By Amy Modini
What do Crayola, Amazon, Cheerios, Apple, and Subway have in common?
Over the years they’ve each been named one of America’s most loved brands. Of course there are lots of strong brands (nearly as many as there are “most loved brands” lists) but what is it that makes those brands so strong? No one will deny the importance of the brand name, positioning, or communications, but what these beloved brands have in common is how they deliver their brand experience.
When M3 Insurance, Wisconsin’s largest privately held provider of commercial insurance, decided they wanted to strengthen their brand position, they had a few options. One common approach is to invest time and money into a brand’s value proposition and the brand promises they’re making to their customers. A company that takes this approach will spend a lot of time building enthusiasm and energy around a brand position, both internally and externally. They might have banners, posters, and many companywide meetings to communicate the brand to employees.
There’s a lot of good stuff in this traditional approach, but our experience tells us that it rarely, if ever, goes far enough. Brands that stand out are able to find ways that empower their employees to make decisions that support the brand. They’re able to articulate how employees can/should act to deliver on the brand promises and benefits—they use each interaction with their customers as a chance to deliver brand value—something even the best company-wide meetings can’t inspire alone.
With M3, our approach was both practical and comprehensive. At center, was the need to ensure customers’ experience aligned with M3’s brand promise. Guided by that core principle we developed a plan to determine how (customer facing) employees should behave to deliver the brand promise. Want to learn how we did it? Join M3’s Traci Mandell and me this Thursday to learn a new approach to developing and measuring truly brand-building customer experiences.
Click here to register.
Posted by Amy Modini. Amy is Account Director for CMB’s Healthcare and Insurance Practice, when she gets the time she loves going to the beach with her two kids.
By Mark Carr
As with many financial services firms, SunTrust Bank has had to re-consider its strategy over the past several years. My colleagues at Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB is South Street’s sister company) and I had the privilege of recently working with the company as it shifted into a decidedly customer-centric approach to the way it designed its products and services.
Next Thursday, I am pleased to be co-presenting a webinar with Jeff VanDeVelde from SunTrust and Rich Schreuer from CMB. We’ll be covering SunTrust’s use of customer segmentation to drive its shift to customer centricity.
What’s a strategy consulting firm doing talking about segmentation, you might ask?
Well, strategy is as much about saying “no” as it is about saying “yes” to opportunities for growth. Being able to identify, understand, and then remain true to your target customers is at the core of any good strategy. Clarity around target market segments helps businesses crystallize and rally around the strategies that will drive the most value for their best customers, profitably.
At some point, all our projects hinge on being able to answer the question: will this product feature/marketing message/overall initiative/etc meet my most valuable customers’ needs? Because we believe customer-centric strategy and innovation leads to more profitable growth, all our work contains a strong foundational element of re-grounding the client in the market and their best target segments – for today and the future.
We hope you will join us to learn more on the 28th, and please drop us a line to let us know what you think! Click here to register.
Posted by J. Mark Carr, Mark is co-founder and managing partner of South Street Strategy Group.
South Street Strategy Group, an independent sister company of Chadwick Martin Bailey, integrates the best of strategy consulting and marketing science to develop better growth and value delivery strategies. Read South Street's Strategy Group's blog here.
Join us for CMB's first webinars of 2012!
Tools and Techniques: Mixing the Science of Quant with the Art of Conversation to Gain Richer Insights
February 2nd from 12 to 12:30 pm
CMB’s Jeff McKenna and Christine Tchoumba from iModerate Research Technologies share their tips and tricks for taking advantage of one-on-one online conversations to gain more insight from traditional research projects. Jeff and Christine will cover: the benefits of using online conversations to add color to quantitative, how the Consumer Pulse Program case study uses conversation to deepen insight into the most interesting consumer trends, and the challenges and considerations you need to be successful.
Click here to register
Turning Customers into Advocates: GE CareCredit Increases Customer Loyalty with their Advisory Panel
February 16th from 12 to 12:45 pm
Learn how CMB helped GE CareCredit redesign their online customer panel, and create a community with high engagement and even higher returns. CMB’s Vice President of Financial Services Jim Garrity and GE CareCredit’s Consumer VOC Leader Sheila Dreyer share how GE CareCredit’s online community of Cardholders has become a group of not only trusted advisors, but strong advocates for the brand.
Click here to register
For more of our upcoming webinars, and to download the ones you've missed, click here.
Posted by Megan McManaman, CMB's Content Marketing Manager.
Picture yourself pushing your cart down the grocery store aisle, you’ve planned your meals and are making choices that suit your family’s tastes and budget. The decisions you make are rational and logical. But as anyone who’s ever felt a sense of nostalgia over a chocolate chip cookie, or empowered by their choice of the natural peanut butter, can tell you, they are also emotional.
As market researchers we’re interested in knowing what decisions consumers make, how they make them, and why. Traditionally, we’ve used quantitative (survey) approaches to discover the “what” and the “how,” and turned to qualitative methods (IDI’s, focus groups) to understand the “why,” including the emotions underlying these decisions. But merely asking people to name their emotions is not enough, language biases, the tedium of having subjects choose from lists of 50 or more emotions, and the dangers of self-report for something so nebulous, are all difficulties faced by researchers. To address these biases, scientists and quantitative researchers have come to recognize the extent to which decision-making takes place in the subconscious mind. The question is: how can we apply rigorous measurement to what seem like the most irrational, unpredictable human characteristics?
Medical science has offered new possibilities using relatively established technologies to gain insight and understanding into the relationships between human emotion and brain activity. EEG’s, eye tracking, and even MRI’s have helped us understand the nuances and complexity of the brain’s response in very concrete and visual ways. An fMRI like the one pictured below, and other technologies, are valuable in their ability to measure brain responses that the subject might not even know they’re having. But there are limitations, beyond being prohibitive from a cost perspective, the results lack the nuance and detail necessary for effective application for market researchers.
Researchers from AdSAM, a research company focused on Emotional Response Modeling, have developed a methodology using non-verbal techniques to identify and measure emotional response to understand consumer attitudes, preferences, and behavior. This approach uses pictorial scales to capture emotional reactions and predict behavior while minimizing the language biases common in verbal approaches and contextualizing the results of more costly brain imaging approaches.
Want to know more? Please join us on September 21st as CMB’s Jeff McKenna and AdSAM’s Cathy Gwynn discuss the development and application of this new approach to emotional response measurement.
Posted by Megan McManaman. Megan is part of CMB’s marketing team, and she isn't proud to say buying ketchup makes her happy.