Category Archives: Market research


Watching the Swabians

Years ago, RIM – who developed the Blackberry and changed the world of mobile phones and email – carried out observational research on its core users. By just watching what Blackberry junkies did, they worked out that it was more than just a nifty way to keep in touch while out and about. This redefined the role played by Blackberry. … Continue reading


Dirty shirt

I waited with this entry to protect the anonymity of the person who supplied this sketch of a T-shirt. It’s a perfect example of why companies should involve locals in the design of international marketing materials. It was produced by the BMW company in 2010 to coincide with the World Cup in South Africa. Unfortunately, as has happened in other … Continue reading

No turbo toddlers

Listening hard

Sometimes finding new product ideas or innovative ways to update the marketing mix comes not from interviews, customer surveys or experimental methods, but just watching – watching customers. This is called observational research. It’s valuable because you get ideas by simply watching products in use, or customers using services, ie during the ‘brand experience’. Sometimes the idea simply springs up … Continue reading

Eight out of ten owners…

For years, Whiskas catfood was advertised on English TV with the slogan “8 out of 10 owners say their cat prefers it”. Any kid that grew up in the 70s and 80s had it drummed into their heads so often, it was like a religious feline chant. Until someone (doubtless a competitor) took issue with the tagline. Is that statistically … Continue reading


Excellent data, free for all

It’s rare for me to be so enthusiastic about a website that I feel like giving it free publicity, but this site really does deserve praise: In recent years more and more free information has been going online. Companies seem keen to ride the trend, using RSS to publicise themselves in the age of online feeds and blogging. But … Continue reading


Capturing out-of-home purchase

Household panels are probably as good it gets for understanding who buys what. Assuming the people on the panel scan in everything they bring home. Assuming the people on the panel are representative of the “universe”. But what about all the products people buy (and consume) but don’t bring home? For years this has plagued the market research industry. For … Continue reading

RSS – to track market trends

RSS is a great way to have people update you on things, when and how you want it. If you’re in Germany I recommend the following site, for anything from “Kläranlagen in den Nachrichten” to “Aktuelle News zum Thema Kassensysteme”. If things here develop as quickly as they have in the States, then more is certain to follow: Link:

Source: Shown here for example purposes. Copyright: SIGMA.

Picturing Germans

SIGMA milieaux are often confused wtih the Sinus model. Whichever alternative you choose, be warned, they’re expensive! But for many companies, they’re worth it. The pictures say it all. As you can see from this mood board of German hedonists. So if you need to make an ad to appeal to this target group, you have plenty of visual fooder. … Continue reading

Suggested reading – market research

Well, actually if you’ve already got Philip Kotler: Marketing Management (12th Edition), approx $130 and you will not be specialising in MR, then in my humble opinion, you don’t need another book. Although some German marketing books will do the job just as well (see here) But if you are, and you’re a German MBA/MA student, then my recommended reading … Continue reading