In the past 5 years, the face of Christmas shopping has changed dramatically in the UK. The previous world of two sales peaks, one in December and another in the Jan Sale, has been blown up by the introduction to the UK of Black Friday by US protagonists such as Amazon & Walmart owned Asda. But something seems to be stirring in UK retail that may mean that Black Friday has had its day.
Following on from the previous blog, this is designed to give you some practical hints and tips to avoid a fixed mindset.
How do you approach learning? Do you seek to learn or do you just ‘get through the here and now’ and hope to learn a few things to evidence just before your next 1-2-1?
We had a great night on Tuesday at the MRG, sharing findings from our recent study, Generation Game, which examines the role gaming plays in the lives of young consumers. With the increasing fragmentation of hardware platforms and a proliferation of services and payment models, there has never been a better time to understand how young people interact with this medium.
I’ve recently read two books which have made me think about the way we do research, particularly qualitative research. They helped me see the importance of understanding topics from another person’s perspective and translating lived experiences back up to the motivations.
The conference theme is contrarian thinking and how it can inspire creativity and change. As you’d expect from the industry body which represents strategic thinkers from across the marketing ecosystem, it’s a carefully curated menu served up to provoke and inspire. Half the speakers are experienced insiders, half are charismatic outsiders.
So you think you know your own mind? A canny decision-maker immune to manipulation? Well think again… On Tuesday night in Leeds Richard Shotton brought us all down a peg or two by illustrating powerfully how we’re slaves to our psychological biases.
Whenever smart-speaker are mentioned in a conversation at work, Dan (our tech and media research director/gadget guru) bemoans the fact that he has been conditioned to only ask his Alexa what he knows it can understand. He also hates that Alexa can’t pick out his favourite Bob Dylan album (that I’ve forgotten already) * and has to settle for a mix of the greatest hits.
We know it’s important for brands to meet the needs of more vulnerable customers. There has been an emerging trend recently of inclusivity in supermarkets and online retail brands, for example supermarket accessibility for wheelchair users and quiet hours for those with Autism. It is likely that this approach will gradually expand into other sectors as companies increasingly adapt their research to include this significant proportion of the population and seek to obtain and be receptive to feedback from more vulnerable customers.
On Friday 28th September, the Leeds office took part in the MacMillan coffee Morning. Taking inspiration from “The Bake Off” we all got together and started to think about all the lovely sweet treats we could bake to go with a nice cuppa on Friday Morning.
We may need to wait until December before the golden envelope reveals all, but here at Trinity McQueen we couldn’t be more excited. Being named Finalist for the prestigious MRS Best Agency UK award is the perfect end to a transformational year for us. We’re growing fast, we’re full of confidence about the great work we’re delivering, and our amazing team is buzzing.
Life is complex and purchase decisions are largely made through system 1 thinking – irrational, instinctive and emotional. For a brand to stand out from all the noise it needs to tap into this system 1 thinking. Be the brand that makes consumer lives easier. Which brands do that for you?
‘Stuffocation’ is a word used to describe the rejection of the stress, storage, maintenance, cost, and emissions that come will owning too much stuff! With shoppers abandoning the high street in larger numbers than during the depths of the recession, there is a clear call for something to give.
Do you want to be better at your job? Not to unfairly pigeonhole you or anything.
If the answer is yes, invest a few hours reading Les Binet and Sarah Carter’s How not to plan: 66 ways to screw it up. You won’t regret it.
Retail and shopper specialist, Sharon Hodgson has joined Trinity McQueen. Former MD of Shopper & Retail at Ipsos Mori and director at Shoppercentric has joined the expanding retail team at Trinity McQueen, as Client Services Director. With over 20 years’ experience in shopper insight, Hodgson’s appointment marks an exciting development for Trinity McQueen, as it deepens its expertise in multi-channel retail, grocery and FMCG in UK and internationally.
Having spent the best part of 15 years learning, talking about, shaping and delivering brand tracking programmes of all sizes to all manner of clients, I thought I’d share a few examples from what I’ve seen in my time. I’m sure that anyone who works in a client or agency side role and is involved in brand tracking research can relate to some or all of these observations.
Our work for online safety group, Internet Matters made a splash in the national media with Sky News, Metro, Huffington Post and the Independent. Six in ten parents wanted a ban on mobile phones in school, prompting a classic generational clash with their kids and echoing controversial legislation in France.
Being an apprentice is not looked down on at Trinity McQueen. I am not taken for granted and I am not patronised. Instead, I am a valued team member, I am respected in the office and I am happy. I am living the fun part of University; working, earning, and visiting my friends who are plotted around the country for a boogie on a weekend. And I, like my University friends, will get a qualification that will help me progress and do well in my life.
In 2016/17 alone, 12.5 million work days were lost due to stress, depression and anxiety. This is clearly a significant problem which employers are thankfully nowadays doing more to tackle. However, there is still a stigma attached to these type of health issues which companies are starting to challenge.
The story of Le Tour and L’Auto / L’Équipe (2 sports papers competing for dominance in France) shows that then, as now, a compelling story goes a long way to creating a captive audience and getting people to engage with your brand. And what is more compelling than an epic sporting contest where there are heroes and villains every year?
Companies now have the infrastructure to be able to create more meaningful engagement with their customers through hyper-personalisation, and no industry has showcased this more effectively than the entertainment and media sector - where streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix have strived to refine their complex recommendation engines.
He’s got a beard, skinny jeans and heavily tattooed arms but he’s drinking a piña colada…so is he still a hipster? She’s wearing a flowery tea dress, has a sensible bob and is lovingly making her family’s packed lunches but she’s blasting out hip hop on her stereo…so is she still mumsy? His hair is styled, he’s watching Netflix on his phone, but his expression tells you he’s not ‘living his best life’ …so is he still a millennial? Can we really trust the ‘signs of self’ that we’ve become accustomed to using to understand cultures and subcultures?
Confirmation bias teaches us that people tend to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms pre-existing beliefs or hypotheses. In other words, they can look for the story they want or expect to see. Businesses can therefore fall into a complacency trap, particularly if they are doing well or experiencing high growth. By finding a ‘burning platform’, this can help drive home the need for change.
It’s safe to say the video game market is flourishing. Asides from the flood of gaming systems and software available, the market is experiencing disruption in how consumers pay for gaming content. There is a shift from the traditional one-off upfront payment model to what is known as microtransactions, which are extra payments made within a game after the initial purchase to gain access to even more content - be it levels, characters, costumes or the ability to progress in the game.
The AQR’s Eyes Wide Open series brings together speakers from adjacent disciplines to examine a common theme. The most recent, on the evening of June 7th was on the subject of Human Packaging, asking the question what do we reveal by the way we present ourselves?
In January Facebook announced they were taking a new direction to strive towards more meaningful interactions on the platform. It was a move to strengthen relationships between users and business pages. Since then, however, we’ve seen controversy over data privacy and a growing lack of trust in the protection of personal data with such scandals including Facebook themselves.
The voluntary sector is thriving in Leeds because of the passion and tenacity of leaders and local people. But they have gaps in specific skills. They also have services we can use for our business purposes. Here are our top five ways we feel businesses, including ours, can support local voluntary and charity organisations:
Every once in a while, you have those rare days where you experience a magical moment that leaves you feeling supercharged, grateful, humbled, awe-inspired even. Today was one of those days for me personally. And as I often find, it involved getting out of the office. Myself and my colleague Becki spent the morning seeing with our very own eyes how our company investment in the Leeds Community Foundation is helping to support several communities and charities in Leeds – the city in which our Head Office is proud to be based.
Trinity McQueen London has appointed Mich Preston as Research Director to expand its qualitative consultancy. Preston joins during an unprecedented period of growth for agency, as it adds a string of new clients, including Debenhams, John Lewis and the IGD. A retail specialist, Mich has 15 years’ experience and arrives from ABA Research, where she worked with some of UK’s leading brands.
Even before a ball had been kicked, we knew the World Cup might be a nice boost for the economy – reports suggest that sales of 55” or bigger TVs increased by 140% at John Lewis on the first day of the tournament and overall TV sales are double this time last year. Then it happened. Kane’s last-minute winner vs. Tunisia. The thumping of Panama and England’s first penalty shoot out win at a major tournament for 22 years and first ever in a World Cup. Cue World Cup Fever.