A Brand For All Seasons: Fluency and Versatility

Brands can fit into many different contexts. A bottle of wine can be a gift, an accompaniment to a home-cooked meal, a romantic shared experience, or just a way to relax after a hard day in the office. How do people decide which brand to pick for which purpose? A vast amount of segmentation work is done trying to figure questions like this out.

drinking wine

But could it all be much simpler? New work by academics Davide Giacolone and Sara Jaeger, presented at the Sense Asia conference in Shanghai, suggests it might be. Giacolone and Jaeger were investigating versatility in food and drink – the chances of a given foodstuff being seen as right for a variety of different contexts. They looked at fruit, chocolate bars – and wine. They showed participants a number of common wines with basic details given – the year, the grape, and the country of origin. They then asked which of the bottles they recognised, and whether specific wines would be appropriate for specific occasions.

What they found was simple and intuitive, but it has big implications. Continue reading

Chicken Wings, Context And Emotion

Today’s post was written by Rich Shaw, from our Juice Generation team. It was originally published on his blog.


I’m sitting at my desk writing this on a Friday morning, but I’m already thinking about Friday night. Why? Sometimes we eat chicken wings on Friday. Much like with beer, coffee, wine and cigarettes, my first experience with chicken wings wasn’t gratifying; I can still feel my face grimacing from their spicy, vinegary taste. But since then, I’ve learned to love chicken wings like I love all my vices. For me, chicken wings have to be eaten in a certain type of place on a certain type of Friday. It has to be early, around 7 pm, in a dive bar with the lowest of lights. It has to be after a busy week, just before a busy weekend. The chicken wings should be piled high, and the napkins should be thin and plentiful. Fortunately, I’m not alone in feeling a particular way about food and place.

A recent study looking at people’s emotional responses to food in different consumption contexts highlighted how, where and when we eat affects how we feel about eating. When and where we eat food automatically evokes a mood and feelings about the appropriateness of what we’re about to consume. These feelings then directly affect how we interpret our enjoyment of the food. Continue reading

Door No.14: A Predictive Christmas Market

The 14th entry in our Advent Calendar of Experiments, and the first one which is actually seasonal…!

The Experiment: Validation is a vital part of market research innovation – if your results aren’t replicable and applicable across markets and categories, your new idea might not be so useful. We’ve been running Predictive Markets as a concept testing tool for several years now, based on the ideas in James Surowiecki’s classic The Wisdom Of Crowds – a ‘crowd’ of independent predictions is likelier to get to the truth than a recruited group of experts.

Of course, the problem with concept tests is that you usually only see how well the good ones perform. So we were excited but also nervous when a client came to us with an idea for an experiment – test a bunch of concepts they were definitely going to launch and then see how well all eleven performed in a real test market.

“Are you telling me my concept is a turkey?”

The category? Christmas food. But would it be “ho ho ho” or “no no no” for predictive markets? Continue reading