Marketing, customer satisfaction and loyalty
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The secrets of market research: how to avoid pitfalls when creating a new venture. Part 3
May01

The secrets of market research: how to avoid pitfalls when creating a new venture. Part 3

We are concluding today our series of three articles dedicated to market research. In our first article we dealt with the very methodology to apply when doing a market research and covered the two first important steps : the trends’ analysis and the competition analysis. In our second article we went in depth about qualitative research and explained the differences that exist with quantitative analysis. It’s time today to...

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From 7 to 3 degrees of separation
Feb17

From 7 to 3 degrees of separation

In 1969 Jeffrey Travers and Stanley Milgam conducted an experiment on degrees of separation between people. You all have heard about the results: human beings are separated by 6 degrees of acquaintances. Some forty years later Leskovec and Horvitz (2007), both from the Microsoft Research center, concluded that human beings were separated by 7 degrees of acquaintances. 6 or 7 links between Human beings ? The difference comes from a...

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What you should know about (online) surveys and market research
May15

What you should know about (online) surveys and market research

There is one key message that we repeat again and again to entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs when we coach them: sending an online survey is not doing market research. Market research is far more than that. Yet, this message seems to not to be understood by everyone because business owners, entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs have been polluted for years by biased messages on market research. Many firms proposing solutions...

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What motivates people to move up the social media ladder?
Apr24

What motivates people to move up the social media ladder?

During the ESADE conference, Sue Vaux Halliday presented her work on “user-generated content and its creators: consumers and commentators”. During her presentation Sue introduced the concept of social media ladder (also called social technographics ladder: see the slideshare presentation below for more information) which allows to segment the population according to the usage of social media tools. At the bottom of the ladder you have...

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“42” School: why Xavier Niel’s initiative may fail
Apr22

“42” School: why Xavier Niel’s initiative may fail

Non-French people are likely not to know Xavier Niel. He is however a famous tech entrepreneur, a billionaire and the CEO of Free, the telecom company that has been shaking the grounds of telecom competition landscape for years. Xavier Niel declared a war to the three French telecom operators (SFR, Orange and Bouygues) in 2012 when he launched in January its own mobile phone offer starting as low as 2€/month. One year after starting...

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50% of the firms created in 2006 have died: all the factors influencing firm’s survival
Apr19

50% of the firms created in 2006 have died: all the factors influencing firm’s survival

There is a lot of controversy around survival rate of startups. A survival rate of 25% after 7 years is often mentioned although there’s no evidence around it; other authors speak of a 90% survival rate. The discrepancy is so huge that real actual figures are very valuable. Such figures have been published last week by the French statistical institute INSEE (Link to the original source – in French only). In 2006 a total number of...

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Thank You Merci
Apr17

Thank You Merci

From time to time you meet inspiring people. I have the chance to meet many entrepreneurs coming from very different horizons and with various backgrounds. Although they are all special some of them show world-class expertise and skills. My encounter with Jean-Luc Colonna d’Istria will certainly remain as one of the most inspiring moments of 2013. The marketing director of Merci, the now world-famous concept store of Boulevard...

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HOW TO : market research, product positioning and pricing
Apr15

HOW TO : market research, product positioning and pricing

Market research is important and you know that this is what we specialize in. Yet market research is only the beginning. Out of the results of the market research you should be able to draft your strategy and determine (among others) your positioning strategy as well as your pricing. Those two aspects are usually complicated to master and differ greatly depending on the kind of market (B2B or B2C) you’re in. I was asked by the...

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Find your audience: how to position your research work
Apr12

Find your audience: how to position your research work

As I explained in an earlier post, I was very disappointed to see my research work rejected at this year’s EMAC conference. Fortunately the very same research work was accepted and presented at the 5th International Conference on Rhetoric and Narratives in Management Research. This conference, though more limited in size than the EMAC and its hundreds of participants, gave me a great boost of energy … and hope. I was finally able to...

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One Day One Idea: an excellent example of a useful QR code
Apr10

One Day One Idea: an excellent example of a useful QR code

If you are a regular reader of this blog you may remember our previous post on getting QR codes right. Basically we were claiming that most companies were neglecting the consumer behavior when implementing QR codes, resulting in consumers’ pains not being solved.   The customer wants to be helped in making a choice The baseline is that customers want to be helped in making a choice. And it must be quick. Any use of QR codes which...

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50% of complaints answered without apology: bad for customer satisfaction !
Apr08

50% of complaints answered without apology: bad for customer satisfaction !

This is the result of an analysis we conducted on a sample of 226 companies having answered to online customers’ complaints on the French forum www.lesarnaques.com. We presented these results and the proposal for a new conceptual model at the 5th International Conference on Rhetoric and Narratives in Management Research which was held from March 25th until March 27th at the ESADE Business School of Barcelona, Spain. Among other...

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One Day One Idea: challenge the norms
Apr05

One Day One Idea: challenge the norms

Why should certain things remain unchanged? Why do we like to say we can’t change things? After having spent so many years in consulting, working for big companies and for the smallest (and nevertheless sometimes the most interesting of all) companies, my judgment has slowly evolved from “why should cope with the forces on the market and get the best out of it” to “we can be the sparkle that initiates the chain reaction and a global...

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Is the future of online pure players in brick-and-mortar shops?
Apr03

Is the future of online pure players in brick-and-mortar shops?

The question may seem provocative but the reign of pure online strategies may slowly come to an end. Consider the following 53% of all EU retailers are selling through the internet In Ireland, Denmark and the UK, between 88% and 93% of retailers use distance sales channels But distance selling only represents between 5% and 7% of the retail turnover (FTI estimates) Add to this the economic crisis situation, the perception by consumers...

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4 advices to remember when measuring customer satisfaction
Mar29

4 advices to remember when measuring customer satisfaction

The Heathrow airport has installed devices to measure satisfaction after the security checks. Yet, we think did not get customer satisfaction right. The biggest mistake they did was to put the device too far away from the lane, making it out of reach for most customers. Hence only customers with a good reason will find the motivation (or need) to walk the extra steps to the device to give an input. As a result you see only extremely...

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French self-employed: far from becoming wealthy
Mar22

French self-employed: far from becoming wealthy

9244€. This is the average turnover of a French self-employed under the “auto entrepreneur” status. Although this revenue increased between 2001 (8316e) and 2012 (9244€) those figures hide another reality: almost 75% of self-employed have declared revenues of less than 3000€ (per year!) and only 60,000 out of the 750,000 (i.e. 8%) registered self-employed declared revenues of more than 20,000€. Although taxes and social contributions...

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Lessons learned on a Design Thinking session: DO’s and DON’T’s
Mar20

Lessons learned on a Design Thinking session: DO’s and DON’T’s

I’m just back from a Design Thinking workshop we organized in Bordeaux (France) for a e-commerce project. The least I can say is it was successful and extremely enriching. We had invited a group of people from different horizons representing the spectrum of the different stakeholders across the value chain. After a day of work new ideas emerged for the different distribution channels we considered during the session. As a sign of how...

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Have supermarkets signed their own death warrant ?
Mar18

Have supermarkets signed their own death warrant ?

The latest stats show that prepared shopping carts tend to help supermarkets sustain their growth. Whereas in France supermarkets (-0.2%), hard discount (-0.4%) and small urban stores (-0.2%) all lost market shares, “drives” gained 1% on the same period. It’s therefore logical that all players propose it. This service remained however of little importance during years. In Belgium for instance Colruyt’s Collect&Go has existed for...

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Visit at Stella Cadente shop: well worth a design award
Mar15

Visit at Stella Cadente shop: well worth a design award

Stella Cadente proves it’s possible to obtain outstanding results with (relatively) little money. We visited their unique store in Paris (opened in April 2012 on 102 Boulevard Beaumarchais) and although it’s relatively small (<50m²) it offers a wonderful experience. We were welcomed by Armand Perrier, the head of communication, who explained us the genesis of the brand and of the store. Stella Cadente is a fashion designer who was...

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One Day One Idea : Aesop’s technique to get customers in the store
Mar11

One Day One Idea : Aesop’s technique to get customers in the store

On our latest trip to Paris, after we interviewed Merci’s managing director Jean-Luc Colonna d’Istria, we went for a tour in Paris’ trendy area “Le Marais”. One of the stores that caught our attention was Aesop in Rue Vieille du Temple. Aesop is an Australian upper tier brand of cosmetics that you won’t find everywhere (it’s actually one of the two brands to have a corner shop at Merci). As you can on the pictures they have an...

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C&A launches a (too) temporary store in Brussels
Mar08

C&A launches a (too) temporary store in Brussels

C&A used last week the construction site of the (rumours say) first Apple in Belgium to set up a temporary store. Three containers were put on the construction site, located on Avenue de la Toison d’Or, to present Cindy Crawford’s latest collection made for C&A. It was a pretty inexpensive set up (compared to other temporary store) and for a very limited period of time. Despite a press release by C&A it seems the press...

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3 steps to align your online and offline experience with your global brand positioning
Mar06

3 steps to align your online and offline experience with your global brand positioning

Brands sometimes take advantage of their positioning to launch some funny initiatives and propose a funny communication. Yet, when the positioning doesn’t match the communication, it can backfire (remember for instance the example of this bank that we gave a while ago). We already dealt with these aspects here (see this post for instance on a good example of funny communication) and we would like to give you here another –good-...

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The magnet thing: visit at Poltrona Frau
Mar04

The magnet thing: visit at Poltrona Frau

Giving a touch of design to a store can be easier than you think. Do you remember the two examples (example 1, example 2) that we gave already? Another example was provided by Poltrona Frau which opened in Brussels a store in collaboration with Baccarat. The store inheritates the design guidelines of Poltrona Frau, one of them being a giant vegetable wall in the middle of the store. Mélanie Rigo, who is in charge of the communication...

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Innovation in the postal sector
Mar01

Innovation in the postal sector

The postal sector seeks to become highly innovative to compete against competitors like DHL, Fedex and UPS which have their own distribution networks. In 2012 we were consulted by the French Post for a highly innovative project; we are now working for BPost and the Belgian Post which, we must admit, shows also excellence in its innovation processes. One of their innovative project is BPack 24/7. This project was inspired by the French...

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Why Innovations fail
Feb27

Why Innovations fail

We’ll be giving a (short) conference at the Solvay Business School on March 19th 2013 at 6:30pm on innovation. We will however not deal with innovation from a company’s perspective (how to innovate and the like) but rather from a consumer’s perspective. We’ll propose some new thoughts (also inspired by our research work) on why innovations do not get adopted by consumers. Our intention is to limit the presentation to 60 minutes and to...

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One Day One Idea: loyalty cards are useless. Make sure you don’t make them even more useless.
Feb25

One Day One Idea: loyalty cards are useless. Make sure you don’t make them even more useless.

Loyalty cards have become a useless instrument to foster loyalty (see our comments here). Yet, firms of all sizes still believe in its power. If you are one of those and are about to launch your own loyalty card, make sure at least that you can get some benefits out of it. Don’t follow the example of Mamma Roma, a Brussels-based chain of pizzerias “al taglio” (exceptionally good by the way). They have launched their loyalty card and...

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One Day One Idea: How to get QR codes right?
Feb22

One Day One Idea: How to get QR codes right?

An interesting and recent discussion led me to think about the way QR codes are used to enhance customer experience with physical products. Going through the aisles of my supermarket I scanned a dozen QR codes or so. All of them led me either –          on the web page of the product itself (which was giving basically the same information as on the label but in a less comprehensive and more cumbersome way) –          on...

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What does branding mean? The example of Miss Vicky Wine
Feb20

What does branding mean? The example of Miss Vicky Wine

Anne-Victoire Monrozier has an interesting entrepreneurial story to tell. Despite having little experience in the wine industry, she built a new wine brand from scratch. How did she succeed and is it really a wine brand? This is what we discussed with her in Brussels in January. Anne-Victoire, ala Miss Vicky, is well known for her blog “Miss Vicky Wine”. She is #26 in ranking of the most influential people in the wine industry. Not...

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One Day One Idea: What is your secret magnet to attract customers?
Feb18

One Day One Idea: What is your secret magnet to attract customers?

In a previous post we discussed already the possibility to have one central element in its strategy to attract customers. This central element should not only be an intangible asset; it can also be translated in tangible element in points of sale. We showed how the Levi’s flagship store in Paris had included such an element; the Bodum’s flagship store, which we dealt with last week, has also such an element in the form of an...

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The Wine Business Innovation Summit in Brussels
Jan30

The Wine Business Innovation Summit in Brussels

The Wine Business Innovation Summit (WBIS in short) was organized on Jan 19th in Brussels to gather entrepreneurs and leaders of the wine industry and fuel inspiration among the participants. The least we can say is that it was successful. We were invited to this event back in 2012 a time when the organizers, Jens de Maere and Marc Roisin, were looking for someone to give an inspiring introductory speech. Unfortunately the tight...

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Conferences to attend if you want to anticipate the future
Jan28

Conferences to attend if you want to anticipate the future

For those of you who are eager to confront themselves with new thoughts and brand new research results, you may be interested to attend one of my upcoming conferences : On March 19th 2013 at the Solvay Business School (Brussels, Belgium) : I’ll be giving a talk of ca. 60 minutes, followed by questions and individual feedback sessions. The presentation is entitled “Why innovation fail: the role of consumers’ habits in the product and...

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The secrets of market research: how to avoid pitfalls when creating a new venture. Part 2
Jan16

The secrets of market research: how to avoid pitfalls when creating a new venture. Part 2

In our first article of this series of 3 on market research, we dealt with the methodology of market research and with trends and competition analysis. Today we move to the analysis of demand and will go in depth on qualitative and quantitative research.   Demand analysis This analysis aims at qualifying and quantifying the demand for your product or service. In other words your goal should be to “see” whether the market wants,...

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One Day One Idea: Lacoste co-creates with customers
Jan11

One Day One Idea: Lacoste co-creates with customers

The idea in a nutshell To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Lacoste polo shirt by René Lacoste, the French brand (which was recently sold to a Swiss group) launched an initiative to co-create with its customers. It asked them to connect to a dedicated website (www.lacoste-future.com) to design the shirt of the future. To discover more about it, have a look a the movie which was created on this occasion.     Advice #1 for your...

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One Day One Idea : use offbeat humour to sell your stuffs
Jan07

One Day One Idea : use offbeat humour to sell your stuffs

The marketing idea in brief Sometimes in worthwhile to be “offbeat”, i.e. not to follow the rules (especially the marketing ones). Look for instance at the example of this store I came across while in Barcelona on Passeig de Garcia. Pitty I can’t remember its name. It was just crowdy, full of people looking for the latest gadget to buy in this modern bric-a-brac. Even if you had already everything on earth...

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One Day One Idea: fun marketing by Pierre Hermé
Jan02

One Day One Idea: fun marketing by Pierre Hermé

If you don’t know Pierre Hermé it means you don’t –really- like chocolate and pastry.   The idea in brief Pastry master Hermé is also an excellent marketer. Look at his latest packaging; pretty funny isn’t it and you just can’t avoid making the comparison with Michel and Augustin.     Advice #1 for your marketing strategy Are you serious … have you ever thought that being too serious can make you boring? Have you ever...

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