Earn money by answering our surveys

Register now!
Marketing, customer satisfaction and loyalty
Satisfied customers will follow you everywhere
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
The 2014 Venice International Marketing Trends conference
Feb12

The 2014 Venice International Marketing Trends conference

As every two years I attended the international marketing trends conference in Venice (there are worse places for a conference, aren’t there ?). This annual conference is organized in Italy on even years, and in Paris (at the ESCP school of management) on uneven years. Unlike other academic conference, this one presents the particularity to address a mixed audience of scholars and practitioner. Whereas research sessions focused on...

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
Tropicana: guess what they did to increase profits by 15%
Feb05

Tropicana: guess what they did to increase profits by 15%

My attention was drawn by a fellow reader on a recent change he noticed in the Topicana product range. While in the supermarket he realized that one particular product had changed slightly. A product range with some profit boosters The Tropicana product range can be roughly divide into 3 categories : classic, exotic and specialties. They recently added also limited editions (priced roughly at the same level as their specialities). The...

Read More
You won’t guess how BMW enhanced the customer experience of its i8
Jan27

You won’t guess how BMW enhanced the customer experience of its i8

Among all features of a car, some elements have remained desperately un-innovative for years if not decades. Do you remember what you use to start your engine every morning … how different is it from 30 years ago ? Some enhancements, but no real breakthrough Sure, Keyless go (even available is some cheaper models like my wonderful Toyota Prius) has brought some improvements. It was even preceded by a more intelligent version on the...

Read More
You’ll never guess which material Mondavi used to create sunglasses
Jan24

You’ll never guess which material Mondavi used to create sunglasses

Extending your product range into different product categories is certainly a growth and profits strategy. Yet it must also be a good long-term strategy and with that in mind brand extension should remain meaningful. We examine today the extension of the Mondavi Winery brand into eyewear. Eyewear made from the barrels’ wood The idea was brought to me by the excellent Creapills website. Mondavi is reknown for its excellent wines, the...

Read More
Here’s why Aigle’s new marketing strategy works amazingly well
Dec18

Here’s why Aigle’s new marketing strategy works amazingly well

One of the advantages of having a strong brand is that meaningful diversification can enable you to unlock growth. Here’s the example of Aigle, an historic brand of rubber boots which has diversified into side products. Aigle has manufactured its famous rubber boots since 1967 in Châtellerault (France) and launched its outdoor strategy in 1989. The group went through difficult times however and was taken over in 2004. The revamping of...

Read More
Marketing strategy: use humor to create differentiation
Nov27

Marketing strategy: use humor to create differentiation

Life is not easy every day and a way to differentiate yourself from the crowd is to use humor. Read below the example of the Comfort Hotel group which uses humor at all levels as a marketing strategy for differentiation. Creating a customer experience around humor requires however to be very well organized and to be skilled in terms of marketing. The experience has to be compelling and it would be a big mistake to think it’s an easy...

Read More
How to increase brand awareness
Nov22

How to increase brand awareness

Brands are trying more and more to go outside their normal distribution channels to conquer consumers and build brand awareness. We already reported on the Danone’s store in Barcelona; here’s the Maille mustard store in Paris.   I wouldn’t mentioned this one if I hadn’t read recently a very short article on the results achieved by this store. It is indeed pretty rare that brands accept to unveil such metrics, also given the...

Read More
A nomad product enhancing customer satisfaction
Oct30

A nomad product enhancing customer satisfaction

In our post on Monday we promised to deal with a nomad object we recently discovered in France. If you read regularly our blog you know that we already touched this topic when we visited the flagship store of Bodum in Paris. One of Bodum’s best sellers is a fancy metal bottle you can carry with you and fill with whatever you like. We found better than that … A multi-purpose recipient Qwetch is a French startup created by Stéphane...

Read More
Hermes diverts the uses of the little yellow duck
Oct25

Hermes diverts the uses of the little yellow duck

One of the ways to attract the attention of shoppers and pedestrians is to add a little touch of surprise and/or humor in the store. This is what Hermes has done in the historical store of Ernest Motsch on 42 Avenue George V. E. Motsch is a longstanding hat brand (established 1887) that was taken over by Hermes in the early 90’s. The store on Avenue George V was completely renovated in 2007 (the surface was doubled) and other Hermes...

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
Meeting with a great entrepreneur, Alain Milliat
Oct16

Meeting with a great entrepreneur, Alain Milliat

If you wonder what it makes to see his name printed on millions of products, just ask Alain Milliat how he feels. He’s managing the Alain Milliat company which produces 2,5 million bottle of juice per year. Alain is one of the most loyal readers of our blog and one of the very first subscribers. He’s been following us up for years and we have exchanged opinions and debated quit a few times. We finally were able to meet in person and...

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
At Smalto, clothes are works of Art
Oct11

At Smalto, clothes are works of Art

Here’s another example of the Devil being in the detail. In the never ending quest to differentiation some brands are trying to elevate the consumers’ perception of their offering by playing on the store’s attribute. Look for instance at this example found at the Francesco Smalto boutique located Rue François 1er in Paris. Luxury is defined by marketing scholars as a category of products where the price is...

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
Emerging trend on the food market : raw chocolate
Sep30

Emerging trend on the food market : raw chocolate

Among the 200+ exhibitors of the Gourmet Food&Wine fair in Paris on Sept 23rd and 24th 2013, our attention was caught by Rrraw, startup launched by Frédéric Marr to exploit the raw chocolate market trend. After having sold his previous company in 2005 Frédéric founded Nutrivitalité.fr and got interested the nutritional properties of chocolate. His idea was to work on the process-side to keep “all the good things” chocolate has to...

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
How demographics maps can help your market research
Sep25

How demographics maps can help your market research

If you think about maps you’ll most probably have in your mind the image of a geographic map, depicting the borders of a country or of a group of countries. There are however numerous other types of maps that are much more interesting and that can be of great help in your market research and your business plan. Geographer Jacques Levy recently published a book where he uses 30 astonishing socio-economic maps created by Luc Guillemot,...

Read More
New consulting services for the food retail sector
Sep23

New consulting services for the food retail sector

With some 50 projects completed in the last years and, alone for 2013, 5 projects in the food retail sector, IntoTheMinds will develop in the coming months a new range of services dedicated to entrepreneurs in the HoReCa field (Hotels – Restaurants – Coffee shop). New consulting services for the HoReCa sector Besides our regular coaching for would-be entrepreneurs, we’ll craft our marketing expertise to develop two very specific...

Read More
How to create a concept store with limited funds
Sep18

How to create a concept store with limited funds

After my visit to the SMETS concept store in Brussels and my definition of the innovation factors belonging to it, I visited Le Dressing. Le Dressing is a tiny specialized fashion store opened by Issiaka Johnson, a Belgian with Cameroonian and Guinean origins with a taste for fashion. Issiaka opened Le Dressing last year in Brussels, 7 rue de l’Athénée, with the help of the Guaranty Fund of the Brussels Region. He offers a selection...

Read More
Marketing strategy: a nice name can make it all
Sep13

Marketing strategy: a nice name can make it all

An unusual name can sometimes be at the heat of a marketing strategy and be enough to catch customers’ attention. We were amused by this store on Boulevard Beaumarchais, not far away from Merci. It’s called Leon & Harper, and it bears a long name / slogan on the facade “Hello, I Love You, Can You Tell Me Your Name ?”. Not sure what it means (but should have stopped by and asked) and whether it will be that...

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
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
Get inspired by concept stores to improve your marketing strategy
Aug30

Get inspired by concept stores to improve your marketing strategy

I was called in mid-July by the Belgian TV Channel RTBF to explain what concept stores are. The 3-minute television report was filmed –obviously- in a concept store located in Brussels : SMETS. I went back to the store later to shoot some photos because it has pretty much all the attributes of a concept store. As I explained on TV a “concept store” is, by definition, a place where new ideas are put together (“a concept”) with a the...

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
The importance of unplanned buying for retailers’ profitability
Aug21

The importance of unplanned buying for retailers’ profitability

It is difficult to overstate the importance of “unplanned buying” to retailers and branded goods suppliers. As we have explained in an earlier post unplanned in-store buying behavior accounts for a major part of supermarkets profits. Actually Advertising Age has reported that consumers tend to make 70% of their brand decisions in the store! In a recent article the effects of “preshopping” factors—the overall trip goal, store-specific...

Read More
Idea in Brief: attract customers with a marketing strategy based on “being real”
Aug19

Idea in Brief: attract customers with a marketing strategy based on “being real”

The idea My wife brought back tomatoes from the supermarket the other day and they were labeled “Real taste”. Although once may not even notice the label, I was really puzzled to read such a “slogan”. Are there tomatoes with a “false taste” out there? No, there are only Dutch tomatoes with NO taste one would answer. Isn’t it odd, I wondered, to label something as being “real”; what...

Read More
Positive return for subsidies to innovative SMEs
Jul17

Positive return for subsidies to innovative SMEs

A recent press release by the European Commission has brought some interesting statistics about the effectiveness of subsidies to SMEs. More specifically the European Commission measured a series of performance indicators in eco-innovation SME which had received funding via the the eco-innovation component of the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP). Based on companies funded over the past two years, the study...

Read More
Is crowdfunding the best option for your savings ?
Jul10

Is crowdfunding the best option for your savings ?

Several crowdfunding platforms have emerged in the last months in Belgium. One of them (MyFirstCompany), although very promising, already ceased operations earlier this year. The legal problem mentioned on their website seems not to have impeded another platform (Look&Fin) to start collecting money from individuals to fund local SME projects. Look&Fin successfully funded several projects, one of them being a new salespoint for...

Read More
Tribute to a company that has died : L’Edito
Jul03

Tribute to a company that has died : L’Edito

L’Edito was one startup that I met in late 2012 because of their passion for design, beautiful objects and their co-creation processes. Like other firms before them, their business model was based on crowd-sourced design and funding. Individuals could present to the world their projects of furniture and if enough people were interested to buy the design, the piece of furniture could go in production. Unlike many competitors l’Edito...

Read More
Innovation in the postal industry : the self-service trend
Jun24

Innovation in the postal industry : the self-service trend

We reported that the postal industry, not see by many as one of the most innovative sector, is actually trying new ways to better fit into consumers’ behaviors. Two recent Esmerk press releases confirm that the self-service trend is extending into whole Europe. Self-service terminals in the Czech republic Some 15 self-service parcel terminals have been launched in the Czech Republic in the area of the capital city Prague. The...

Read More
How to make consumers spend 158% to 457% more? Offer them free returns
Jun21

How to make consumers spend 158% to 457% more? Offer them free returns

This is the result of recent study published in the Journal of Marketing. Unlike –too- many research, the results come from a longitudinal study (that’s to say a study that observes a phenomenon on a long period of time) and that is based on primary data (that’s to say, data the reflects without bias the actual behavior of the population observed). With this study the authors contribute to the important research stream on customer...

Read More
Mono-product marketing strategies: the exemple of l’Atelier de l’Eclair
Jun17

Mono-product marketing strategies: the exemple of l’Atelier de l’Eclair

There is no such difficult thing than to start a successful business with only one product. Yet, we have noticed recent initiatives in the retail sector of innovative mono-product marketing  strategies. We visited last month “L’Atelier de l’éclair” in Paris, a store dedicated to a traditional French pastry called “éclair”. Ladurée made the macarons famous and launched a long-lasting trend; the three founders of l’Atelier de L’éclair...

Read More
Invent a new pricing to boost your marketing strategy
Jun14

Invent a new pricing to boost your marketing strategy

Startups need to be innovative to be attractive. Inventing a new pricing model is a way to attract the attention. Everyone can do it and pricing models are not reserved to super complex industries or managers with a PhD or a MBA. Even if you are in a low tech industry like retail, you may benefit from being innovative in the way your price your goods or services.   Here’s the example of a hair dresser in Brussels. There is...

Read More