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Liz Ryan


Recent Posts

3 min read

Moving Beyond a Commodity-Provider Mindset

By Liz Ryan on Aug 7, 2012 8:58:00 AM

Can utilities develop new products to drive opportunities with small businesses?

Magazines and newspapers are buzzing with articles on energy-conserving products for consumers, such as electric vehicles, solar power options, and zoned temperature controls. But how can utilities take advantage of the buzz? Portland General Electric (PGE) wanted to find out.

PGE theorized that ductless heat pumps can offer constant comfort to small businesses without the cost or hassle of a major HVAC overhaul.

PGE engaged Hansa GCR to conduct research with the small business market—ranging from a tattoo shop to a winery to a dog daycare to a printing company. Research explored their current needs, their perceptions of the ductless heat pump product, and the hurdles they perceived in adoption.

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4 min read

Brand Triumvirate

By Liz Ryan on Jul 20, 2012 10:00:00 AM

By Wayne Marks, President, Hansa|GCR

There are a gaggle of ways to look at brand and define what a brand is. We at Hansa like to think of a brand as a gestalt. No matter what elements we put forward as the ingredients of a brand, the whole will be more than the sum of the parts. This fact explains why there are so many different ways of looking at brands – we are implicitly trying to understand this gestalt.

Beyond the gestalt, we also advocate that a brand is much more than a logo, tagline, or the position a company communicates to the market. While these are important, customers and prospects judge the company and its products by far more than that. They don’t experience just the brand communicated in messaging; they experience all ways in which they touch the product and company. They form their thoughts and feelings about the company based on this total experience. The experience is the brand. This total experience shapes the customer mind space occupied by the brand.The mind space occupied by the brand should not be accidental. It needs to be purposeful. This requires the company to be clear about what it wants the brand to stand for. What the brand stands for needs to set the company apart and provide the customer with a reason to buy its products rather than a competitor’s.

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3 min read

Results Generated from Adaptive Choice-based Conjoint Analysis

By Liz Ryan on Jul 19, 2012 8:38:00 AM

By Dan Llanes, Director of Analytics, Hansa GCR

If you’ve been reading along or perhaps attending webinars we’ve been taking a look at the many benefits of Adaptive CBC (Choice-based Conjoint). Now it’s time to turn our attention to the types of results we can generate with this technique. The Adaptive CBC questionnaire contains three major areas, the Build Your Own (BYO) section, the screener and the choice tournament. From these areas we can learn the following from a purely descriptive standpoint:

  • BYO: How often levels were included as part of respondents’ preferred concept
  • Unacceptables: How often levels were considered unacceptable
  • Must-Haves: How often levels were must-haves
  • Screeners: How many products were screened into the consideration set
  • Choice Tournament: How often levels were included in the “winning” concept

These are all important questions, but they only begin to scratch the surface of what is possible with Adaptive CBC data. With the use of a simulator tool, conjoint data comes alive.

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4 min read

Refreshing the Brand: Putting the Brand to the Test

By Liz Ryan on Jul 10, 2012 8:35:00 AM

By Wayne Marks, President, Hansa GCR

In a prior Thoughticle™, Refreshing the Brand: Focusing on Key Brand Elements,” we described Hansa’s proprietary Brand RJVNTR™ process and the brand elements that need to be addressed to create your brand promise. These elements are summarized in the following exhibit.

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4 min read

Refreshing the Brand: Focusing on Key Brand Elements

By Liz Ryan on Jun 7, 2012 8:35:00 AM

By Wayne Marks, President, Hansa|GCR

Is you brand current and impactful? Does it need to be refreshed? Where would you plot yourself on the following chart? Is your brand still on it is initial growth curve? Is it starting to level off? Perhaps decline? Should the brand be refreshed and readied for its next evolution?

To answer the above questions, consider the following:

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1 min read

Small Firms Need Analytics Too: Here's Why

By Liz Ryan on Apr 25, 2012 8:40:00 AM

By Ed Jaffe, Customer Intelligence Consultant, Hansa Marketing Services

Often, when one hears about business analytics, big firms (Amazon, IBM, Google) come to mind. However, analytics aren’t just for the big guys – small companies can also reap the benefits of business analytics to increase revenues and improve the bottom line.

Last year, I consulted with a small Consumer Product Goods (CPG) company. This two year old company’s primary sales channel was the internet, and they had received about 13,500 orders. The owners came to me knowing they had a retention problem (92% of customers ordered two times or less); however, because they had never analyzed their data, they were unaware of

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4 min read

Why Most Brand Tracking Research is Almost a Complete Waste of Time and Money...or Worse

By Liz Ryan on Feb 7, 2012 8:47:00 AM

By Wayne Marks, President, Hansa|GCR

Think of any well-known (niche or global) consumer or business-to-business brand: Oracle, Apple, Coke, Burger King, etc. What comes to mind?

Logos, taglines, symbols, stories, images, and other more abstract meanings we associate with the brand. The better known a brand is to us, the more extensive our knowledge and perceptions will be. In combination, these elements reflect the brand promise. When you buy something, you are essentially buying the promise underlying the brand.

Incredibly, most brand tracking research does not explicitly measure brand promise or whether brands deliver on that promise. Instead, they focus on important – but often less critical (and certainly incomplete) measures like awareness and relevance.

Let’s take a look at what happens when a brand fails to deliver on its promise.

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6 min read

Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Money Pits or Business Critical Management Tools?

By Liz Ryan on Jan 11, 2012 1:01:00 PM

How much money are you spending on tracking customer satisfaction? Consider not just the costs for research, but internal costs of personnel managing research plus all the stakeholders who receive the tracking results or who are otherwise involved in the process. Also consider whether there are opportunity costs – in other words, if you re-deployed these monies to other purposes what could you do with them that might be of value? Perhaps you are spending $100,000. Or, might you even be spending millions like some companies do with massive global customer satisfaction tracking programs. This can be a significant investment for any enterprise and as with any investment, we must ask… how can we get a return?
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4 min read

Stated and Derived Importance - Is it a Mistake to Ask Customers What's Important?

By Liz Ryan on Jan 9, 2012 8:47:00 AM

Written by Dan Llanes, Director of Analytics, Hansa|GCR

At the risk of stating the obvious, marketers care about what’s important -- what’s important to customers relating to products, messages, and brands. Understanding what is important, however, is easier than understanding the why and the how of importance. More specifically, market researchers usually talk mainly about two kinds of importance: stated and derived. We tend to think this view is oversimplified, however, and that it actually interferes with truly understanding customer behavior. In this article, we’ll review stated and derived importance and then discuss why we think there’s more to “importance” than meets the typical researcher’s eye.

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5 min read

Business To Business Research Needs To Change

By Liz Ryan on Dec 1, 2011 10:58:00 AM

By Wayne Marks, President, Hansa|GCR

Marketers confront a real paradox when dealing with business customers, and this paradox is often not realized or addressed in approaches to understanding what drives corporate decisions. The paradox is: Am I selling to a person or a company? The answer is “both.”

At a basic level, interactions between companies are simply interactions between people. That may sound silly, but consider its implications. Buyers who work in companies don’t change their bodies when they leave work and then they go home and become purchasers of consumer goods and services. As consumers, they walk around as a package of thoughts, feelings, and attitudes, along with a history of experiences in buying goods and services and an ever-evolving set of expectations. None of this goes away when they go to work the next day and dress up in their corporate buyer persona.

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