Tag Archives: #omnishopperevent

Old Brains, New World: The 3 Fs Of Shopper Activation

At the OmniShopper International conference in London this
week, the focus was on how we shop now. Technology has made shopping easier
than ever. But it’s also given birth to a myriad of new technologies for
tracking, targeting and sales activation ‘ one speaker estimated that there
were now more than 3,500 start-ups operating in the space between a brand and
its end buyer.
In this forest of complexity, how do we see the wood for the
trees? In a morning keynote, BrainJuicer’s Chief Juicer John Kearon suggested
we were answering the wrong question. How we shop is changing at a breakneck pace. But how we decide ‘ the cognitive tools we bring to
bear on shopping ‘ hasn’t shifted at all. 
This isn’t to say shopper insight is business as usual.
Insights from the behavioural sciences are often paid lip service to, but it’s
harder to actually implement them at scale. The effort is worth it, though, as
getting behavioural activation right is a powerful route to profitable brand growth.
As behavioural scientists tell us, we decide using our fast,
intuitive System 1, and then our slow System 2 generally rubber stamps the
decision. Only a tiny minority of choices involve System 2 at all. And yet an
enormous amount of promotional and shopper insight activity is designed to
excite it by creating cut-through and trying to stop people and get them to
think. Instead, why not put System 1 at the centre and focus on making it easier to buy a brand?
Marketing analysts Les Binet and Peter Field invoke the 60/40
rule, which their analysis suggests holds true even in a digital era. 60% of
your budget should be spent on brand building, 40% on activation. Shopper is
clearly a huge part of that 40%, so getting at the System 1 heart of the buying
experience should be a serious marketing priority. But how to do it?
For brand building, we know that the key decision-making
heuristics are the 3 Fs: Fame (how easily something comes to mind), Feeling
(how good it makes people feel) and Fluency (how easily recognisable its unique
assets are). The 3 Fs explain how brands grow. They also let Kearon predict how
close the US election would be ‘ Hillary Clinton had a small advantage on Feeling,
but ultimately Donald Trump beat her on Fluency.
But activation ‘ the heart of shopper ‘ requires a different
set of factors. Kearon introduced the activation 3Fs ‘ more direct levers of
consumer behaviour at the point of decision. These are Framing (the world
around us), Following (the world between us), and Feeling (the world within
us). Feeling ‘ the need for an experience to create positive emotion ‘ is what
Activation and Brand Building have in common. Kearon described a study of online
shopping where analysis of emotion showed that people who felt happy when shopping
spent almost twice as much on average as those who claimed to feel nothing.
Positive emotion is vital at every stage of the brand building and activation
process.
But Following and Framing are unique to the purchase moment.
Framing is all about managing the choice architecture around a purchase to make
certain choices feel more obvious or easy. This can be done through pricing ‘
Kearon showed how a charity setting its default contributions higher raised its
average contribution dramatically, even though givers could still give as
little as they wanted. It can also be done through promotion ‘ making an offer
limited, for instance, is a reliable way of boosting take-up. And it can be
done through subtle changes in the environment ‘ as in the famous experiment
where German and French music played in an off-license boosted sales of wines
from those respective countries.
Following, meanwhile, is all about what other people are
doing: we are social animals and make System 1 choices based on information
about other humans and their choices.
Kearon described an experiment designed to make pub drinkers drink more water
to reduce or dilute their alcohol consumption. The most effective intervention,
he said, turned out to be a poster simply showing somebody drinking a glass of
water. Mirror neurons in the brain meant people seeing the poster wanted to
drink themselves ‘ and take-up of the free water in the bar shot up.
These examples of Framing, Following and Feeling were
entertaining, but is there a way to apply these ideas at scale without taking a
gamble on real-world profits? This is where new technology does start to help,
said Kearon. The upsurge of interest in virtual reality, and the rapid
improvement of virtual store technology, creates the possibility of a gigantic
laboratory where A/B testing of in-store behavioural activations can happen.
Wild theories ‘ like Kearon’s notion that pet treats would sell better in the human
sweets aisle! ‘ can be tested at vastly less expense and risk. The culture of
optimisation that already exists in online commerce can come to physical
retail, and the lessons of Framing, Following, Feeling and System 1 decision
making can be truly absorbed.

Day Three: OmniShopper threads – a day in reverse

- Aaron Keller and Kitty Hart, Capsule


The last day of a conference can be deserted and lonely, but that wasn’t the case for OmniShopper this year. We can figure out who to attribute this to or just mark it up to the venue and content rich experience participants had already received. Whatever the case, it was well worth staying through to the last speaker of the day.

For the sake of turning this on its head, let’s start from the last presentation and finish with the first. Crayola was the quiet finisher with relevance derived from the adult coloring phenomenon happening all around us. The research they have done was the kind of work we should all be proud to share. The findings were used to deliver a new merchandising approach and (if we can say so ourselves) a philosophy that goes beyond the all too common “stack it up and let it fly” approach to merchandising. If you missed this one, get the slide deck, you’ll enjoy the nuggets.

Though, we’d like to warn you on one overlooked detail by many presenters throughout the three days. Most slide presentations were so poorly designed it was hard on the eyes of any average human being. By day two, we almost put out an offer on Twitter to redesign everyone’s presentation before walking into these high impact speaking engagements. Respect the audience and design a presentation that’s a pleasure to view, or just get up there and talk. The world would be a better place.

The Hanes brand was another presentation with great content hidden behind troubled design. We peeled away the crusty seal and looked closer to what C+R Research did with the Hanes team and the methods were intriguing, elegant and thorough. Studying the online buying behavior of women buying bras and panties is not the most common study and the team handled it with loving care. Their findings were used to make an impact on Hanes revenue and improved digital merchandising. We, of course, couldn’t get past how many times we heard the word “panties” in a research presentation. Setting aside the cluttered presentation deck, the content was what we’d hope and expect at OmniShopper. 
Moving to the morning sessions we were treated to a dynamic author and voice for women in retail, Bridget Brennan. She facilitated a panel of ConAgra, PepsiCo and Unilever in a dynamic discussion on the relationship between retailers and manufacturer brands, the impact of digital and the efforts they are proud to share about their own research efforts. Having these three heads on the stage was a worthy gathering and the discussion was precisely facilitated by the Why She Buys author. 
On the topic of women as the economic engine of our future, Bridget delivered a fair number of stats many of us know, but she also delivered trends from her lens on the world. She mentioned the fact that the US childbirth rate is below 2.0. She posed a curious question in our minds. If this childbirth trend happens worldwide, what would be the result for the planet? 
Other nuggets like the Mini-Me phenomenon offered further evidence of the purchasing power women have in our economy. Now, if only we could get advertising (men) to notice women as an audience (specifically 50+ women). Oh yeah, that’s right the most popular television show a couple years back was MadMen. I guess we’ve still got a long way to go. Keep up the hard work, Bridget. We look forward to your next book titled: “F*#kyou MadMen, we’re MadWomen: Why madmen need to pay more attention to madwomen.” Kidding. (But we give you our permission to use this title.) 
The first keynote this morning from Seth Shapiro was a bit all over the place and left us wondering when he would get to some good stuff. He did arrive there, just took him longer than a morning audience can usually handle. The good stuff was his augmented and virtual reality perspective, which certainly made some of us dream of an augmented reality where we could FFWD the first part of his presentation. 
We can’t conclude our thoughts on OmniShopper without giving a nod to the talented couple from The Future Hunters. They did the opening act for a third and most challenging day of a conference with grace and style. They pulled audience participation out like it was water coming from a bunch of rocks sitting on slightly padded chairs. It is a thankless job as they never hear the applause for their work. Erica and Jared, the next time you hear an applause, that one was for you, no matter who was on stage. 
Here’s the last thread we’d like to note, again and again. Design, from the larger version of the word (designing moments and conversations) to the smaller version of the word (designing better presentations) was heard many times. Let’s keep that word woven into research conferences and when you get a chance to attend a design conference (FUSE) make sure research is woven into those conversations. 
Designing something means you more thoughtfully consider an audience and context, while looking to have them feel something from what you’ve designed. There are few things with more need for design than a shopper insights and research conference, so it was good to hear it come up so often. 
If you need more inspiration, check out our book, Physics of Brand. We look forward to hearing what you thought of the day, the conference and the conversations you had while attending.
Thanks to all those who stayed until the end. Remember…

Aaron Keller, Principal
I am an author, strategist, researcher, cyclist, reader 
and consummate entrepreneur. When an interesting 
idea crosses my path, I find any way we can bring it 
to life. Earning an MBA from the Carlson School and 
numerous valuable credits at the school of hard knocks, 
I’ll sit at a boardroom conversation with anyone. 
Want to talk business strategy, consumer behavior 
and design? Oh, it’s on.
 

Kitty Hart, Director
@HartofCapsule
I am the HartofCapsule, caring for our clients, friends, 

colleagues and partners. When I’m not deep in strategy
and design thought, I dream of belting out Diana Krall 
tunes in the blue haze of a nightclub. Until that dream 
is realized, I help Capsule’s clients understand and rise 
above business challenges through designed conversations.

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Day Two: OmniShopper threads and nuggets…

- Aaron Keller and Kitty Hart, Capsule

Future Hunters warmed up the Tuesday (slightly hungover) crowd rather nicely. It isn’t an easy task to deliver on the role of opening act, entertainer and experts in trend. The team of Erica and Jared did it again and certainly with a more cantankerous crowd than Monday as many cocktails were likely consumed just six hours earlier. Thank you for the caffeine for our brains to get us going.
The man, the Nobel prize winning author and the icon in behavioral economics was on the stage next. Daniel Kahneman, the author of Thinking, Fast and Slow sat for a discussion with Anthony Gell, author of The Book of Leadership. To start, let’s all acknowledge Mr. Gell’s exceptional job of interviewing such a brilliant mind without being tongue-tied. Now, to a hero of ours, Daniel gave us pages from his book but in his voice and while he didn’t translate for shopper marketing it was worth every word. Just listening to how Daniel’s mind works was insightful. If you need more on his models, the book is your best resource. It should be a required read for any research, finance or marketing department in any corporation. 
The next group on the stage was a panel of Sumaiya Balbale from Jet.com, John R. Whitaker from Lowe’s and Emily Shannon from Mall of America. Emily was a returning face to the big stage and she continued to deliver unique nuggets beyond her content from yesterday (also not easy). Sumaiya gave us a quantity of nuggets from the frugal next generation of shoppers who default to digital. John Whitaker balanced physical and digital with how relevant Lowe’s is within Pinterest while still being a retailer with designed moments in a physical space. 
The subject was the future of retail, which is facing some tremendous challenges with Alibaba, Amazon and others moving so much of buying online. And, with some countries in the world going from open markets to digital markets and skipping “the mall” economic phase entirely. Based on what we heard, retail has a vibrant future when it is properly blended between physical and digital. For some of you this is confirming, but for others it may be helpful to know retail has been around, will be around and the ability to understand what happens in the moment when people and brands intersect will always be important. 
Our sleepy session, Kirk Olson from Horizon Media surprised the crowd with so many morsels of intriguing content it formed a moment of people asking for his presentation. While it didn’t look interesting on face (printed) value, Kirk delivered a full meal deal (sorry, McDonalds) for this audience of curious minds. While we gathered some of the items in a Twitter feed under #OmniShopperEvent your best bet is downloading the pages of his presentation and carving it up yourself. It is well worth the space on your hard drive. 
Now, a bit on the conversations in-between. With some breaks, a lunch and other hallway conversations we discovered some of the larger threads of yarn from the morning. Here they are: 1. Cognitive Biases and how do we see beyond these to understand true human behavior; 2. The future of retail is bright and the design of moments is a big part of it; 3. The trends coming from wearables, getting back to authentic stories and vintage high-touch experiences. The morning had plenty of fuel for some empty brain tanks.
The afternoon slid a bit as the crowd may not have been into the conversations or perhaps we heard the term millennials just a few too many times. Whatever the case, the afternoon speakers had a larger uphill climb to get us back. Celeste Ireland spoke on telling stories with data and gave us a peak inside the culture of Maple Leaf Foods. From here we got a taste (actually no samples provided) of what Hershey is doing to break through some hard shell congestive biases in retail. While the lack of samples left this writer sorely disappointed, Kindle Partica delivered a concise and content rich speech with brain science, chocolate studies and a great case study with results. The lack of chocolate was overcome with great content. BTW, Welch’s provided samples in their presentation. Just saying…
Last, the bonus from the day came from the number of times our favorite behavioral economist and Nobel winner mentioned the word design. Daniel Kahneman is a big fan of the design world and repeatedly spoke to the importance of design with purpose. We haven’t met many economists and certainly few who talk about the importance of design. The birds sang and the words painted rainbows in our heads each time Daniel spoke (unprompted) on the subject of design. 
Hello world, we are a design firm and we’re here to help, reach out when you would like to talk. We’d love to hear more challenging problems to solve. It’s the stuff that keeps us energized. 
Now, let’s get some rest (in the form of a cold glass -or five- of Pinot Grigio) and we will see you back here tomorrow for day three. 
Aaron Keller, Principal
I am an author, strategist, researcher, cyclist, reader 
and consummate entrepreneur. When an interesting 
idea crosses my path, I find any way we can bring it 
to life. Earning an MBA from the Carlson School and 
numerous valuable credits at the school of hard knocks, 
I’ll sit at a boardroom conversation with anyone. 
Want to talk business strategy, consumer behavior 
and design? Oh, it’s on.
 

Kitty Hart, Director
@HartofCapsule
I am the HartofCapsule, caring for our clients, friends, 

colleagues and partners. When I’m not deep in strategy
and design thought, I dream of belting out Diana Krall 
tunes in the blue haze of a nightclub. Until that dream 
is realized, I help Capsule’s clients understand and rise 
above business challenges through designed conversations.

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Day One: OmniShopper threads from the sessions…

- Aaron Keller and Kitty Hart, Capsule

The Future Hunter’s Erica Orange and Jared Weiner got us started with some opening remarks. The warm up was worthy and got us all pressing forward into a day of data, mobile, shopping experiences, authenticity and granule insights on human behaviors. 
Jessica from Saatchi & Saatchi X forced us into a conversation about emotion and the contrast with the big “asterisk” data conversation. She made a case for a complement with the rational data we use in the form of “gut” check and the importance of emotion. Jessica’s story of CoverGirl was certainly a good example, putting emotion on a pallet and selling it in Walmart. Yes, emotion on a pallet. 
Our next discussion was led by Todd Henry, the author of Louder Than Words. His story of asking people to walk along a plank of wood on the floor vs a plank 100 ft in the air and how the risk / reward equation changes helped clarify the risks we ask people to take when taking on new opportunities. But, Todd’s best story which came out of his more recent book, Die Empty, used a tree metaphor. The idea was presented by a DJ he met who talked about going out on a branch and Todd asking the snarky question, “what happens if you go too far out on the branch and it gives way?” The DJ had a brilliant response. The branch falls and starts to grow a new tree (fan base, participants and revenue are the tree). This is a natural metaphor for how innovation happens, by going far enough away from the tree trunk out on a branch. Nature is so beautiful. 
From here we digitally walked into one of the North America’s largest shopping centers, the Mall of America. Emily Shannon walked us through all the trials and tribulations of managing the digital strategy for a gargantuan mall. She had some amazing points and insights, but the threads pulled into the next discussions included the text response team (which we tested and tweeted the results), her perspective on beacon technology, augmented reality and the power of digital media blended with physical spaces for a “phygital” experience. Her example of the “Twizzard” was a brilliant example of a snowstorm of tweets inside the Mall of America. A blizzard without frostbite, but plenty of digital content to enjoy, finally chocolate has some competition for our attention. 
The next sessions were breakouts and the conversations in between. The ConAgra Foods conversation was around wearables and food brands. With a mere big toe dip into the possible data coming from mobile, Thatcher Schulte had the crowd looking on with open mouths and wide eyes. The term “big data” needs a rebrand to “huge effin gargantuan data” once you add in mobile and human data from all the human / technology interaction data points. Could someone get on that rebrand? Soon. 
The Red Bull presentation with InfoScout was a waterfall dive into what Red Bull knows and (strangely enough) doesn’t know about the crazy people who buy their drinks. It surprised us how much was unknown for such a dynamic brand like Red Bull. Yet, we shouldn’t be, the shopper insights world needs to be scaled to match the number of unique places you can shop. Red Bull is certainly bought in a large variety of venues and consumed in an even larger contrast of spaces and places. The point seemed to be, even with all the resources Red Bull has, it is still a constant and deliberate hunt to find more knowledge on the human being consuming your brand. 
Now to the conversations in between. We were pleasantly surprised by the number of tweets, instagram photos and updates in social media on the conference. We were equally pleased by how much attention our book, The Physics of Brand, is getting with this analytical crowd. The world of research is just as hungry for new thinking and content as our typical design world.
We are looking for research partners interested in participating in client engagements with our team around this new articulation of brand-thought in the book. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss this in more detail. 
Aaron Keller, Principal
I am an author, strategist, researcher, cyclist, reader 
and consummate entrepreneur. When an interesting 
idea crosses my path, I find any way we can bring it 
to life. Earning an MBA from the Carlson School and 
numerous valuable credits at the school of hard knocks, 
I’ll sit at a boardroom conversation with anyone. 
Want to talk business strategy, consumer behavior 
and design? Oh, it’s on.
 

Kitty Hart, Director
@HartofCapsule

I am the HartofCapsule, caring for our clients, friends, 
colleagues and partners. When I’m not deep in strategy
and design thought, I dream of belting out Diana Krall 
tunes in the blue haze of a nightclub. Until that dream 
is realized, I help Capsule’s clients understand and rise 
above business challenges through designed conversations.