Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction.
Kenichi Ohmae

Predictable Research

The TFWA Show in Singapore is almost here. It is a great show in a great venue. It always feels more relaxed somehow and one that I enjoy attending. This year, I will be sharing a new perspective on Research and understanding shoppers.

For those of you that buy, source or use research in our channel, you might notice that research across the board is remarkably…. similar! Similar questions are used by all of the research companies and you get the predictable responses. The typical questions include:

  • Gender
  • Reason for travel
  • Reason for purchase
  • Planned vs Impulse
  • Degree of planning
  • Conversion (% of people who have bought)
  • Spend (the amount purchased)

Those of you that have used these reports will know that there is a degree of predictability. It often raises the question of whether Research is even worth doing. 60/40 is a popular ratio that seems to appear in key findings.

There are a number of things that buyers and category managers will look for to decide whether they will view the research as credible and useable. This knowledge shapes our thinking and research design.

Finally… what can you really influence with this line of Research? I argue that there is less than you think.

A common sense approach

Given our experience, we take a different approach to research. We ask the questions that make sense and deliver the fundamentals to make better decisions. We will be sharing this new approach in Singapore and demonstrating it through examples from our recent Confectionery research. Whilst we have used Confectionery in this instance, the blue print is applicable for all categories. We will also share some insights into what Research companies are not telling you.

The findings from this study have a significant impact on the way stores are designed and shops are set out. It helps brand owners to adjust their strategy quickly and effectively to maximise every shopper opportunity.

In the coming weeks I will share some of the insights. If you would like to meet in Singapore, please send me a note to to arrange a time to meet. I will also be in Hong Kong after the show to deliver one of our training courses.

For those who are not attending the show but would like more information, please contact me on the above email.

Going back to the quote above, it is VERY relevant to research. We believe the wrong questions are being asked and it doesn’t matter how many respondents you have, you will not get the right insight.

Finally, we will be rolling out a new study using this common sense approach. If you would be interested to find out more,  please get in touch.

Thank you for reading.