is episode 3 already of our series on innovations launched by postal operators. You can access the first episodes of the series here (episode 1, episode 2). The innovation we’ll be dealing with today is driven by societal and behavioral changes. E-commerce rise can’t be stopped anymore. We are about to witness some dramatic changes industry-wide and the supply-chain providers will be put under pressure for the next decade to...

Read More
Innovations in the postal sector. Episode 2: insurance services
Mar17

Innovations in the postal sector. Episode 2: insurance services

We continue today our series of innovative services in the postal sector (read here episode 1) with a very interesting initiative of French postal operator La Poste. Not sure this one will be successful as it faces already some resistance. Episode 2: insurance   Insurance services in the postal sector La Poste is about to test a new project with Polyexpert to equip postmen with smartphones so that they can photograph damages in...

Read More
Innovations in the postal sector. Episode 1: 3D printing
Mar12

Innovations in the postal sector. Episode 1: 3D printing

As announced in our post last week, time has come to give you a comprehensive view of innovations in the postal sector. Some innovative services may be known to you already (depeneding on where you live and how innovative your postal operator is). Most of them will however surprise you (at least we hope so) and will show you the undergoing revolution in terms of business models and revenue creation. As we explained in our previous...

Read More
Innovations in the postal sector: business models revamped
Mar05

Innovations in the postal sector: business models revamped

The postal industry is unique. Its original business model is threatened and the industry is forced to reinvent itself. What can be observed there in terms of innovation is just unique. I met with Delphine Desgurse in Venice in late January where we use to attend the same marketing conference. Delphine is the vice-president of La Poste, in charge of innovation. Like two years ago she headed a very interesting and inspiring...

Read More
You’ll remember this advertising insert
Feb28

You’ll remember this advertising insert

In an earlier post we dealt with the results of country branding in a retail environment. This research, based on mystery shopping market research techniques, showed that Italian brands had no real strategy in place to strengthen their market position. I was cleaning my office the other day and getting rid of some old journals and magazines, I stumbled upon this old issue of “Monsieur”. It was entirely dedicated to the “Made in Italy”...

Read More
The right marketing strategy to sell products with a premium
Feb17

The right marketing strategy to sell products with a premium

While on business trip in Venice (see my earlier post) I stumbled upon wonderful postcards of Venetian monuments. I couldn’t resist the temptation and despite the price bought some to send to clients. Don’t shoot me dead … apparently such 3D pop-up cards have been on the market for a while, but this was the first time for. You can’t know about everything, right? To make a long story short these cards were so amazing : complex,...

Read More
International retailing of « Made in Italy » products
Feb14

International retailing of « Made in Italy » products

The results of a market research carried out in the UK and France revealed some interesting pieces of information about how brands leverage the “country of origin” dimension in the stores. This market study was presented at the International Marketing Trends Conference that took place in January 2014 in Venice and is the result of the work of 8 researchers. It starts by showing that the previously acknowledged COO (Country of Origin)...

Read More
What is the value of a “Like” for your business strategy?
Feb10

What is the value of a “Like” for your business strategy?

An article on the excellent consonaute blog recently made me (re)think about the role of social media in B2C and B2B businesses. In this post Bruno Fridlansky reflects about the value of a “like” on Facebook and of “favorite” on Twitter. He concludes that “Likes” and “favorites” are overused and that their actual value has been tarnished. Do they still mean something for the user who “likes” or “favorites”? If it still does Bruno...

Read More
How and why data analysis can help increase your profitability and fuel your growth
Dec20

How and why data analysis can help increase your profitability and fuel your growth

We are currently doing several big data-based assignments for very various clients and we’d like to share with you common mistakes that are often made by companies when considering analyzing their data. Mistake #1: where is my data? First of all what we see is that most companies have a HUGE problem finding their data. Either they don’t have collected data at all (which often is the case in retail environments and we know brands with...

Read More
Our best articles of 2013
Dec16

Our best articles of 2013

The end of the year is a good moment to think about the “best” articles we published in 2013. Here they are …   How to select the best articles? Although there are many criteria that could be used to decide on what the best articles are (number of likes, number of comments, retweets, …) I’ve decided to use a very subjective criteria: which posts gave me the greatest pleasure to write.   And the 10 nominees are … What is a...

Read More
Have customers become unsatisfied about low-cost services and products?
Nov12

Have customers become unsatisfied about low-cost services and products?

There is something strange happening on the low-cost market. There is a rising wave coming in our direction and we begin perceiving the first signals of it. Camping sites, Ryanair, Supermarkets are all experiencing the same problems on the market It all started with camping sites a few months ago. While digging into the sales data of private camping sites, I found out that 5-star sites were booming while 1-star site were declining in...

Read More
Latest retail trends compiled and available for all shop owners
Nov06

Latest retail trends compiled and available for all shop owners

Shop owners, small retailers and more generally all people interested in the latest marketing innovation in the retail sector will be happy to learn that we’ll have something special to offer in 2014. We are indeed preparing a book with the NeoAddict agency that will aim at : 1) Reporting and illustrating the latest retail trends worldwide 2) Analyzing and explaining how to implement them in your own store   The first really...

Read More
13 weeks to create a store from scratch
Oct23

13 weeks to create a store from scratch

On 4 November 2013 one of our clients will open his food retail store in Brussels. Ethnic Food is a project launched by Steve Gravy whom we had coached for 13 weeks. The initial idea (a seated restaurant) was completely reviewed taking contingency (experience, qualification, budget) into account. We ended up with a series of options that were taken into account to build the business and financial plan. Not only did we help Steve...

Read More
Three criteria to differentiate good and bad prospects
Oct18

Three criteria to differentiate good and bad prospects

Over the years I have developed a sixth sense for recognizing uninteresting prospects, those who consume your time and will have a zero ROI. Criterion 1: The emergency factor A prospect contacts you. It is urgent. He/She needs your offer within 24 hours. You have no idea how he found you (the miracles of Internet most probably), you’ve never seen him/her before and never had him/her on the phone. What is sure however is that he needs...

Read More
The Bicycle store : the same marketing strategy as a tailor
Oct14

The Bicycle store : the same marketing strategy as a tailor

The Bicycle store is a retail “concept” store located in Paris and –as the name indicates- is entirely dedicated to bicycles. Well, not the usual bicycle you see everywhere. The store has existed for 5 years and proposes three types of products which mimic the product range of tailor : ready-to-wear, made-to-measure, and bespoke. The “ready-to-wear” range is made of premium quality bicycles like the ones you could find in other...

Read More
Be responsive: a business strategy that works … if you apply it!
Oct09

Be responsive: a business strategy that works … if you apply it!

Here’s a true story that many of you have already experienced and which resulted in a incredible feeling of frustration. It’s the story about looking for a company to provide a service or a product you need. Sending a request for appointment to all the biggest banks My story begins with the quest for a new bank; a bank that could host my private as well as professional accounts. The bank I’ve been with for 10 years now is not...

Read More
New competitors entering the coffee capsules’ market
Oct07

New competitors entering the coffee capsules’ market

With the emergence of Nespresso-compatible capsules, the coffee market has evolved greatly and has actually grown. Analysts predicting that Nespresso’s market share would shrink were actually wrong. The new capsules are distributed in different networks, hence reaching another population and different customers. Among the many rivals of Nestle, we met Capsul’in in late September in Paris. An example of forward integration Capsul’in...

Read More
Will Ryanair really improve service quality to satisfy its customers?
Oct02

Will Ryanair really improve service quality to satisfy its customers?

Michael O’Leary, the arrogant yet charismatic CEO of Ryanair, announced last week that the company would strive to improve customer service. “We should try to eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off” and “A lot of those customer services elements don’t cost a lot of money … It’s something we are committed to addressing over the coming year,” O’Leary said on Sept 20th 2013. Market...

Read More
The soon collapsing delicatessen market
Sep27

The soon collapsing delicatessen market

After visiting the Gourmet Food & Wine fair in Paris a strange feeling remains in my head: that of an endless repetition. I got bored. From booth to booth noting emerged as really different; everything was alike : exotic spices in showy packagings, Espelette chilli under all possible forms, seafood and their improbable packaging, falsely old-looking wooden shelves made by Chinese children. A –too- homogenous market Nothing stands...

Read More
Black money hunt makes Ferrari sales drop
Sep11

Black money hunt makes Ferrari sales drop

Tax evasion remains very popular in Italy (and in Belgium too by the way) but since January 2013 the Monti and Letta governments are testing a new approach. The latter , as you will in this article, continues to fuel the great 300-year old debate on the very nature of taxes. Based on the Italian example this short article will help you understand the difference between circumstantial tax and declarative tax systems. How does the...

Read More
Ryanair’s CEO better at provocation than Abercrombie&Fitch’s CEO
Sep09

Ryanair’s CEO better at provocation than Abercrombie&Fitch’s CEO

Mike Jeffries, Abercrombie&Fitch CEO, was under fire this summer about his declarations on excluding people from his targeted clientele. Back in 2006 he declared : “We go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive, all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” I was interviewed this...

Read More
BNP Paribas Fortis: how their hotline make them lose customers
Sep04

BNP Paribas Fortis: how their hotline make them lose customers

Websites have become nowadays a tool to attract and retain potential customers. They either allow the visitors to perform certain actions by themselves or get a trigger to call an agent. This mechanism is especially important in B2C transactions where customers want immediate contact. The role of hotlines is therefore to make the customer acquisition process as smooth as possible to increase the acquisition rate and retain as many...

Read More
The market of recycled devices grows with the crisis
Sep02

The market of recycled devices grows with the crisis

There are some markets which benefit from the crisis. The market of recycled electronic devices is one of them. With the growth of smartphones and a diminishing buying power, consumers tend to look increasingly for bargains in the second-hand market. A recent study shows that only 20% of cell phones are recycled and that each houselhold has 3 to 4 phones on average sleeping  somewhere in the drawers of the house. Some startups have...

Read More
Even century-old firms die … because they don’t adapt
Aug28

Even century-old firms die … because they don’t adapt

Darwin was right … those who adapt will survive and in the race to survival smaller species seem better placed. This seems also to be true for firms. The biggest ones are not  –always- the most resistant to shocks and the quickest to change. Browsing recently through my archives I found back the articles that the Italian press dedicated to Richard Ginori, a eighteenth century firm that went bankrupt in early 2013. Richard Ginori, a...

Read More