Saturday, October 30, 2010

Consumers Spending Less at Food Store


o
Share/Save/Bookmark

"Strategy in a World That Is Always On"




By Payl WoolmingtonFounding Partner, Naked Communicationso
Share/Save/Bookmark

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Guiltless Gluttony: The Asymmetric Effect of Size Labels on Size Perceptions and Consumption


In a coming article in Journal of Consumer Research Nİlüfer Z. Aydinoğlu and 
Aradhna Krishna report on their research:



"Size labels adopted by food vendors can have a major impact on size judgments and consumption. In forming size judgments, consumers integrate the actual size information from the stimuli with the semantic cue from the size label. Size labels influence not only size perception and actual consumption, they also affect perceived consumption. Size labels can also result in relative perceived size reversals, so that consumers deem a smaller package to be bigger than a larger one. Further, consumers are more likely to believe a label that professes an item to be smaller (vs. larger) in the size range associated with that item. This asymmetric effect of size labels can result in larger consumption without the consumer even being aware of it (“guiltless gluttony”)."o
Share/Save/Bookmark

1,7 seconds of fame

Read about the six secrets of eye tracking on MediaPost here.
Also an interesting eye tracking study found here.o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2011

Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top 10 technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2011. The analysts presented their findings during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, being held here through October 21.
Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.
A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years.   As such, these technologies impact the organization's long-term plans, programs and initiatives.
“Companies should factor these top 10 technologies in their strategic planning process by asking key questions and making deliberate decisions about them during the next two years,” said David Cearley, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
“Sometimes the decision will be to do nothing with a particular technology,” said Carl Claunch, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “In other cases, it will be to continue investing in the technology at the current rate. In still other cases, the decision may be to test or more aggressively deploy the technology.”
The top 10 strategic technologies for 2011 include:
Cloud Computing. Cloud computing services exist along a spectrum from open public to closed private. The next three years will see the delivery of a range of cloud service approaches that fall between these two extremes. Vendors will offer packaged private cloud implementations that deliver the vendor's public cloud service technologies (software and/or hardware) and methodologies (i.e., best practices to build and run the service) in a form that can be implemented inside the consumer's enterprise. Many will also offer management services to remotely manage the cloud service implementation. Gartner expects large enterprises to have a dynamic sourcing team in place by 2012 that is responsible for ongoing cloudsourcing decisions and management.
Mobile Applications and Media Tablets. Gartner estimates that by the end of 2010, 1.2 billion people will carry handsets capable of rich, mobile commerce providing an ideal environment for the convergence of mobility and the Web. Mobile devices are becoming computers in their own right, with an astounding amount of processing ability and bandwidth. There are already hundreds of thousands of applications for platforms like the Apple iPhone, in spite of the limited market (only for the one platform) and need for unique coding.
The quality of the experience of applications on these devices, which can apply location, motion and other context in their behavior, is leading customers to interact with companies preferentially through mobile devices. This has lead to a race to push out applications as a competitive tool to improve relationships and gain advantage over competitors whose interfaces are purely browser-based.
Social Communications and Collaboration.  Social media can be divided into: (1)Social networking —social profile management products, such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and Friendster as well as social networking analysis (SNA) technologies that employ algorithms to understand and utilize human relationships for the discovery of people and expertise. (2) Social collaboration —technologies, such as wikis, blogs, instant messaging, collaborative office, and crowdsourcing. (3)Social publishing —technologies that assist communities in pooling individual content into a usable and community accessible content repository such as YouTube and flickr. (4) Social feedback - gaining feedback and opinion from the community on specific items as witnessed on YouTube, flickr, Digg, Del.icio.us, and Amazon.  Gartner predicts that by 2016, social technologies will be integrated with most business applications. Companies should bring together their social CRM, internal communications and collaboration, and public social site initiatives into a coordinated strategy.
Video.  Video is not a new media form, but its use as a standard media type used in non-media companies is expanding rapidly. Technology trends in digital photography, consumer electronics, the web, social software, unified communications, digital and Internet-based television and mobile computing are all reaching critical tipping points that bring video into the mainstream. Over the next three years Gartner believes that video will become a commonplace content type and interaction model for most users, and by 2013, more than 25 percent of the content that workers see in a day will be dominated by pictures, video or audio.
Next Generation Analytics. Increasing compute capabilities of computers including mobile devices along with improving connectivity are enabling a shift in how businesses support operational decisions. It is becoming possible to run simulations or models to predict the future outcome, rather than to simply provide backward looking data about past interactions, and to do these predictions in real-time to support each individual business action. While this may require significant changes to existing operational and business intelligence infrastructure, the potential exists to unlock significant improvements in business results and other success rates.
Social Analytics. Social analytics describes the process of measuring, analyzing and nterpreting the results of interactions and associations among people, topics and ideas. These interactions may occur on social software applications used in the workplace, in internally or externally facing communities or on the social web. Social analytics is an umbrella term that includes a number of specialized analysis techniques such as social filtering, social-network analysis, sentiment analysis and social-media analytics. Social network analysis tools are useful for examining social structure and interdependencies as well as the work patterns of individuals, groups or organizations. Social network analysis involves collecting data from multiple sources, identifying relationships, and evaluating the impact, quality or effectiveness of a relationship.
Context-Aware Computing. Context-aware computing centers on the concept of using information about an end user or object’s environment, activities connections and preferences to improve the quality of interaction with that end user. The end user may be a customer, business partner or employee. A contextually aware system anticipates the user's needs and proactively serves up the most appropriate and customized content, product or service. Gartner predicts that by 2013, more than half of Fortune 500 companies will have context-aware computing initiatives and by 2016, one-third of worldwide mobile consumer marketing will be context-awareness-based.
Storage Class Memory. Gartner sees huge use of flash memory in consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems. It also offers a new layer of the storage hierarchy in servers and client computers that has key advantages — space, heat, performance and ruggedness among them. Unlike RAM, the main memory in servers and PCs, flash memory is persistent even when power is removed. In that way, it looks more like disk drives where information is placed and must survive power-downs and reboots. Given the cost premium, simply building solid state disk drives from flash will tie up that valuable space on all the data in a file or entire volume, while a new explicitly addressed layer, not part of the file system, permits targeted placement of only the high-leverage items of information that need to experience the mix of performance and persistence available with flash memory.  
Ubiquitous Computing.  The work of Mark Weiser and other researchers at Xerox's PARC paints a picture of the coming third wave of computing where computers are invisibly embedded into the world. As computers proliferate and as everyday objects are given the ability to communicate with RFID tags and their successors, networks will approach and surpass the scale that can be managed in traditional centralized ways. This leads to the important trend of imbuing computing systems into operational technology, whether done as calming technology or explicitly managed and integrated with IT. In addition, it gives us important guidance on what to expect with proliferating personal devices, the effect of consumerization on IT decisions, and the necessary capabilities that will be driven by the pressure of rapid inflation in the number of computers for each person.
Fabric-Based Infrastructure and Computers.  A fabric-based computer is a modular form of computing where a system can be aggregated from separate building-block modules connected over a fabric or switched backplane. In its basic form, a fabric-based computer comprises a separate processor, memory, I/O, and offload modules (GPU, NPU, etc.) that are connected to a switched interconnect and, importantly, the software required to configure and manage the resulting system(s). The fabric-based infrastructure (FBI) model abstracts physical resources — processor cores, network bandwidth and links and storage — into pools of resources that are managed by the Fabric Resource Pool Manager (FRPM), software functionality. The FRPM in turn is driven by the Real Time Infrastructure (RTI) Service Governor software component. An FBI can be supplied by a single vendor or by a group of vendors working closely together, or by an integrator — internal or external.
o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Would You Sleep on a Chunk of Ice? Building Your “Experience Resume”



If sleeping on a bed of ice or eating bacon-flavored ice cream doesn’t sound too appealing, consider the tale you’ll have to tell about it later. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, some people can’t resist a chance to collect experiences.

“Recent marketing trends suggest that many consumers are attracted to unusual and novel consumption experiences and choose vacations, leisure activities, and celebrations that are predicted to be less pleasurable and enjoyable,” write authors Anat Keinan (Harvard Business School) and Ran Kivetz (Columbia Business School).
“A fascinating example is the increasing popularity of Ice Hotels, where visitors sleep on beds made of ice in frigid temperatures of 25° F. A similar trend is observed in consumers’ dining preferences: many restaurants are trying to attract consumers by offering unusual entrees and desserts. Such gastronomic innovations include tequila-mustard sorbet, bacon-flavored ice cream, and chocolate truffles with vinegar and anchovies.”
Consumers are attracted to these activities and products because they view them as opportunities to collect new experiences and build their “experiential CV,” the authors write. And this desire is connected to people’s continual striving to use time efficiently and productively.

“This desire to accomplish more in less time is so powerful that it not only affects consumers’ performance in vocational (or “production”) settings, but can also influence their leisure preferences and consumption choices,” the authors write.
In a series of experiments, the researchers found that a “productivity orientation” made participants more inclined to desire collectible experiences. They examined revelers celebrating New Year’s Eve in New York City’s Times Square, AARP members attending conferences on retirement and aging, park visitors, train and airport travelers, and people who are trying to visit all 50 states.

“Our findings suggest that marketers of unusual consumption experiences and innovative products should target consumers who are concerned with being productive (and collecting experiences),” the authors write.
Anat Keinan and Ran Kivetz. “Productivity Orientation and the Consumption of Collectable Experiences.” Journal of Consumer Research.
o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Social Media Customer Service


Download report here.o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Unplugged 24h

Twenty-four hours without media, no TV, no interntet, no phones, not anything remotely associated with a "plugged" lifestyle. First year students at Bournemouth University in the UK took part in a media experiment and shared their thought here.o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Monday, October 25, 2010

Innovation

o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Judgments of Power From College Yearbook Photos and Later Career Success

Inferences from faces can predict important real-world outcomes. But little is known about the stability of these effects. Here the authors find that inferences of power from photos of the faces of the managing partners of America’s top 100 law firms significantly corresponded to their success as leaders, as measured by the amounts of profits that their firms earned. More interesting, this relationship was also observed when judgments were made based on photos of the leaders taken from their undergraduate yearbooks, before they began their careers or entered law school. Facial cues to success may therefore be consistent across much of the lifespan (approximately 20–50 years)


Read the full paper by clicking here.o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Africa - the next big thing





Wal Mart recently made a bid on a large African retailer, indicating that something has happened in the eyes of potential investors. Now, Wall Street Journal are reporting that global ad agencies are flocking on the continent. 


At the same time China´s growth is cooling, making Ghana, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya interesting for foreign investments in a few years, according to Telegraph.


The French bank Société Générale are reporting that Africa is ready to catch up: http://read.bi/9keVXm


Waka-waka time?o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sustainable Food and Drink Lovers Attracted by Perceived Superior Quality

Consumer demand for sustainable food and drink continues to grow, and companies are increasing the supply, as Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) has tracked more than 13,000 new sustainable food and drink products since 2005. While 84% of consumers say they regularly buy green or sustainable food and drink, some are unaware of what the claims actually mean.
"Packaging claims such as 'recyclable' or 'eco- or environmentally friendly' are fairly well known to consumers, but sustainable product claims such as 'solar/wind energy usage' or 'Fair Trade' have yet to enter the mainstream consumer consciousness,"David Browne, senior analyst at Mintel points out. "They may have heard of the terms, but they'd be hard-pressed to define them."
Of those surveyed, 40% have never heard of the solar/wind energy usage claim. The 37% that have say they've never purchased food or drink bearing the claim. Reduced carbon footprint/emissions is another lesser-known claim, as 32% have never heard of it. Thirty-four percent say they've never heard of the Fair Trade claim.
So, why do they buy?
According to Mintel research, 45% of sustainable food and drink users cite a perceived belief in superior quality as the reason behind their purchases. Meanwhile, 43% say they buy sustainable food and drink because they're concerned about environmental/human welfare and 42% say they're concerned with food safety.
"These reasons vary in importance across different demographics. What's most important to young adults may not be the primary deciding factor for affluent consumers," notes David Browne. "Marketers should consider this in their claims closely; noting that health, welfare, and safety are important for nearly all consumers."
o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Thursday, October 21, 2010

From Point-of-Purchase to Path-to-Purchase: How Pre-Shopping Factors Drive Unplanned Buying

By David R. Bell, Daniel Corsten George Knox,


"Many retailers believe that a majority of purchases are unplanned so they spend heavily on in-store marketing to stimulate them. At the same time, the effects of “pre-shopping” factors— the overall trip goal, store-specific shopping objectives, and prior marketing exposures that the shopper brings to the store—are largely unexplored. We focus on these out-of-store drivers, and, unlike prior research, use panel data to “hold the shopper constant” while estimating unbiased trip-level effects. Thus, we uncover opportunities for retailers to generate more unplanned buying from their existing shoppers. We find that unplanned buying increases monotonically with the abstractness of the overall shopping trip goal established before the shopper enters the store. Store-linked goals also affect unplanned buying. It is higher on trips where the shopper chooses the store for favorable pricing and lower on trips where the store is chosen as part of a multi-store shopping trip. Though out-of-store marketing has no direct effect, it reinforces the lift in unplanned buying from shoppers who use marketing materials inside the store. Implications for retailers are discussed."


Read the research paper by clicking here.

o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nano Supermarket

NextNature presents the Nano Supermarket:


"Nanotechnology is an emerging field of science that deals with the manipulation of structures on an atomic and molecular scale – the size of one billionth of a meter. It is often seen as a trend in material science, but has much deeper implications. Nanotechnology radically intervenes with our notion of what is natural. It may realize the dreams people have of themselves and significantly improve our lives, but may also have its downsides.
The NANO Supermarket features debate–provoking nanotech products submitted by designers, technologists and artists from six different countries. They were selected by a jury of nanotech experts and design experts. Our products are both innovative and useful as well as uncanny and disturbing. They function as scenarios for potential nano futures, that help us decide what nano future we actually want."

Here is the Supermarket Folder:


Here is what a commercial would look like:



NANO Supermarket commercial from nextnature on Vimeo.o
Share/Save/Bookmark

How to make faster decisions

o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Traditional Grocery Store Concept Changing With Economy

Watch link by clicking here.o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Starbucks reinventing the concept

Soon 40 year old Starbucks are currently seeking to improve business by reinventing the concept. One of the goals is to be an evening destination and one way to achieve that is to start serving wine and drinks. The question is if there is a possibility to create a concept that customers are willing to visit on to pick up a coffee on their way to work and then return to relax and reload in the evening.

USA Today have made a walk-through 5 day prior to opening:


o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Friends Share Personal Details to Strengthen Relationships in United States, but Not in Japan

In the United States, friends often share intimate details of their lives and problems. However, such self-disclosure is much less common in Japan. A new study by an American researcher living in Japan finds that this may be because of the different social systems in the two countries, and in particular the extent to which there are opportunities to make new friends. 
“At first, it seemed strange that in Japan, people didn’t open up and share a lot about themselves with each other,” says Joanna Schug of Hokkaido University. “But Japanese often look at Americans and think, ‘Why are they telling me so much about themselves?’” Schug thought the difference might have to do with the way relationships work in the two countries, in particular the utility of investing in relationships by sharing personal details. In a society like Japan, where relationships are entrenched within rigid social networks (what the researchers call societies low in “relational mobility”), relationship-maintenance strategies like self-disclosure are not as useful as they are in societies high in relational mobility (like the United States) where relationships are more easily formed and lost. It is in the latter cultures that people need to invest more effort into strengthening relationships that may be more fragile. 
To test this idea, Schug recruited university students in both Japan and the United States to answer questions about their relationships. They indicated how likely they would be to tell either their closest friend or a family member about their biggest secret, their most embarrassing experience, and so on. They also described how the relationships around them work—for example, how much they think that people in their neighborhood, workplace, or other environment can voluntarily choose who they interact with. In another experiment, volunteers also shared the number of new friends and acquaintances they had formed in the previous three months. 
Schug wrote the study with Masaki Yuki of Hokkaido University and William Maddux of INSEAD. The work is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. 
Schug and her colleagues found that Japanese people were indeed more likely to feel that relationships were stable and because of this, were less likely to share so much information with their closest friend. However, Americans shared more information with friends than the Japanese because they saw their relationships as more fragile and shifting more often, thus requiring more maintenance via self-disclosure. Schug says the study presents an interesting paradox: Although the United States is a more individualistic country than collectivist Japan, investing in relationships may actually pay higher dividends in cultures that place an emphasis on the individual.
o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Generous Paupers and Stingy Princes? Power and Consumer Spending

How do people decide how much to spend on purchases for themselves versus others? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research says it all depends on how powerful we feel at the moment of choice.

“We ask whether the powerful and powerless differentially value the self versus others, and whether this, in turn, translates into observable differences in their spending behavior,” write authors Derek D. Rucker, David Dubois, and Adam D. Galinsky (Kellogg School at Northwestern University).
The authors conducted five experiments where they manipulated participants’ states of power and then examined how much they spent on purchases for themselves or others. Power was manipulated by assigning people to the role of a boss or employee in a task, having participants recall a past time when they possessed or lacked power, or exposing them to advertisements designed to make them feel powerful or powerless.

After completing these power-related tasks, participants took place in an auction where they bid for a t-shirt and a mug. One group of participants was told to bid on the product for themselves, whereas the members of the other group were told to bid on the product to get it for a person of their choosing. “When participants were bidding to obtain the product for themselves, those who completed the high- power recall task bid $12.08 on average, whereas those who completed the low- power recall task only bid $6.49, an astonishing difference of more than 46 percent,” the authors write. In fact, the opposite occurred when the participants were asked to bid on the product for someone else. The low-power people bid $10.81 on average, while the high-power participants bid $7.10.
This same pattern of results emerged across five experiments. “When participants were asked to make a purchase for themselves, the amount of money spent was consistently greater for participants assigned to the high-power condition relative to participants assigned to the low-power condition,” the authors write.

Although the high-power participants spent more money on themselves, they were happier when they spent money on others, the authors found.

Derek D. Rucker, David Dubois, and Adam D. Galinsky. “Generous Paupers and Stingy Princes: Power Drives Consumer Spending on Self versus Others.” Journal of Consumer Research
o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Benign Envy Sells iPhones, but Malicious Envy Drives Consumers to BlackBerries



People are willing to pay more for products that elicit their envy—but that’s only when they are motivated by a positive, benign form of envy, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

“Our studies showed that people who had been made envious of someone who owned an iPhone were willing to pay 80 Euros more on average,” write authors Niels van de Ven, Marcel Zeelenberg, and Rik Pieters (Tilburg University).
The researchers made some important discoveries about the motivations that result from different kinds of envy. “Note that two types of envy exist: benign and malicious envy,” the authors explain. “Benign envy exists if the advantage of the other person is deserved, and motivates people to attain a coveted good or position for themselves. This more motivating type of envy makes people pay an envy premium for the products that elicited their envy.” On the other hand, malicious envy occurs if the other person is thought to be undeserving; it evokes a desire to “pull down” the other person.

In a series of experiments, the authors compared benign envy with its malicious cousin. They found that only benignly envious people were willing to pay more for products that they coveted. Maliciously envious people were more likely to pay more for related but different products. For example, people who felt maliciously envious of someone with an iPhone were more likely to pay more for a BlackBerry.
In the experiments (which involved potential internships as well as products like iPhones), the participants were asked to imagine feeling jealousy and admiration for the fellow student (Benign Envy condition), to imagine feeling jealous and begrudging (the Malicious Envy condition), or just to imagine that they really liked the product (Control condition).
However, companies should be cautious to not evoke the more negative form of envy that drives people away from products. “Advertisers should make sure that the celebrities they want to use in their ads actually deserve their status,” the authors write. “If they do not, these celebrities might actually trigger malicious envy and the sales of products from a competitor could even go up.”
Niels van de Ven, Marcel Zeelenberg, and Rik Pieters. “The Envy Premium in Product Evaluation.” Journal of Consumer Research.
o
Share/Save/Bookmark

How Do Beauty Product Ads Affect Consumer Self Esteem and Purchasing?



A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that ads featuring beauty products actually lower female consumers’ self-esteem.
“One of the signature strengths of the advertising industry lies in its ability to transform seemingly mundane objects into highly desirable products,” write authors Debra Trampe (University of Groningen, the Netherlands), Diederik A. Stapel (Tilburg University), and Frans W. Siero (University of Groningen). In an advertisement, a lipstick situated next to a stiletto heel represents glamour and a teddy bear in an ad for fabric softener signals softness.

The authors conducted four experiments to examine the different meanings consumers gleaned from products that were advertised versus not advertised. In one study, the authors exposed female study participants to either a beauty- enhancing product (eye shadow, perfume) or a problem-solving product (acne concealer, deodorant).The product was either embedded in an advertisement (with a shiny background and a fake brand name) or it was depicted against a neutral white background. “After exposure to the advertised beauty-enhancing products consumers were more likely to think about themselves than when they viewed the same products outside of their advertisements.”
What’s more, those advertisements affected how consumers thought about themselves. “After viewing an advertisement featuring an enhancing product consumers evaluated themselves less positively than after seeing these products when they appeared without the advertising context,” the authors write. The same effect did not show up when the items were problem-solving products.
Ads for beauty-enhancing products seem to make consumers feel that their current attractiveness levels are different from what they would ideally be. “Consumers seem to ‘compare’ themselves to the product images in advertisements, even though the advertisement does not include a human model,” the authors write.

“Exposure to beauty-enhancing products in advertisements lowered consumers’ self-evaluations, in much the same way as exposure to thin and attractive models in advertisements has been found to lower self-evaluations,” the authors conclude.
Debra Trampe, Diederik A. Stapel, and Frans W. Siero. “The Self-Activation Effect of Advertisements: Ads Can Affect Whether and How Consumers Think About the Self.” Journal of Consumer Research
o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Tweets can predict the stock market

An analysis of almost 10 million tweets from 2008 shows how they can be used to predict stock market movements up to 6 days in advance. Read the research paper here.o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Monday, October 18, 2010

Brain Gap: NeuroFocus Study Reveals What Went Wrong With the Gap's New Brand Logo

World's Largest Neuromarketing Company Applied Neuroscience Knowledge to Discover the Subconscious Reasons Beneath the Consumer Backlash

BERKELEY, Calif.Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- On the spectrum of corporate rolls of the dice, altering an iconic logo representing a brand that has been a consumer favorite for generations is a high-risk proposition. The Gap is the latest company to confront that fact.
What went awry with the Gap's recently-introduced logo? NeuroFocus, the world's leading neuromarketing company, went looking for the most accurate and reliable answers in the best place to find them: the deep subconscious level of the brain. The company conducted neurological testing of Gap customers to discover why the new execution failed to attract them — and in some cases earned negative reactions.
In addition to the EEG-based brainwave activity measurements and eye tracking data it captured and analyzed in its study, NeuroFocus cited six principal Neurological Best Practices that the new logo violated. These Best Practices have been extracted from the thousands of neurological tests that the company has conducted worldwide.
Topline Study Findings:
Subconscious Response Testing: The Key Role That 'Stylish' and 'Novelty' Played
NeuroFocus' study captured consumers' subconscious responses and evaluated them to reveal the effectiveness of both the original and the new logo. NeuroFocus scores responses across seven core categories: three primary NeuroMetrics of Attention, Emotional Engagement, and Memory Retention. Those are combined to arrive at an Overall Effectiveness score.
From the three primary NeuroMetrics, the company derives three more Marketplace Performance Indicators (MPIs) of Purchase Intent, Novelty, and Awareness.
Novelty:
This MPI is an especially critical metric for the studies that NeuroFocus conducts for branding projects, new product introductions, packaging designs, and logos. Neuroscientific research shows that the human brain craves and seeks what is new.
EEG recordings revealed that the new logo did not register any scientifically significant increase in the Novelty metric.
"Our counsel to companies is: when there is a redesign of a brand, an identity, a logo, a proposition, a tagline, a package or a product feature, such a design must deliver a scientifically significant and substantive change in the Novelty metric," said Dr. A. K. Pradeep, Chief Executive Officer of NeuroFocus. "In this instance, the Gap's new logo failed to do that. Our recommendation would have been: without a significant increase in Novelty, this redesign will not succeed."
Stylish:
NeuroFocus utilized its Deep Subconscious Response methodology to tease out consumers' precognitive perceptions of core brand attributes associated with the Gap brand. In this study, three attributes were tested to determine if the new logo produced any neurologically significant "brand lift" over the original design.
The three attributes tested were: activestylish, and authentic.
For 'active' and 'authentic', the results showed no scientifically significant increase between the original logo and the new logo.
"This is a red flag, because it reveals that the new design is not contributing to heightened consumer perceptions of core brand attributes," Dr. Pradeep said.
Moreover, for the 'stylish' attribute, the study results showed that while the original logo scored at an exceptional level, the new logo failed to register at all for this critical attribute.
"When we saw this specific result from our testing, we were not surprised by the consumer backlash," Dr. Pradeep said. "With the new design, the Gap lost critical ground at the deep subconscious level for this essential brand attribute. For a retail apparel marketer seeking to reach and motivate their target audience, this loss of brand value in the 'stylish' category marks a major cause for concern."
Neurological Best Practices:
In addition to its brainwave activity measurements, as the NeuroFocus scientific team reviewed the new logo, they recognized that the design violated six basic Neurological Best Practices.
Dr. Pradeep outlined these six Neurological Best Practices that the Gap missed:
  • Overlays Equal Overlooked: Neuroscience research reveals that when words overlay images, the brain tends to ignore or overlook the word in favor of focusing on the image. "In the new logo, the 'p' superimposed over the blue square is essentially bypassed by the brain; the brain tends to ignore the word in favor of the image. Not a good thing when that's your brand name."
  • Sharp Edges Unsettle the Subconscious: "Forcing the brain to view a sharply-angled box behind the letter 'p' provokes what neuroscience calls an 'avoidance response'. The hard line cuts into the rounded shape of the letter. We are hard-wired to avoid sharp edges — in nature, they can present a threat. Our so-called modern brains are actually 100,000 years old, and they retain this primordial reaction."
  • Interesting Fonts Work: Neuroscience research has shown that the subconscious prefers fonts that are a little unusual. The Gap's original typeface was just different enough that it tended to stand out to the brain amidst the clutter of other corporate IDs. "Being a little bit 'funky' appeals to the brain, and the Gap's original design accomplished that by employing an interesting font. Our study confirms that, and shows why 'boring' is bad for business when it comes to type."
  • High/Low Contrast: "The original logo presented the brand name in sharp, strong contrast — white letters 'pop' against the blue background, and the brain loves pop-outs. Conversely, the new logo has the 'p' losing that contrast against the blue box. Again, the brain simply tends not to register the letter well as a result."
  • Stronger Semantic Content: "In the new version, the capitalized 'G' followed by the lower case 'a' and 'p' cause the brain to read the three letters as part of a word, and therefore seek semantic content. In the original execution, all three letters are capitalized, making them more logo-like than word-like, which is what you want for a logo."
  • Lost Legacy: "The Gap sells a lot more than just blue jeans today, but relegating the blue of the original logo to minor 'legacy' status in the new version loses that essential connection in the consumer's subconscious to the brand's core origins. We always emphasize to companies: depict your source. When it comes to products, the brain seeks to know from whence you came. Instead of honoring their past, unfortunately the Gap relegated that past to lower relevance."


"The Gap's experience simply reinforces the critical importance of the two questions that brand marketers should ask before moving ahead with something as central as a logo redesign," Dr. Pradeep added. "They are: does the new design violate any Neurological Best Practices? And does the new design build upon the existing brand attributes that are identified through the Brand Essence Framework? For companies seeking to avoid costly and all-too-public mistakes that can erode brand image and brand loyalty and impact purchase intent, measuring consumers' responses at the subconscious level of the brain is the best means to ensure success. Neuroscience proves that attempting to divine accurate and reliable answers to these questions through articulated responses is prone to failure. 'The brain makes behavior', and we applaud the Gap for recognizing their error and correcting it so that consumers will once again respond to this iconic brand in a positive way."
Link to original/new Gap logos: http://neurofocus.com/images/logos_gap.jpg
Dr. Pradeep is the author of the new best-seller The Buying Brain: Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind, available through Amazon.comBarnes&noble.comBorders.comand 800CEORead.
o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Drivel on Facebook more valuable than we think

Superficial contacts on Facebook, apparently unnecessary comments, and banal status updates may be more worthwhile than we think. This is shown in a new report from the National IT User Center. The report also predicts the new social media will ultimately lead to more individual entrepreneurs.

Many people are critical of those who collect hundreds of so-called friends on Facebook. Often the majority of these “friends” are old classmates, acquaintances of acquaintances, and the like, relationships that are fundamentally weak. The comments and updates of relatively banal nature that appear on Facebook have also generated a great number of snide remarks, not least in the media, in recent times. But a report compiled by Håkan Selg, a doctoral candidate at the Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, reveals that these contacts in fact constitute highly useful networks, networks that make use of the ostensibly meaningless comments and updates.

“The portrait, comments, and updates provide constant reminders of the existence of ‘friends.’ The content is not all that important, but the effect is that we perceive our Facebook friends as closer than other acquaintances who are not on Facebook,” says Håkan Selg.

Something else highlighted in the report is how today’s use of social media runs counter to a major trend in our information society. Previously companies and public authorities have been the first to use new channels for communication. This was the case with mobile phones, e-mail, and Web pages. Households have followed suit later. But social media have developed primarily in the private sphere. This gives the advantage to private individuals with contact nets and user experience that companies and authorities want to get at.

Through the use of social media individuals are also less dependent on major actors, as they can use networks on their own to get tips about jobs, housing, or, as business people, help with practical problems and new contacts. They also provide opportunities for individuals without large economic resources to reach out to more people, to publish something free of charge, and establish foundations for their own activities.

“A realistic effect of social media is that many costs of running operations will decline in the long run. This will probably enable more people to start their own businesses in the future, thus successively altering working life,” says Håkan Selg.

The project leader and author of the report is Håkan Selg, an industrial doctoral candidate at the Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University and the National IT User Center (NITA in Swedish). The study constitutes an independent continuation of a series of investigations about new user patterns on the Internet and is intended to identify impacts of strategic importance to business and society. See: www.internetexplorers.se.
o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Drivel on Facebook more valuable than we think

Superficial contacts on Facebook, apparently unnecessary comments, and banal status updates may be more worthwhile than we think. This is shown in a new report from the National IT User Center. The report also predicts the new social media will ultimately lead to more individual entrepreneurs.

Many people are critical of those who collect hundreds of so-called friends on Facebook. Often the majority of these “friends” are old classmates, acquaintances of acquaintances, and the like, relationships that are fundamentally weak. The comments and updates of relatively banal nature that appear on Facebook have also generated a great number of snide remarks, not least in the media, in recent times. But a report compiled by Håkan Selg, a doctoral candidate at the Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, reveals that these contacts in fact constitute highly useful networks, networks that make use of the ostensibly meaningless comments and updates.

“The portrait, comments, and updates provide constant reminders of the existence of ‘friends.’ The content is not all that important, but the effect is that we perceive our Facebook friends as closer than other acquaintances who are not on Facebook,” says Håkan Selg.

Something else highlighted in the report is how today’s use of social media runs counter to a major trend in our information society. Previously companies and public authorities have been the first to use new channels for communication. This was the case with mobile phones, e-mail, and Web pages. Households have followed suit later. But social media have developed primarily in the private sphere. This gives the advantage to private individuals with contact nets and user experience that companies and authorities want to get at.

Through the use of social media individuals are also less dependent on major actors, as they can use networks on their own to get tips about jobs, housing, or, as business people, help with practical problems and new contacts. They also provide opportunities for individuals without large economic resources to reach out to more people, to publish something free of charge, and establish foundations for their own activities.

“A realistic effect of social media is that many costs of running operations will decline in the long run. This will probably enable more people to start their own businesses in the future, thus successively altering working life,” says Håkan Selg.

The project leader and author of the report is Håkan Selg, an industrial doctoral candidate at the Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University and the National IT User Center (NITA in Swedish). The study constitutes an independent continuation of a series of investigations about new user patterns on the Internet and is intended to identify impacts of strategic importance to business and society. See: www.internetexplorers.se.
o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Online Sharing Encourages Offline Sharing


 Shareable Magazine and Latitude Research did a study recently that suggests that people who share media and information on online platforms tend to share in the physical world too. 
"• Three out of four participants currently share personal or informational content through social networking platforms, while 70% share digital media, and 68% share physical media like books and DVDs.
• Age did not seem to make a difference in the propensity to share. And respondents age 40 and over were more likely to feel comfortable sharing with anyone at all who joins a sharing community, whereas younger respondents preferred to share among smaller social circles.
• 85% of all participants believe that Web and mobile technologies will play a critical role in building large-scale sharing communities for the future."

The New Sharing Economy o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Envy Premium in Product Evaluation





Abstract from a future article in JCR by 
Niels Van de Ven, 
Marcel Zeelenberg, and 
Rik Pieters: 




Consumers are willing to pay a premium for products that elicit their envy. The more people compared themselves to a superior other, the higher the envy premium was. Yet, the emotion envy and not the upward comparison drove the final effects. The envy premium only emerged for a desirable product that the superior other owned (iPhone) when people experienced benign envy. Benign envy is elicited when the other's superior position is deserved, and malicious envy when it is undeserved. When people experienced malicious envy, the envy premium emerged for a desirable product that the superior other did not own (BlackBerry). This shows how benign envy places a premium on keeping up, and malicious envy on moving away from, superior others.o
Share/Save/Bookmark

Friday, October 15, 2010

Brand Archetypes


Watch in larger size right at the source.o
Share/Save/Bookmark