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The Social Media Holy War of Über-Fans

Products and services are increasingly focused in the way they are made and marketed to the potential client. Companies tend to their flock of fans - potential and loyal alike - by learning about all that makes them tick which, in turn, encourages the birth of über-fans. When a niche of über-fans is well tended to, a fascinating phenomenon can happen, where they start behaving like a hive-mind, regrouping like-wise thinkers who actively defend their modern fandom like zealots.

You may have heard of such groups and their accompanying rivalries; you may even be part of one: Mac vs. PC, Playstation vs. Xbox, Honda vs. Volkswagen, and the list goes on and on. The modern marketing war is no longer waged with TV ads saying Pepsi is better than Coke; it is now waged on social media with memes being thrown at each other’s Facebook walls and Twitter accounts. The level of engagement can range from simply liking everything that shines a positive light on a company to literally stalking the posts of rival brands to brag about how much their own side is better.

You may wonder at this point, why is the behaviour of über-fans so important?

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Luxury for all!

I’ll admit it - I have purse envy.  There’s nothing more frustrating than watching a group of 18-year olds strut the latest Louis or Longchamp.  The curious thing is that more and more of them do!  As a market researcher and avid people watcher, I can’t help but ask myself since when has luxury become so accessible?

Luxury has always been associated with beautiful, hand crafted goods produced in limited quantities and accessible only to the elite of society.  Luxury was the promise of history, of tradition, of quality and symbolized status, a status that the mere mortal could only aspire to attain. 

Today’s marketplace is the realization of what Silverstein and Fiske so eloquently described as “masstige” – prestige for the masses – over a decade ago.[i]  And while you and I (and pretty much anyone else), can now acquire that which was once out of reach, what is the downside for the brand?

Brand dilution is the greatest risk that makers of all things luxury take when deciding to jump on the masstige bandwagon. 

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Les benchmarks : une affaire de pertinence!

Lorsqu’ils nous confient des sondages de satisfaction de clientèle, de mobilisation des employés ou des mesures d’efficacité publicitaire, nos clients réclament généralement des benchmarks pour comparer leurs résultats.

Cette demande est légitime. En l’absence de références, il est souvent difficile de conclure. Que vaut une note de satisfaction de 7,4 sur 10? Faut-il se réjouir ou se retrousser les manches? Les benchmarks répondent donc à un besoin essentiel : donner un sens au résultat en le mettant en perspective.Le réflexe courant est alors de rechercher le plus gros benchmark possible. Mais à quoi bon se comparer à un grand ensemble si les cas qui le constituent ne sont pas similaires au sien? Ainsi, tout benchmark doit avant tout passer le test de la pertinence...

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What you always wanted to know about online reporting without ever asking

So you want to jump onboard the online reporting trend, but don’t know where to start?  At Ad Hoc Research, we’ve been fortunate enough to get in on the trend rather early.  In fact, after two years of intensively using an online reporting and dashboarding tool, my colleagues and I have come to the conclusion that succeeding at online reporting in market research takes the perfect combination of client, project, time and money! 

Before making the leap, here are four questions you should ask yourself:

(1). Is this really what my client wants?

The benefits of online reporting are great - the capacity to analyse large quantities of data according to personalised needs in a visually appealing way - however, a client that is not comfortable with technology or that wants their supplier to analyse the data for them may be frustrated with online reporting.  Yes, it sounds sexy to say your reporting is going online, but at the end of the day, it needs to fit the client’s needs.  Ideally, your client is technologically forward, a staunch believer in “D-I-T” (Doing-It-Themselves) and needs to drill-down data.

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Les émotions, ça se mesure!

Il est maintenant possible d’établir une mesure objective des émotions en analysant les expressions faciales, véhicules universels d’émotions (sauf peut-être pour les joueurs de poker, passés maîtres dans l’art de les masquer!). De nombreuses solutions existent aujourd’hui (ex. : Noldus, Affectiva, Nviso, Emotient, Eyeris, Sension, etc.). La plupart sont basées sur les travaux de Paul Ekman, éminent psychologue américain, pionnier dans l’étude des émotions et de leur lien avec les expressions faciales.

Comment ça fonctionne? Alors qu’une personne regarde un stimulus donné sur son écran d’ordinateur (ex. : publicité), une webcam filme son visage en gros plan et y applique une grille de détection des expressions faciales. Ces expressions sont ensuite analysées à l’aide d’un système de codification faciale automatisé qui déduit les émotions de base (joie, surprise, tristesse, peur, colère et dégoût). Chacune de ces émotions est représentée par une courbe reflétant l’évolution en temps réel de l’émotion tout au long du visionnement du stimulus. Les résultats peuvent ensuite être analysés sur une base individuelle ou de manière agrégée (ex. : par groupe d’âge, selon le sexe, etc.). Il est ainsi possible de déterminer avec précision la nature des émotions ressenties, mais aussi le moment précis où ces émotions sont ressenties.

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