Archive for October, 2016

Adcepts – A Better Way to Reduce Innovation Risk

The fundamental purpose of qualitative market research is to reduce the risk of failure – failure likely to cost the brand owner many millions in product development, production and marketing support. The technique is very simple – ask target consumers in focus groups to tell us if an idea will work or not, and ideally, indicate how it will work best. Simple as that. Very sensible. Except…

Except that we are doing it all wrong. For qualitative research to do its job, the new ideas need to be presented in a way that is familiar, realistic and ‘everyday’ to consumers. Instead, we show them cold written concept statements, perhaps supported by a few visual ‘mood boards’. Focus group members have never seen a concept statement before in their lives and have no context within which to judge it. Also, concept statements have no emotional resonance, so cannot convey what is often the most important aspect of a brand – its personality. Finally, showing words and visuals on separate boards means that the message is fragmented and confusing. Risk reducing this is not. This is where Adcepts come in…

Adcepts are different from concept statements. They are in the everyday language of brands – advertising – so consumers can quickly and easily evaluate an idea within the context of real life products with which they are already familiar.

Adcepts convey emotion in very precise and subtly differentiated ways. A single product idea can have multiple emotional expressions to isolate which is the most compelling.

Adcepts put words and images together on the same page, bringing the expression of an idea together holistically in a way concept statements + mood boards cannot.

Adcepts give us feedback which is much more useful and reliable than concept statements can provide. They also allow us to explore many more idea areas so that no good idea is needlessly lost. B7 Innovation shows up to 80 Adcepts per focus group, versus a typical six concept statements in traditional research. So Adcepts don’t merely reduce the risk of launching the wrong product/brand, they also remove the risk of a strong idea being left out due to limited space, or that it could be rejected because there was only room for one version.

B7 founder Paul Tidmarsh comments “Innovation is an essential but risky process. Replacing concept statements with Adcepts gives much richer, more precise information, significantly reducing the chances of getting it wrong.”

B7’s New Quant Methodology – Like GPS for Brand Positioning

B7 has worked with RDSI to create a breakthrough quant. methodology that offers both massive breadth and the tightest precision for brand positioning. The technique allows brand owners to compare every potential positioning, layered with different tones of voice and brand personality, to isolate the most compelling vision. And unlike any existing quant. system, the winning positionings are mapped on one simple graph showing their ‘Golden Score’ – how they performed in terms of consumer appeal, difference and memorability. It’s like having GPS for your strongest possible brand positioning.

The power of this methodology lies in the use of B7’s Adcepts. These are like simplified press or poster advertisements and up to 80 can be shown to consumers in research. Unlike concept statements, the advertising format is familiar to consumers who can quickly decide which ones are interesting and which ones are not. Each respondent sees 30 Adcepts, arranged in five pages of six on a computer tablet. They choose the ones they like in much the same way as they would choose a date on Tinder. Because time is tight, they are reacting in a similar way to how they would in the real world, with emotion at the heart of their decisions, thinking in an intuitive ‘system 1’ mode.

Not only does this technique encourage system 1 thinking, it also allows us to test a much larger number of themes and tones by presenting so many Adcepts. That means that almost any potential positioning can be explored and compared from a variety of angles. This is very different from concept statement testing where typically only six themes can be evaluated. The B7 technique makes every idea compete against every other idea, with the strongest emerging from the pack to produce the most compelling possible positioning for your brand.

As well as showing what ideas work best, the methodology allows for dialogue with the respondents to pick apart why they made the choices they did, to add richness and rigour to the findings and to explore any questions thrown up by the results.

Commenting on the new quant. technique, B7 founder Paul Tidmarsh comments “Modern life would be impossible without the power of GPS. Now the precision and certainty of GPS can be applied to modern brand positioning.”