Forward Thinking

The future's already out there...

Apple iWatch’s Lesson for FMCG Innovation
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Consumer tech and consumer staples (FMCG). Light years apart right?  What could Apple’s latest venture into wearable tech – (unofficially) codenamed iWatch – possibly teach us about innovation in FMCG? One HUGE lesson. Don’t be first, be better. Like the iPhone, the iPod, the Mac, the Apple TV, and iTunes, Apple’s new smart wristband is…

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3 innovation lessons we can learn from Kickstarter’s record breaker
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The Coolest Cooler not only sounds cool, it is cool… Or at least that’s what over 62,000 people who backed it on Kickstarter think! On Friday, The Coolest broke the previous Kickstarter record with an incredible $13.3 million (after only asking for $50,000) pledged. At Brand Genetics we believe the innovation lessons we can learn…

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Looking Good: The Psychology of Good Design
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Does your product concept look good?  Well, it should.  Looks matter. Vision is our dominant sense, and how a product looks will drive trial, adoption, sales and profitability.  Products that look good sell more, to more people, more often and for more margin. This means that concept development should be designed with design in mind. But what, exactly,…

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Is This The Future of Washing? P&G Unveils The Swash
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Procter and Gamble recently unveiled the Swash machine, a clothes refresher that allows people to re-wear their garments without washing. In conjunction with Whirlpool, they have developed a system that deodorises, de-wrinkles, preserves and refreshes clothes in only 10 minutes. As one P&G Director commented it aims to be to the washing machine what the…

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4 ways thinking like a child can unearth fresh insight
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Adora Svitak’s TED talk (see video above) has been watched nearly 3.5million times – particularly  surprising given she was only 12 years old at the time! It suggest her subject,’What adults can learn from kids’, really struck a chord. Svitak suggests the world needs “childish” thinking – bold ideas, wild creativity and optimism – and adults should show a willingness…

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Gen Y Ad “Misunderstood” Wins 2014 Creative Emmy
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Want a powerful insight into Gen Y?  Then look at this ‘Misunderstood’ ad that has just won the Emmy Award for 2014′s Outstanding Commercial. The ad, for Apple’s iPhone (Park Pictures – TBWA\Media Arts Lab) explores the generational fault line between Gen Y and their elders.  Are we a generation of self-absorbed slaves to digital screens, or part of a new creative generation…

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8 new words in the Oxford dictionary & what they say about our lives
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Any semiotician will tell you that language reflects ways of living and thinking, and more specifically, words can provide valuable clues to understanding culture. So it’s always interesting to see how our language is evolving with the latest new words added to the Oxford online dictionary. New words, senses, and phrases are added once enough independent evidence…

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How the simple question ‘Why’ can unlock innovation opportunities
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We live and work in a world, in categories and in companies where we are surrounded by unspoken ‘rules’: some of them are there for good reason, but some may not have been good rules in the first place and – especially given the current unprecedented rate of change – many are now outdated. These ‘rules’ can both constrain innovation…

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Psych Eye for the Qual Guy: A Party Game Called Psychoanalysis
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Here’s the first in a series of practical qual research techniques, tips and tricks drawn from psychology. A ‘Party Game Called Psychoanalysis’ is a simple projective research group technique used to undercover hidden (private, subconscious) hopes and fears and identify brand communication themes that connect with (hidden) motivations.  It was described by eminent cognitive psychologist Professor Daniel Dennett, author of…

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Brainstorms that Work: 3 approaches for better creative sessions
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Brainstorming has (rightly in our opinion) come in for a lot of criticism – particularly where it maintains the fallacy of the Eureka moment: that great ideas appear out of thin air thanks to huge creative leaps from super creative individuals. This is a poor basis for innovation, instead, as Scott Berkun suggests in his book The Myths of Innovation, “every amazing…

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Debrief Like TED – A 10 Point Researcher Guide to Presenting Research Findings
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What can market researchers learn from the TED – 15 minute high impact idea-briefings built on incisive and inspiring insights – “ideas worth spreading”? TED idea briefings can help researchers do better debriefs, helping us focus on how we present our findings for maximum impact. So here’s a researcher’s oriented adaptation of top recommendations from the 5-star rated How to Design TED-worthy…

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Dan Ariely: 7 Problems with Research Groups and Surveys
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It’s an oldie but it’s a goodie – an interview by Nex Gen Research with psychologist and behavioural economist Dan Ariey, author of Predictably Irrational (speed summary) and expert on non-rational (non value-maximising) consumer behaviour. In the interview Dan suggests that market researchers are irrational – and predictably so – in their over reliance on traditional…

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‘Innovate or Die’: the challenge of disruptive innovation
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Playing it safe is not safe anymore… that’s the key lesson from Lean Startup author Eric Ries’ interview with McKinsey, the global management consultancy. In a world where, any kid with $1,000 in their pocket is able to, as Ries puts it, ‘rent the means of production’, established businesses and brands are no longer safe.…

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Use your Past as a Springboard to the Future
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Everyone talks about the accelerated rate of change and the overwhelming complexity of the world today: how to make sense of it, effectively adapt and avoid being left behind. But the focus should really lie on how to create change by constantly innovating rather than always feeling the need to catch up; the new landscape is…

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Hitting the Sweet Spot – Understanding Your Target Audience
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We have been intrigued by Maria Sharapova’s new range of sweets, the aptly named Sugarpova gummy candies.  “I’m competitive,” says the best-paid sportswoman on the planet, “and I want to be top in the gummy world.” This inspired us to invite a team of 15-year-old would-be innovators into the Brand Genetics office, to invent something…

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Google Glass Now On Sale in UK – Market Research Applications
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Google’s smart specs – Glass – are now freely available to purchase in the UK for £1000, including frames – although not the 13 new Diane Von Furstenberg Frames or Shades for Google Glass also launched this week (these cost $225/$120 – US Glass store, and net-a-porter). So, whilst these are pre-launch ‘open-beta’ ‘Explorer’ edition  of Glass…

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