C Space founder, and current Chairman, Diane Hessan recently applied her many talents to research for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Her political consulting work has now pivoted to understanding voters that split between Clinton support and Trump, to try to understand and learn from their perspectives. Hessan is a champion of diversity, and diverse opinions; her goal is to leverage her market research on the last election and present divisive political climate to seek common ground—and solutions to pressing problems. In this article, Diane shares her story in her own words.
What can British politics learn from the world’s leading brands? Turns out, the way you choose your energy provider, and the way you choose your government might be more similar than you think.
No one can predict with certainty exactly what the future holds; however, there are signs, and business leaders are keen to spot them and plan for inevitable change. Leaders like Jeb Dasteel, chief customer officer at Oracle. Last year, in a piece outlining the path to customer success, he wrote that Oracle is “taking stock of where we started, where we are now, and the road ahead.”
C Space Founder, and now Chairman, Diane Hessan is quoted on what it took to grow C Space (then Communispace) from the ground up, and shares one of her favorite memories from of her time as CEO.
Amazon Go is just a small, experimental store. But it represents a massive potential disruption to the retail market. That’s why retailers of all sizes and industries — particularly grocery — are paying attention. The company’s latest store model solves two of the biggest shopper complaints: failure to find products on shelves and slow checkout lines. If retailers want their brick-and-mortar stores to stay relevant, it’s time to learn a few lessons from Amazon Go.
The AMA Gold Report Top 50, formerly known as the Honomichl Top 50, is an annual compilation of the top 50 revenue-generating marketing research firms operating in the United States. C Space is ranked at #19 in 2017, climbing 4 spots from our 2016 rank of #23.
Jeff Platt, CEO of Sky Zone, says that co-creating directly with customers is critical. “The whole company actually started by listening to customers...They point out problems. They show us where our opportunities are. We recognize that if we don’t really get to know them – what’s motivating them, the role we fill in their lives, why they’re coming to us – it’s going to be difficult for us to break through.”
While Big Data can tell you what, it can’t tell you why. That’s why some of the world’s most data-rich companies like Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and Facebook actively enlist consumers as active partners in helping them generate, refine, and evaluate products. Sometimes the most transformative epiphanies lie in human-to-human encounters, in what can be felt, and shared, and not merely in what lends itself to measurement.
Machine learning is inevitably based on what is, not on what could be; on established patterns rather than possibility. So as useful as it is, by relying exclusively or even predominantly on machine learning, we risk constraining our ability to innovate. Data indicates what people do within the realm of what's available and observable, but it has neither conscience nor imagination. Recognizing and overcoming bias requires self-awareness, and that's a uniquely human – or at least organic – trait.
a different way to look at things, and question your own beliefs and why you think something should be built the way it [is].”” article_date=”5/22/2017″ ]
Paul Logue, HPE’s Vice President of Growth Analytics, Market Insights and Customer Experience, has been tasked with understanding and anticipating customers’ needs, which, like most things in the tech space, are changing fast. Along with 100 global team members, Paul unearths hidden insights and advocates on behalf of customers. Just don’t call them the research department. According to Paul, they operate as an agency model within the company.
Charles Schwab is leading the industry as the most customer-inspired brand in financial services. According to C Space’s 2016 Customer Quotient (CQ) study, Schwab makes customers feel respected and maintains an open, ongoing dialogue with them — both key attributes in a healthy relationship. For nearly 50 years, that relationship has been essential to Schwab’s success. It has built its business around empathy, authenticity, transparency, accountability, and continuous innovation — all centered around clients and their investment needs.
Citi is a 200-year-old financial institution, but it needs to operate like a start-up with the constant disruption across the financial services industry. Alice Milligan, Chief Customer & Digital Experience Officer for Citi’s Global Cards business, says Citi is “embracing the change” and she points to companies like Google and Amazon as examples. “They are disrupting the expectations that our customers have around simplicity, ease-of-use, security, control — all of the things that are really important to a bank customer.”
For 100 years, Keds, the American footwear icon, has been the sneaker of choice for the fashion-forward, comfort-loving woman. But how does a centenarian brand stay relevant and desirable in today’s ever-changing market?
For Panera, it’s all a matter of what founder and CEO of Panera, Ronald Shaich, coined the “desire-to-friction ratio.” “The desire for the food, for the experience, must be greater than or equal to the friction — standing in line, the price you pay — of that experience,” Blaine Hurst, President of Panera, explains of the customer experience. “That has been a cornerstone of what we’ve done over the last five years at Panera.”
Buying and owning a car is often seen as a straightforward transaction. You give money, you get sheet-metal, and you hope it doesn’t break down. You trust that the automaker’s factory had a good day and that your car will provide you years of trouble-free reliability. But trust goes much deeper than that. Buying a car is an extremely emotional event — often the second most expensive purchase in our lifetimes. So how do you build that trust? Motor Trend consults the C Space report, Automotive CQ.
Continuous innovation is a big deal for Marriott. And so is scaling it. A small change to one room will need to be duplicated across thousands of rooms. To ensure success and mitigate risk, Marriott approaches innovation with customers.
So many stores are closing now for the same reason they've always closed -- they don't meet consumers' needs. To be fair though, there are some other questions that also deserve answering, like why this is happening now and what role technology plays in the change.
rushed by the weight of student loans, Millennials don't want to take on any more debt. Now they are teaching their kids — Gen Z — to shun borrowing. How will traditional lenders survive if two consecutive generations spurn credit?
How can a bank become more human? And how, exactly, is Wells Fargo doing it? Robin Beers, Head of Customer Experience Insights for Wells Fargo’s commercial banking business, sees customers as partners in Wells Fargo’s endeavor to always be improving the banking experience. Because, ultimately, people value brands that don’t just make promises, but that actually act on them.
Automotive manufacturers and dealers still have a long way to go when it comes to earning trust. Developing trust around an auto brand is critical because it not only drives sales but can be critical to enticing customers back to buy another car from the same brand or recommend their car to a friend. Katrina Lerman, Associate Director, Research at C Space is quoted on her Automotive CQ Report in this USA Today article.
Scott Shute, VP of Global Customer Operations at LinkedIn, represents and advocates on behalf of millions of members worldwide and helps the product development teams understand them. Scott joined us for the latest episode of the Outside In podcast to discuss how LinkedIn delivers digital experiences that satisfy every user, be they a business professional connecting with their network or an enterprise using the company’s digital advertising platform.
Alan Moskowitz, food and beverage industry specialist at C Space, is consulted on what first attracts consumers to pick one product from among other competing options. Unique designs, bright colors and eye-popping images can improve brand identity and communicate the product's message to the consumer. And they can make a product seem more premium, allowing it to be sold at a higher price.
What retailers and manufacturers share in common is the need to understand shoppers, improve the retail experience, and grow sales. Which is why shoppers themselves are an essential ingredient in helping organizations collaborate, understand the shared value they can provide, and develop new solutions to meet savvy consumers’ expectations.
How many years have to receive this label before companies start acting like it’s true? Harvard Business School professor Len Schlesinger calls it nonsense. “It is ALWAYS the year of the customer!” he declares. So, how do companies deliver? “It’s actually quite simple. Find out who your customers are, find out what they want, and try to give it to them.”
In the new world of digital banking, where customer experience is the differentiator and the rules are still being written, partnering with customers is a competitive advantage. Big banks can learn a lot to learn from fintech startups.
For many companies today, the appointment of a Chief Customer Officer (CCO) is a new addition to the C-suite. However, many haven’t taken over the role, they’re charged with creating and defining it. With new roles come new challenges. For CCOs, one of the biggest is to dispel common misconceptions about the notion, and treatment within the business, of customer centricity. It’s not enough to be close to customers. A CCO must define how the business will draw from the inspiration of customers to transform company culture, differentiate against competitors, and grow.
“Consumers are the winners as brand partnerships are creating fun, flavorful, sometimes novelty items, and also high-quality products that meet our constant need for new food experiences,” Alan Moskowitz, a customer insights consultant and food and beverage industry specialist at C Space, told Food Dive. “For brands, partnerships like Taco Bell’s Doritos-based items have led to wildly-successful new platforms (and copycats like BK’s Cheetos-based items), or helped brands like Jack Daniels expand their brand visibility and revenue into new channels like sauces for restaurants partnerships, or coffee, which they’ve recently released.”
It’s an exciting time for the travel and tourism industry and for Travelport’s place in it. Growth is exploding. Worldwide digital travel sales are projected by eMarketer to reach close to $630 billion USD in 2017, and Travelport alone processed over $82 billion of travel spending in 2015, according to SEC filings. Noel Holmes, who leads the company’s customer experience, is a seasoned professional in design thinking and user experience. He shares his thoughtful and creative approach to engaging customers and employees to design the very best experiences.
Companies that truly put customers at the heart of their business by incorporating the elements of trust, respect and authenticity will see continued success in 2017. By getting at the core who the customers are and what they care about, and then integrating those emotional elements into a brand experience strategy, companies will be able to bolster customer loyalty, strengthen their reputations and realize bottom-line results.
The Nature’s Bounty Co. is a health and wellness company. Verizon, telecommunications. Customer centricity is an operational imperative for both. Chief Customer Officer at The Nature’s Bounty Co., Andrew Archambault, and Verizon’s Head of Customer Experience Innovation, Justin Reilly, explain why customers are the ultimate disruptors.
Jessica DeVlieger will be responsible for the overall leadership of C Space in the Americas, where she has driven the transformation of the company's go-to-market strategies over the last two years through her leadership of the sales and marketing teams.
After nearly a decade in retail sales, Jessica DeVlieger took the helm this month as president at C Space. She to The Boston Globe spoke about what consumers are thinking, why businesses hire the firm, and how she manages work and motherhood.
Banks are among the organizations facing the biggest challenges when it comes to putting customer experience at the heart of their business. After the 2008 financial crisis, public confidence in the financial services sector took a dive, and our research suggests that few banks have fully recovered that confidence. However, the banks that are genuinely disrupting the market through a customer-driven agenda are better positioned to restore public confidence. Banks like SunTrust, the seventh-largest bank in the United States, enjoy both the financial clout of a multinational bank with the reliable reputation of a “local” or regional bank. Now, it is putting greater emphasis on the customer experience.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. How would you like to be treated? What kind of customer service experience would turn you from casual customer to outspoken fan? What types of content would help you solve a problem, make a decision, or even entertain you? Answering these questions is a continual journey. Even if you get it right, there’s no guarantee the good vibes will last forever. Respect is a powerful emotion. When customers feel like brands intuitively “get” them, they’ll keep coming back.
At The New York Times, “customers” are core to the organization’s mission. And, depending on which department you ask, “customers” have different names – they’re “readers,” “users,” “subscribers,” “consumers.” Ultimately, it makes no difference. The Times owes them all the same thing: a superior experience seamlessly coupled with outstanding journalism.
Shoppers today, especially those that fall in the Millennial and Centennial generations, are not so easily won over through short-term tactics like discounts and limited reward programs masquerading as attempts to build brand loyalty. Shoppers want to be treated like special, individual snowflakes – and why shouldn’t they? All shoppers have their own “stories” that make up their shopping behaviors and preferences, but how do grocery retailers begin to peel back the layers of their customers to build meaningful relationships that result in lasting loyalty?
What does loyalty mean? Let’s start with what loyalty doesn’t mean. Loyalty is not a program or a series of points. Loyalty is a reciprocal behavior, it goes in two directions, and the result of loyalty is that customers continue to purchase and recommend a company to their friends. True loyalty results from understanding of customer needs, respecting customers, offering products that are relevant and good customer experiences that people enjoy and make them want to come back again. Points don’t do that.
As consumers increasingly see drugstores as healthcare providers and pharma companies as manufacturers, both are being held to a different standard. And both are suffering in the eyes of consumers. Recently, we released industry data that revealed some vital generational differences in how consumers perceive and experience pharma manufacturers and retailers. The results illustrate what both industries can learn from high-performing healthcare providers, such as how to demonstrate empathy and speak to shared values.
Consumers are disgruntled, cynical and exasperated as they try to regain the financial ground lost in the Great Recession. Media reports about big bank scandals and huge paydays for bank CEOs only compound the distrust and disloyalty consumers feel. So, what are brands like Charles Schwab and American Express doing right to build trust with their customers? And, more importantly, what can the industry stand to learn from them? Here are some tips that may help.
We fear who and what we don’t know. If we are to prosper together, that’s the challenge we have to overcome. We need to use the real-time, borderless power of technology not merely to broadcast views, but to share the experience that touches hearts and changes minds. We need to move from being questioners and respondents to being co-creators of a future that’s welcoming to us all.
Offering a small selection of locally produced food and beverages is no longer enough to set retailers apart -- now the entire store needs to reflect the community it serves to succeed in an increasingly competitive market, suggests new survey data from C Space.
Traditionally, consumer loyalty is defined by measures such as intent to continue purchasing or likelihood to recommend the brand. And while these are certainly important KPIs for any company looking to grow its business, they are framed entirely from the company's point of view: What will you (the consumer) do for me (the brand)? They do not attempt to measure the softer, more emotional qualities of a brand that actually matter to customers when choosing to do business with a company.
What really resonates with customers? What drives their loyalty? What makes for a great customer experience? These are the questions that really get to the truth of your business, but they are often intangible and therefore evade measurement. Customers trust companies that they feel understand them. They respect companies that they believe respect them in return. And the results of that reciprocity are evident in the CQ data and the bottom line.
How is it that we’ve so strongly embraced the idea of patient centricity yet have made so little progress in transforming our healthcare industry to be more focused on the patient experience? The answer to this question—and to the broader question of how do we build more patient-centric institutions—is simple: Stop paying lip service to patient-centricity and start taking action on patient centricity as a design principle governing everything we do.
Designing empathy into the patient experience requires a fundamental shift in organizational operation and mindset. Simply adding a few iPads to the waiting room won't accomplish this change. What will, is rethinking the role patients, front-desk employees, physicians and everyone involved in the continuum-of-care play in designing the very best customer experience.
consumers will bolt as soon as they have a better option.” ” article_date=”9/1/2016″ ]
Through longitudinal online engagement coupled with live workshops, patients are helping major global companies launch new products, conduct Rx-to-OTC brand switches, and enhance relationships with payers, P&T committees, retailers, prescribers, and benefits administrators. Patient partnership fuels mutual respect between healthcare consumers and the pharma companies that serve them. And along the way, it just may boost the self-respect of those who work in this much-maligned industry as well.
You’ll probably never guess which U.S. airlines topped a recent survey that sought to discover which carriers “get” their customers the most and, as a result, generate the greatest loyalty among its customers.
Designing empathy into the patient experience requires a fundamental shift in organizational operation and mindset. Simply adding a few iPads to the waiting room won’t accomplish this change. What will is rethinking the role patients, front-desk staff, physicians, and everyone involved in the continuum of care play in designing the very best patient experiences.
As companies across all industries move toward well-intentioned business models that put customers at the heart of everything they do, at the top corporate echelon, the lines of responsibility for advocating on behalf of the customer are blurring. To face the customer-centricity gap and truly commit to closing it, the C-suite needs a designated customer champion: the chief customer officer.
Our lives are on-demand, online, and changing quickly. According to PwC, besides increased industry regulations, the second largest disruption recognized by global insurance CEOs is “changes in customer behaviors.” Yet the insurance industry has been slow to adapt to this changing reality. Over-reliance on legacy processes and outdated technology, and a lack of genuine customer understanding, have ostensibly stunted insurance’s ability to capitalize on innovation opportunities. But if they can work with customers to gain a complete understanding of their lives, then insurers can more firmly grasp what’s motivating those changing behaviors.
In the U.S., grocery store sales are a $600 billion industry. With a few key players offering essentially the same product, the industry is dominated by the brands that know how to endear themselves to consumers. In a new study released exclusively to Adweek, C Space honed in on consumer loyalty among the big players, attempting to flesh out some insights about what makes shoppers come back.
In this exclusive report, Mars shares details highlighting an 11.3% increase in sales from the “Big Night In” campaign, which also garnered millions of #GameNightIn social media shares. The candy brand partnered with consumers and Hasbro to encourage families to spend time together playing games at home (while eating candy).
Over the years, online community research has matured from novelty to necessity – an essential tool for marketing professionals. But simply having access to customers in communities is no longer enough. The differentiator is how you use those platforms to make your customers a strategic asset. In our new research, the result of interviews with more than 100 client-side practitioners from a variety of industries, we examine four of the best practices brands can follow to create the most impact with online communities.
In 2016, customers are smart, savvy and sick of certain words and phrases that have been trotted out in advertising for over 100 years. People are tired of marketing clichés – plain and simple. While many words that customers are sick of started life as perfectly appropriate and serviceable, over time their utility has eroded. It’s a natural part of the evolution of language. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to recognize.
The traditional methods of understanding and persuading voters aren't working the way they used to. So what is moving the needle for voters in 2016? We took our Customer Quotient (CQ) model and used it to examine the leading presidential candidates through the same lens. More than 450 people told us what makes them feel a candidate really “gets” them, and how that may fuel perceptions of a candidate's “brand” and ultimately motivate voting decisions. Our voter research provides important clues and concrete lessons that brands can take away from this year's presidential election.
Because of “Uberization” —in broad terms, displacement and marginalization by nontraditional competitors—customers across all industries now have higher expectations. As a result, staying relevant to customers is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve in a time when doing so couldn't be more critical to success.
Millennials are now the largest group in the American workforce, and they’re ready to spend. Allison Marsh, Director of Client and Consumer Services at C Space is interviewed about Millennial Moms, covering everything from comparison shopping, to social media patterns, to mobile-app preferences.
The chief customer officer (CCO) is intended to be the authority on all things customer, ensuring all company activities, especially product and experience innovation, happen for and with customers. While the philosophy behind the role of CCO is well-intentioned, in practice, not all CCOs have been empowered enough to effect meaningful change at their organizations. The result: some become little better than figureheads. Which is why we need to rethink the role -- into five roles that the CCO must play in order to build a genuinely customer-centric organization.
The traditional cinematic experience (anti-social, disconnected, everything off) just does not jibe with Gen Z’s worldview (hyper-social, connected, always-on).While some theaters have started to introduce things like reserved seating, restaurants, and premium concessions, most aren’t designed to meet the needs of the next generation of moviegoers. But what if teens had creative control of the movie theater experience?
In today’s marketing landscape, having strong customer relationships is key to determining whether a brand is relevant. Brands cannot hope to win or retain consumers without exhibiting an empathetic understanding of their needs and creating experiences, products, and services that will resonate. So what does it take to achieve this level of relevance?
As the grades from Ad Age, USA Today, and Yahoo suggest, there’s no clear consensus on a Super Bowl ad “winner” this year. The only agreement is that most ads relied on a few fail-safe tactics: Be silly. Heavy up on celebrity. Go all-in on animal anthropomorphism. Be serious, but not a serious bummer. But what goes through a viewer’s mind when a Super Bowl ad bombs? We spent time before the ads hit the airwaves asking more than 300 people their thoughts and feelings about Super Bowl ad fails.
This week, people who updated their Uber app were surprised when the trusted Uber “U” logo was replaced by a new Uber. And it didn't take long for the Twitterverse Uber-backlash to begin. But in terms of the rebrand itself, and its importance, imagine for a moment if Uber had expanded its inner circle and consulted its most important assets -- customers and drivers.
From viewership to cost of advertising, the “big game” seems to get supersized more every season. Indeed, Super Bowl 50 marks $4.5 billion worth of commercials sold to brands looking to share their messages with hundreds of millions of potential customers on game day. At a cost of $160,000 per second this year, anything but a win for brands investing in an ad is unacceptable.
For millions of Americans, Super Bowl Sunday is like a holiday, a day for tradition, parties, food, drink, and, of course, the gift of football. But whether you’re a diehard football fan, a fun-loving party-goer, or something in between, there’s one game-day element that everyone appreciates: the commercials. The Monday after is abuzz with “Brand Bowl” winners and losers. The winning ads engage the audience in a way that shows the brand genuinely “gets” its customers. Losers are the ones that don’t. And the most successful Super Bowl spots have three characteristics in common.
We all know the saying: “Money makes the world go ‘round.” That’s why consumers’ attitudes toward money is something that all brands need to account for and factor into their marketing strategies. However, consumer outlooks can vary widely across different demographics–especially when it comes to the newest generation of consumers.
An influx of negative news focusing on sugar, trans fats and misleading food labels has led to a distrust of brands and change in consumer buying behavior, new research shows.
Customer-inspired institutions bake empathy into every product, service and experience. They focus on relevance, and rewarding people in the right ways. This is what it takes for banking providers to stand out today — a deeper understanding of their customers that yields a more intimate connection. Stronger relationships with customers means a stronger bottom line.
For pharma researchers, the challenge is not about how to conduct market research in a highly regulated environment. We all understand the need for compliance, and there are processes to ensure it. No, our mission should revolve around how to help internal stakeholders engage with patients and caregivers not just as subjects for episodic research, but as ongoing partners and co-creators of the products, services, messaging, and programs that will lead to better health outcomes.
By now you’ve likely heard about Chipotle’s reputation problem. A recent string of E. coli and norovirus outbreaks in Chipotle restaurants from Seattle to Boston are blanketing the news. What seems to be declining more than Chipotle’s stock price is customers’ trust. If there’s one thing that the Chipotle saga has demonstrated, it’s that a brand’s reputation, and consumers’ perception of it, can change, and fast. It’s a hard truth that food companies face today when information travels at light speed.
At some point in our careers, we’ve all keenly felt the pain of having a great insight that we’ve been unable to propagate throughout our organization or that of our client. We’ve seen bad decisions made when we should have – and did – know better. Some of the fault lies with traditional marketing research practices. So how can we elevate the role of researchers? What specific tactics are visionary consumer insights specialists using to infuse their companies with the consumer voice? And how are they persuading their colleagues that doing so will ultimately drive business growth?
Today more than ever, food has become one of the most important—and discussed—choices among U.S. consumers. Since food purchases are heavily influenced by trust, C Space released a study exploring customers' perceptions. “In today's marketplace, consumers are more actively engaged than ever in choosing what foods to buy and what brands to buy them from,” said Alan Moskowitz, director at C Space. “Given the speed that information travels, brand trust can increase or erode very quickly in consumers' minds. For brands, staying close to their customers can help them stay in touch with evolving attitudes and help them collaborate with consumers on new products, packaging and marketing that earns or maintains trust.”
Ask any brand today: what’s the one place you need to be? Unequivocally, they’ll tell you: on social media, of course. However, the BIGGER question is this: How much are you spending on social, and where? For the social media platforms, the opportunities for reach and revenue growth are enormous. But the challenge for any social network today is scaling that growth to its full potential. Through our years of experience working with social media companies, we have identified three distinct ways in which an active working partnership with users can strengthen social media’s potential for growth.”
With steep competition for consumers’ attention and dollars this holiday season, the stakes have never been higher for marketers. The magnitude and differences in how consumers’ will react to any given marketing campaign demonstrates the tightrope marketers are being forced to walk during this all-important and incredibly emotional season. We asked people from across the country what they wanted to see from marketers this holiday season and came up with the four things every brand marketer and advertiser needs to know.
This increasingly empowered cohort is two billion strong worldwide, makes up 26% of the US population, already has $44 billion in purchasing power and is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in US history. That’s why CMOS need to understand and partner with these youthful powerhouses—and quickly.
For decades, companies stayed relevant and gained market share by out-spending, out-marketing, and out-advertising competitors. A Black Friday bloodbath of consumers battling it out in jam-packed aisles, readily forking over big money for big savings is most retailers' ideal way to kick off the holiday season. For decades, the attitude that more is better, with no thought to how customers (not to mention employees) felt, was the default setting for retailers. Today, this is no longer the case.
In Gen Z's world, change is constant. It's the new normal. They’re always adapting, and they think businesses — including their banking providers — should evolve along with them too.
Any angel investor or venture capitalist will tell you that the most successful entrepreneurs are those who stay connected with their customers' needs. That isn't easy to do, especially as businesses grow and shareholders need answering to. But among all the many things business leaders must do, the most successful ones find ways to keep their customers front and center. Here's a look at three CEOs whose track records fit that description.
Many companies are mistaking frenzy for change and 'more of the same' for innovation, as is evidenced by continual churn, reorgs, and the continued failure rate of new products. What companies really need to survive and prosper in this increasingly dynamic, interdependent business environment is agility. But fast, effective, incremental action in response to changing conditions is only possible when enabled by intuition, a well-developed 'gut feeling' about what will anger, delight, and motivate the people a business is trying to serve.
Even though he’s a native Brit, Charles Trevail is no stranger to the United States; he’s hit 45 of the 50 states over the years, mostly while on the job as a marketing executive. Trevail took over C Space last year and plans to push his firm’s services into more overseas markets. He recently spoke with BBJ correspondent Jay Fitzgerald about the move, rebranding C-Space and relaxing when not on the job.
Believe it or not, millennials are aging out of their privileged position as the nation’s most sought-after consumers, the ones advertisers want to influence. Their replacement? The nation’s teenagers, also known as Generation Z
In our digital, mobile world, at nearly every moment, user experience (UX) matters. Google calls these micro-moments—hundreds of fragmented, in-between, in-the-now, on-the-go times when we turn to technology to research, discover, connect, share, set goals, buy stuff, and do a million other things. No matter what product we’re using, we expect brands to give us what we need right now. It’s in these micro-moments that UX really matters.
Fashion retailers have been struggling for years to please plus-size shoppers, even though data clearly shows that buyers are eager for on-trend plus-size clothing. To date, no single retailer has emerged as a bastion of plus-size fashion: visit any major department store and you'll notice the women's plus-size department feels like a dowdy afterthought, not a fashion-forward focal-point. So how can retailers deliver the apparel that plus-size consumers seek? Here's a look at what retail can do to own this lucrative market.
When it comes to discovering unmet customer needs and innovation opportunities, there’s no substitute for in-the-moment, in-context observation for making meaning out of the complex weave of emotion and rationality that drives consumer behavior. In myriad tangible and intangible ways, consumers self-ethnographies can help employees throughout an organization get to know customers as real human beings, not merely as data points. And that living, breathing knowledge builds corporate empathy, which, we’d argue, is ultimately the key to business growth.
Generations are such a de facto marketing framework that we rush to define the next one without stopping to consider if these categorizations are meaningful. As all ages embrace the behaviors of 'digital natives,' many of the notions that support the traditional concept of a generational cohort are becoming less meaningful. Could it be then, that there needs to be a new definition of a generation, one that is made up of subgroups -- or tribes -- that go beyond age? And if so, what does this mean for marketers and brands looking to speak to these tribes?
Here’s the thing with Generation Z, that up-and-coming generation that makes up 26 percent of the U.S. population with more than $44 billion in disposable income: they really, really hate to wait. Enter, Apple Music, launched today and billed as “A revolutionary streaming service, live worldwide radio, and an exciting way for fans to connect with artists.”
To create a more globally cohesive organization, Communispace and its international consultancy arms, Europe-based Promise, and Asia-based Jigsaw, which were both incorporated into the business in 2012, will henceforth be known as C Space. The new name gives the company a chance to better define its vision. This hinges on their mantra, what they’re calling “customer inspired growth.” The idea is relatively simple: Instead of consulting with customers and simply asking them to choose between category A or B, they engage with them in ways that them tap into their passion and creativity.
The market research community is a close-knit, interconnected group. We identify and rank the leaders of these networks on their ability to connect and guide a discussion or promote an idea across the network. Here’s who’s had the most influence from May 9 – June 9, 2015.
Omnicom-owned Communispace said it will begin operating Tuesday under the name C Space. The change more closely represents the company's business model and continued commitment to helping brands like Wal-Mart Stores, National Car, Sysco and Bose connect with their customers. Promise Communispace and Jigsaw International, the agency's European and Asian consultancies, respectfully, will also operate under the new name, unifying the company's global brand. The three combined companies will have about 473 employees supporting 175 clients worldwide.
Businesses haven't changed much in the past few decades, and they need to. Amid digitized disruption, competitive pressures, quarterly reporting, data overload and the constant flux of customers' needs and wants, some may argue that change is too threatening, too costly or too difficult. But those that conduct business as usual will be relegated to the irrelevance zone, unable to make necessary and authentic changes quickly enough to survive and thrive. So, what's a company to do? Essentially, 'hire' your customers. They don't demand an annual salary or performance bonuses. All they ask for is what they already have -- an inherent interest in getting the best product, service or experience possible.
Tailoring the perfect marketing messages to today's young adults seems like it's been the marketing holy grail for years. The good news is that brands can now start to get their minds around the intricacies of a new generation of hyper-connected consumers: Generation Z. At nearly 2 billion strong around the world, they're every brand's next best customer. In this article, Communispace SVP of Strategy, Bill Alberti, shares six rules for brands looking to connect with Gen Z.
If Millennials are idealistic trend-setters, then Gen Z are pragmatic trend-buckers – both an extreme version of Millennials (fueled by technology) and the opposite of Millennials. These differences spell big changes ahead. And, for brands that expect to engage and sell to them now and in the future, it means understanding the Gen Z mores – partnering with them, adapting to them, and growing your business with them.
There are 85 million mothers in the United States today. With a staggering annual purchasing power of $2 trillion dollars, they're making their influence felt well beyond the context of home and family. Consumer companies of all types are constantly looking for new ways to understand and better serve Mom. But does Mom feel like brands actually know her? Leading up to Mother’s Day this year, we wanted to share 5 lessons we’ve learned from working with these moms.
It’s hard to find a pharma or medical device company these days that doesn’t have at least one mobile app in development. And now that, as of February 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued guidance on which apps need to be regulated and which ones don’t, it will be interesting to see if this almost exponential development trend continues. Read the full article by Deborah Hernandez, Director of Client Services at Communispace Health for the three key drivers of mobile health app adoption that developers and marketers alike must keep in mind.
The stress of caring for a child with diabetes – or anyone with a life-changing illness – can be intense and constant. Days weighed down by anxiety. Sleepless nights worrying – about your child, your family, and what the next minute will bring. These narratives add context to a disease that can all too often be reduced to statistics. Stories help brands better understand the reality of managing a disease, and build products and messaging that improve that reality for the patient and caregiver alike. Read more from Communispace Health Managing Director, Corey Schwartz, in MedCity News.
Most companies claiming to be 'customer-centric' aren't. Consumers aren't vessels serving only as passive repositories for whatever companies want to stuff into them. They are active agents in a dynamic business ecosystem. That's why the new business imperative is to partner with them throughout the product and service lifecycle (not just at the end of it) collaborating with them to co-create, refine, and launch high-impact products and solutions. Read the full article by Communispace's SVP of Innovation, Julie Wittes Schlack, to learn the five measures that corporate leadership can take to integrate the consumer into the company.
Gen Z, the generation spanning those born from 1995 to the present, represents a quarter of the American population and $44 billion a year in disposable income. While it’s easy to conflate these hyper-connected, smartphone-toting teens with Millennials, they are a breed unto themselves: “Online Born, Mobile Formed.” Brands looking to captivate Gen Z need to understand and champion this generation’s distinct world view. Read the full article by Samantha Rothkopf, Senior Consultant at Communispace, to learn more.
Most businesses claiming to be customer-centric aren't being totally honest—not with you, not with me, not with customers, not even with themselves. This year, the CMO Council and SAP found that 73% of senior marketing executives of major corporations say customer centricity is critical to the success of the business and to their own roles. Still, only 14% say that customer centricity is a hallmark of their company, and even fewer (11%) believe their customers would agree that characterization. Read the full article by Jessica DeVlieger, Senior Vice President of American Sales, for more on the customer-centricity gap.
Katrina Lerman discusses Communispace research that examines Millennials and their views on personal health and the health care system and found many of them feel like they’re on the outside looking in.
Communispace recently released a report called, 'Healthcare without Borders: How Millennials are Reshaping Health and Wellness,' which examines millennial healthcare values and how they will impact businesses across the industry. The report focuses on several areas of millennials' lives, including technology. Read the full MultiBreif article here for more highlights on the report.
As consumers, we are lousy predictors of our own future behavior. But when you ask a diverse group of people not “What are you going to do?” but rather, “What is going to happen?” the results tend to be more accurate. That’s the phenomenon underlying the growing popularity of prediction markets, which are used to anticipate the likely success of an idea, product, or political candidate.
Consumers want to be known and heard, and they embrace any opportunity to partner meaningfully with brands. However, answering numerous questions about your likelihood to do or buy something is not only tedious, but also questionably accurate, even when responding in good faith. Online Prediction Markets are generating interest and credibility in this climate as a research methodology, yielding not just accurate outcomes, but qualitative insights into the whys behind them.
In an interview with CMO.com, Lisa Macpherson, CMO, Hallmark, talks about Hallmark’s community – in partnership with Communispace – of hundreds of Millennial moms, ages 18 to 33, that allowed the company to learn their consumers' stories of motherhood, friendship, marriage, heartache, and love. According to Macpherson, building this type of relationship informs the company on how to further connect with this important target market.
It’s clear that Millennials approach their health from a fundamentally different perspective than other generations, and it’s not just because of their youth or live-in-the-moment attitude. Serving these consumers means working with, not against, this reality. Understanding their unique challenges, needs, and priorities is essential, not just for healthcare brands, but – in a broader, more economically competitive health and wellness landscape – for all brands.
Nancy Cox, Hallmark's Consumer Understanding & Insight Manager, shares how the retailer—in partnership with Communispace— collaborated with Millennial moms to launch their new Northpole product line. The intimate photos and videos that only a mom can capture, inspired Hallmark’s advertising and marketing campaigns.
In today’s innovate or die business climate, how can brands harness the power of new ideas and creativity to make an impact on the bottom line? To find out, we talked to a number of brand executives from large companies like L’Oreal and IBM as well as smaller ones like Yotel and Pret a Manger. One of most striking things that quickly became apparent is how much noise and confusion surrounds the topic of innovation. It’s an exciting discipline but one that attracts a lot of contradictory ideas and perceptions. In this article, you will find five innovation myths these brands helped us bust.
Franco Bonadio joined Communispace, Boston, in a new post, chief creative officer, the most senior creative post at the agency. He has worked for brand and corporate identity consultancies like Brand Union and Landor Associates. Communispace is part of the Diversified Agency Services division of the Omnicom Group.
Customers love to be rewarded for their loyalty, but only some programs are worth the effort. Too often, people are motivated by an immediate discount or by fear of missing out on future rewards. But over the long term, many fail to redeem what they've earned because they forget or it’s too confusing. So how do brands design loyalty programs that offer clear value, build devotion, attract new customers, retain existing ones, and stand out in a sea of points, miles, and rewards? Check out the full article by Communispace CEO Charles Trevail to find out.
More and more, brands are co-creating customer service and customer experience solutions together with the company’s actual customers. Co-creation has a value that is growing quickly and should not be overlooked. Diehard customers and power users now have a realistic chance of seeing their ideas turned into new products and services and thus improving their own future experience with the brand.This Forbes article by Micah Solomon details how brands are bringing the consumer into all aspects of the customer experience.
Customers are picky, prickly, and ever ready to jump brand if they feel someone isn't feeling their pain. A customer who can't find the right answer in the FAQs, or discovers gum under the table at the fancy restaurant, or can't go backwards on the phone tree after accidentally typing the pound sign can quickly become a fugitive. Communispace SVP of Business Strategy, Bill Alberti, is interviewed on why these issues may seem trivial, but the amount of business they affect is not.
For many companies looking to grow, the road to success runs through China. However, expansion into this market is not as simple as translating a brand name and exporting the same product or service. Companies are increasingly looking to collaborate directly with Chinese consumers in order to provide exactly what they want in a way that is relevant, trustworthy, and true-to-life. Senior Researcher at Communispace, Kat Lerman, explains the dos and don’ts for success in this market.
The contemporary traveler has graduated from reviews on TripAdvisor. Customers are now choosing their own adventures from airlines and hotels. The travel and hospitality industries are making big customer experience investments to keep pace with an evolving landscape. In this article, CEO of Communispace, Charles Trevail, explains how brands earning that loyalty--through innovation, renovation, and conversation--approach the customer experience as one that demands ongoing collaboration with customers.
Today’s consumers have a vast number of choices, especially in an industry like car rentals. With competition from other car rental companies and emerging peer-to-peer businesses, it’s exemplary customer experience that will serve as the true differentiator. That’s why National Car Rental approaches customer experience improvements and innovations as an ongoing collaboration with customers. In this article, Carol Jones, Director of Insights & Intelligence at Enterprise Holdings, details how collaborating with consumers has influenced their business since 2010.
Lately, the words “collaborative marketing” and “crowdsourcing” are being used interchangeably to describe anything and everything from product naming or flavor contests to open innovation platforms like Quirky and P&G Connect, where significant intellectual property gets developed by external innovators and sold for big dollars. In this article, Julie Wittes Schlack gives three key differences that distinguish these processes.
Big data can tell marketers what consumers are doing, buying or rejecting. But it cannot tell you why any of those things are happening. In this article, Julie Wittes Schlack tells the story of an airline that turned data into useful information to drive innovation by actually collaborating with their consumers.
Like any generation, Millennials are more than the sum of their stereotypes. If you want to connect with this coveted demographic, it's time to let go of these tired beliefs. In this article, Manila Austin, Vice President of Research at Communispace, digs deeper into the lives of Millennials and put some popular notions about them to the test.
Success in this climate requires listening to your customers, establishing their trust, and changing your relationship with them in fundamental ways. In this article, Communispace Chairman, Diane Hessan gives five ways brands can embrace and thrive in an overarching collaborative ethos called the sharing economy.
If you want to create products and services that truly serve customers' needs, you need to find ways to get them to open up about very personal thoughts and feelings. So how can brands successfully get closer to their customers to create products or services that truly address their needs? From working with hundreds of consumers every day, Communispace Chairman Diane Hessan offers what we've learned about getting them to open up and share some of the most intimate details of their lives.
After 14 years at the helm of the company, local thought leader Diane Hessan stepped into the role of chairwoman and down from her position as Communispace chief executive, passing the reins to Charles Trevail. The co-founder and former CEO of U.K. company Promise officially slid into the CEO seat in the beginning of March. And after barely a month in the new role, Trevail is already making big progress.
About eight years ago, people started raising concerns about customer survey respondent quality; and as social media took off, some dared to wonder aloud whether online ratings and reviews were eliminating the need for surveys altogether.But the industry continued to thrive — until recently. Finally, we’re witnessing the demise of the lengthy, grid-question littered, rating-scale driven survey as we know it due to four key changes in consumer behavior and technology.
As the market creator, Communispace found success, built great client relationships, and delivered value. It could have stayed the course. Instead, the company did what a market leader that wants to remain the market leader should do: it innovated. In an interview with Communispace's SVP of Strategy, Bill Alberti, author Doug Williams uncovers the ways in which successful companies must resist the urge to coast based on their historic success. Market leaders that innovate will be rewarded with stronger client relationships, new revenue opportunities, and more engaged employees.
Welcome to the “uncanny valley.” The term comes from robotics professor Masahiro Mori, who described how people react positively to increasingly humanlike representations, until the point at which they get too close to a real human being, when they suddenly become repulsive. Sadly, in this age of Big Data, the term is frequently used to describe data-driven marketing that feels invasive, overly familiar, or just plain wrong. In this article, Katarina Lerman, Senior Researcher at Communispace, gives tips to help brands avoid the uncanny valley.
Why is it so difficult to get buy-in on innovative ideas and transforming those big ideas into real change in business? The answer lies in understanding complex organizations, and the complex individuals that run them. To understand why many ideas or proposals fail is not simply to understand the siloed structure of large operations or the failure of people (agencies, internal stakeholders, advocates) to make compelling cases for new innovation. The true innovator must also understand the psychology of decision making, the importance of influence, how to manage (and sometimes create) biases. In this article, Ben Hayman offers 'four golden rules for creating buy-in for new ideas.'
Corporations are notorious for being culturally insensitive when entering new markets. As a small or medium-sized company, these blunders are your foot in the door to earning part of the 3.3 trillion private consumption market share that corporations are either overlooking or alienating through cultural insensitivities. Good companies pick their spots and ensure their focus is on the customer experience.
We need to start thinking differently about innovation. We need to stop chasing the next big breakthrough and approach innovation as an always-on collaboration with consumers to drive business impact.
Kathy Klingler, EVP & CMO, Santander, shares lessons learned from consumers while launching their global brand in the U.S. 'We partnered with Communispace, a consumer collaboration agency, to engage and remain connected with consumers and employees throughout the process. We asked them about everything from communications to loyalty and recognition, and, throughout the process, built trusting relationships with them. It’s those relationships that have since permeated our strategic process and made a difference across our organization.'
In recent years, innovation has increasingly been seen as a prerequisite to business survival, let alone success, but now it has gone mainstream. According to a global survey of 246 CEOs carried out by PwC last year, more than two thirds (64%) believe innovation and operational effectiveness are equally important to the success of their business. So why is it still so difficult to get buy-in for innovation and to transform big ideas into real change in businesses?
Just because your business now has more employees and offices doesn't mean it has to let go of the energy and agility of its early days. President and CEO of Communispace, Diane Hessan, offers '7 Ways Your Maturing Company Can Maintain a Startup Culture.'
The chief executive who made Boston-based Communispace one of the pioneers in helping big companies build and manage online customer communities announced yesterday that she's handing over the reins. As of March, Diane Hessan will become chairman, and London-based Charles Trevail, a founder of a company that merged with Communispace in 2012, will be CEO. Trevail plans to move to Boston next year.
A successful overseas venture requires a keen understanding of the new market that you can only get by engaging local consumers before your launch.
To offer truly effective service to customers, companies need to complement the information they gather with powerful narratives that give it meaning. Diane Hessan, President and CEO of Communispace offers four ingredients essential to creating consumer stories that truly inspire businesses to action.
Diane Hessan, President and CEO of Communispace, a Boston consumer collaboration agency with more than 500 employees and offices around the globe, sat down recently with Globe reporter Deirdre Fernandes to talk about her company.
How can marketers benefit most from online communities? In using online communities to drive business results, marketers are limited only by their own imaginations. Here are four examples of how to derive a big impact from an exclusive community; discovering unmet needs that lead to breakthroughs, capturing new audiences and demographics, launching new products and campaigns, and managing crises and keeping your finger on the pulse of the consumer.
Fallon Community Health Plan (FCHP), sought to distinguish itself through collaboration with consumers. In 2012, Fallon worked with a private online community of more than 300 customers from around the Commonwealth to understand their issues with choosing a health insurance plan. Overwhelmingly, the company learned that people were frustrated by the complexity of the product and felt they lacked sufficient education to make informed choices. Find out how Fallon took action and is seeing real results.
To prepare for Sovereign's rebranding as Santander, Executive Vice President and CMO, Kathy Klingler, said the bank set up an online community of more than 1,000 U.S. Sovereign customers to help figure out how to translate the Santander brand for the U.S. The $200 million effort includes a new website and ATMs, refurbishing more than 700 branches in nine states, and swapping signage from Sovereign to Santander. Ads by Arnold and Communispace kicked off in October.
Data reveals patterns. Once you add consumer insights, you can innovate for the future based on what you know now. Diane Hessan, President and CEO of Communispace, shares five ways in which conscious, active consumer collaboration is an essential partner to Big Data as companies try to solve problems, deepen relationships, and invent the future.
Diane Hessan, President and CEO of Communispace, shares how European telecom EE engaged with consumers on its Orange brand to co-create around what people really wanted.
Sovereign Bank, the U.S. unit of Spain's Santander Group, will be rechristened this fall with the name of its parent as part of a $200 million transformation that is meant to improve just about every customer touchpoint. Sovereign has collaborated with their Communispace community over the past year to gather insights on its rebranding effort. 'Any time we question something, we go into the community and ask,' says Sovereign's chief marketing officer, Kathy Klingler, who adds that the forum has been helpful enough that the bank plans to keep it going.
Julie Wittes Schlack, SVP of Innovation and Design at Communispace, breaks down the results of a recent study of 2,000 Americans representing different key demographics, to elicit their feelings about behavioral tracking and targeting. Not only do they resent the intrusiveness of advertisers’ attempts to be relevant, but would actually pay a premium to shut them out.
The H.J. Heinz Company launched the Communispace community, Let's Dish, with the goal of delving into the minds, hearts, and stomachs of its B2B customer base. What quickly emerged from the community was a need for a Web-based hub where they could discuss the industry and get specific information to meet their business needs. Heinz answered with heinzfoodservice.com, which after only eight weeks after launch has already exceeded the total amount of web traffic for 2011.
This article, written by Sally O'Rourke, Managing Director of Promise Communispace, provides a holistic view of co-creation. It examines what it is, what it is not, its key principles, its strengths and weaknesses and its impact on consumer research. There is also a clear breakdown of the co-creation process and case studies from Kraft, Heinz and McDonald’s to bring it to life. To close, the piece reflects on how co-creation has changed and continues to shape the market.
Fallon Community Health Plan, a Massachusetts-based non-profit healthcare provider, is set to garner recognition for two of its own consumer-driven innovations: health plan info centers and an individualized health plan. So how did they do it? Fallon partnered with Communispace to tap into what people really wanted from their health insurers.
Quietly launched in May, Citi’s Private Pass Match-Up app is looking to pull in customers and prospects where they’re spending a big part of their time—on Facebook. This app will help users easily filter through events and receive recommendations based on their shared interests and profile data. Citi worked with Communispace for 6 months to evaluate and provide feedback about the app to improve messaging, design and overall user experience.
In 'Character counts, characters count' Julie Wittes Schlack of Communispace explores how mobile helps establish connections with consumers. The analysis of community research helps to consider the quality of, and best uses for in-context, in-the-moment mobile responses.
An article in Wired Insights, a blog about next generation business ideas, scrutinizes some recent mistakes made by businesses and explains why these blunders could have been avoided if the companies had collaborated with consumers up front. The article explains why consumer collaboration is so important in today’s business world, and how Communispace is helping global brands build real relationships with their most important consumers.
At the GreenBook Insight Innovation Exchange (#IIeX) in Philadelphia Charles Trevail, CEO of Promise Communities shared five ways to break through to true innovation.
CEO Diane Hessan explores the art and science behind crafting a great story and how Communispace is harnessing powerful storytelling to bring consumers to life for our clients.
In the May/June edition of The Hub Magazine, Ed Chao, Director of Client Services at Communispace, explores the driving forces behind consumer behavior and choices. The complexity of consumer motivations mandates using a variety of specialized tools to generate a multidimensional understanding.
In the May edition of Quirk's Marketing Research Review, Julie Wittes Schlack, SVP of Innovation at Communispace explores the allure of prediction markets; do they work? and should researchers be interested?
Communispace participated in an Advertising Research Foundation (ARF)-commissioned research project exploring digital and social media in relation to the purchase process. With so many inputs and options (online and off), people “shop” almost constantly - they browse, search online, talk to friends about brands and products, read advertisements - but they are not necessarily aware that they are, in fact, shopping. As market researchers, how can we explore material that, by definition, is beyond consumers’ awareness?
Charles Schwab collaborated with their active Communispace community to design and launch financial planning workshops tailored for women clients. Through this collaboration, Charles Schwab launched the first Financial Planning Month for Women workshop series in May 2012, which included 18 workshops reaching a total of 4,000 clients. It was such a success that Charles Schwab will launch the workshop series again this May.
Amy Kleppinger and Josie Cellone of Heinz, share the success Heinz has seen by collaborating with a very time-starved target, food service professionals, to create a website resource for them. Already partnering with Communispace for the past six years on a number of communities, Heinz felt confident in creating a community of competitive food service industry professionals.
A recent survey of Americans by BlueHornet (Digital River) found that while more of them are apt to screen emails and make purchases directly from their mobile devices, more are also likely to delete emails on cell phones without opening them. Julie Wittes Schlack, SVP of innovation and design at Communispace, provides mobile marketers with tips to optimize emails.
In reaction to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s telecommuting ban, Communispace CEO, Diane Hessan, joins fellow hub tech executives to tout autonomy for their employees.
Patrick Coffee of MediaBistro.com chats with Julie Wittes Schlack, SVP of Innovation and Design at Communispace, to learn how they help brands like Kraft, State Farm, Citigroup, and Comcast develop better products and marketing campaigns with simple betting games known as “prediction markets.”
Julie Wittes Schlack, VP of Innovation at Communispace, offers key insights into the benefits of private online patient communities. She also helps bust two common myths about working with patient communities.
By focusing on unmet emotional needs, marketers can generate more motivating and often more unique and resonant new product concepts. Understanding emotions enables them to accentuate an idea’s true underlying appeal, and avoid unintended emotional barriers to adoption. Emotion-focused innovation offers adventure, excitement, confidence and satisfaction. Isn’t that exactly how new product development should feel?