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Work with Customers to Understand and Shape their Future Needs

Idea posted: March 2015
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing

Understanding future customer needs is a key success factor for competitive advantage. However, an equally important success factor, and one that is often overlooked, is the ability of companies to influence customers on their future needs. Companies that can both understand and shape future customer needs have the greatest chances of future success.

Idea #494
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Word-of-Mouth and On/Off Line Marketing

Idea posted: August 2013
  • Marketing
Institutions: Insper

Increases in online communities have led to behaviours that influence online activities, such as shopping, becoming more and more important for executives to understand if they want their businesses to flourish. One of these behaviours is word-of-mouth communication (WOM). In this Idea, the impact of WOM on consumption is analysed, with a discussion of those strategies that work and those that do not.

Idea #190
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Why the Chief Marketing Officer Matters

Idea posted: February 2016
  • Strategy
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Marketing

The position of Chief Marketing Officer has come under fire recently, with some arguing that a CMO does not really add value to a company. A new research study counters this view; showing that companies with CMOs perform up to 15% better than companies who leave the CMO seat empty. 

Idea #581
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Source: Pixabay

Why Promotions Work Better for Luxury and Hedonic Purchases

Idea posted: March 2018
  • Marketing

New research reveals that promotions are more effective with luxury and hedonic products (think Godiva chocolates or that vacation by the sea) than for more utilitarian products. The reason: they help reduce consumer guilt about the purchase. 

Idea #693
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Shanghai Xin Tian Di, photo by Motohiko Tokuriki, 2010 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Why Increasing Demand Is Not Always the Answer to New Competition

Idea posted: October 2014
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

Faced with a new competitor in the market, an incumbent company is usually expected to respond by investing more into its products to offer products that will please more customers. However, new research shows that a higher product investment in response to competition is not necessarily the best answer. The reason: new entrants may change the incumbent’s return on investment trade-off.

Idea #450
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Plastic face protection from snowstorms. Canada, 1939 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Why Great New Products Fail

Idea posted: April 2016
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing

Many excellent new products fail because companies fail to understand how customers make their purchasing decisions. Specifically, customers decide what they want to buy based on one of two things: their search for new information or the inferences they make based on the information they have. Great new products fail when through their searches or inferences, customers fail to recognize their value.

Idea #601
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Photo by Charlie Deets on Unsplash

Why Gender Differences in Shopping Styles Are Stronger than National Differences

Idea posted: July 2019
  • Marketing

A study of consumers in 10 countries supports the view that gender differences in shopping styles have evolutionary, not socio–cultural, roots. At the same time, the study’s authors argue that national culture characteristics can increase the effect of evolution–driven consumer behaviours. The implication for international marketers is to segment customers based on hard–wired evolutionary traits and national cultural influences. 

Idea #746
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EU Energy Label

Why Differentiating Rating Scale Labelling is Important

Idea posted: August 2014
  • Marketing

Rating scales, such as those used in online review platforms or stores (for example, Amazon or Tripadvisor) or by government rating agencies (such as agencies rating energy savings), allow consumers to evaluate the performance of products or services. However, new research shows that when the scale levels of the rating scale are not distinguished visually (e.g. by colour) or linguistically (e.g. using the linguistically different A, B, C, D rather than A, A+, A++, A+++), consumers are more likely to ignore them — and this can hurt the sales. 

Idea #431
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Why Anthropomorphism Works In Marketing

Idea posted: November 2015
  • Marketing

Talking geckos and other anthropomorphic “spokes-characters,” are ubiquitous in advertisements. Various studies reveal some of the psychological reasons explaining why and how anthropomorphic marketing works — as well as some of the potential risks.

Idea #564
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The Reception, by James Gillray, published 1792. Lord Macartney, the first envoy of Great Britain to China, meeting Emperor Qianlong  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

When Supply Chain Partners Move Up the Value Chain

Idea posted: February 2014
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

The role of suppliers in global supply chains has been evolving from simply providing components to manufacturing entire products. Especially for suppliers in emerging economies, however, successfully moving up the value chain requires internal skills and capabilities as well as the willingness of the client to share not only technology but customer-facing capabilities as well. 

Idea #320
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Replica of Rushworh's music store in Liverpool, where the Beatles bought their first Gibson guitars (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

When Showrooms Help Online Companies

Idea posted: August 2014
  • Marketing
  • Operations

Nearly every bricks-and-mortar company will have an online presence today. But a few intrepid companies are going in the opposite direction: online companies are starting to open offline showrooms — and research shows the result is a boost in sales… and happy customers.

Idea #434
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When Does Downsizing Hurt Customer Satisfaction?

Idea posted: April 2015
  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Operations

Past research based on B2B industries show an intuitive link between downsizing the workforce and lower customer satisfaction. A new study focused on B2C industries reveals that the link is more complex, depending on factors such as organizational slack, labour productivity, and the emphasis on innovation. The study does confirm that downsizing reduces customer satisfaction, which then reduces financial results.

Idea #507
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When Customers Can See More Cost than Benefit in CSR

Idea posted: March 2016
  • CSR & Governance
  • Marketing

Companies should not assume that all customers see the benefit in corporate social responsibility. Some focus on the costs — and are concerned that unfair prices are being used to finance CSR. 

Idea #591
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Photo by Vinicius Amano on Unsplash

When Customer Referral Programs Backfire

Idea posted: July 2019
  • Marketing

A new study reveals that customer referral programs can sometimes backfire: customers are less likely to recommend innovative products when they are rewarded for finding new customers. The study explores the reasons for this surprising negative impact.

Idea #745
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Shopping for hats in London,1942 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

What ‘First Impression’ Data Reveals About Customers

Idea posted: April 2017
  • Marketing

Companies can form a ‘first impression’ of a customer based on the information collected during a customer’s first transaction with a company. This first impression data can help companies predict how often new customers will purchase in the future and how much money they will spend on each transaction. It can also help companies target their marketing campaigns more effectively.

Idea #651
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The Tribuna of the Uffizi (detail), Johann Zoffany, circa 1772-1778, The Royal Collection, Windsor Castle

What to Get Right when Crowdsourcing

Idea posted: October 2014
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Operations

Social media channels have enabled organizations such as Dell, Starbucks, and NASA to successfully reach out to external contributors to collect suggestions, which have in turn stimulated innovation. This research, however, shows that most initiatives to source external contributions fail and that organizations seeking external ideas need to proceed with care and establish proactive processes to avoid potential pitfalls.

Idea #455
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What Companies Learn from Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Idea posted: September 2015
  • Marketing

Are customer satisfaction surveys worth the trouble? Addressing and correcting for some of the core issues with customer satisfaction surveys — specifically, that they are based on perceived and not actual performance, and that there is a potential bias in the results based on who fills out the surveys — a new study confirms that they provide vital information for businesses, including the link between performance and customer behaviour.

Idea #543
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Varied Effectiveness of Paid Endorsements on Social Media

Idea posted: April 2016
  • Marketing

New research reveals the potential benefits and pitfalls of including paid social media endorsers in new marketing efforts. The research notably revealed that paid endorsers are either eager to participate or very effective — but rarely both.

Idea #599
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Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash, Giacomo Balla, 1912 (Courtesy: Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, New York)

Tracking Customers Who Leave Without Saying Goodbye

Idea posted: August 2015
  • Marketing

Customers don’t always inform a business that they are no longer customers. A new model, developed by researchers from Columbia Business School and London Business School and based on customer behaviour, allows companies to disentangle customers who are still active customers from customers who have ‘silently left’. The model also identifies customers who are in danger of leaving. 

Idea #538
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Three Product Innovation Strategies for Emerging Markets and How to Choose

Idea posted: August 2014
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing

Emerging markets such as India or China represent lucrative new markets but also present a set of challenges, including lower income customers, poor infrastructure and poor service availability. There are three fundamentally different types of product and service innovation that can serve these markets: cost, frugal and good-enough innovation. Understanding the differences can help companies choose the right emerging market product innovation strategy for them.

Idea #430
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The Unexpected Impact of Click and Collect Retail Programs

Idea posted: June 2014
  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Operations

When retailers started offering the ‘buy-online, pickup-in-store’ option, also known as BOPS, the assumption would be that online sales would increase. New research shows, however, that BOPS actually reduces online sales while increasing offline sales — a surprising but positive result.

Idea #527
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Gedränge vor dem Geschäft Thomas Prewein, by Josef Engelhart, 1941 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Surprising Benefit of Long Queues for Customers and Business

Idea posted: October 2014
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing

The accepted wisdom is that long lines are bad for business. In fact, they can be very good for business, as long as they are not too long. Research shows that long lines help customers learn what’s worth waiting for, and help businesses attract uninformed customers.

Idea #446
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Playing cards from the French Republic (1793-94), revolutionary images replace Kings and Queens

The Role of Identity When an Organization's Purpose Changes

Idea posted: May 2015
  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Operations

How do organizations respond to multiple business logics with conflicting sets of rules and norms? New research based on a study of four French business schools reveals that institutional and organizational identities will guide an organization’s response.

Idea #514
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Ronald McDonald, Delft, Netherlands, 2005. Photo: M.Minderhoud (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Power of Colour in Marketing

Idea posted: September 2013
  • Learning & Behaviour
  • Marketing

Seeing red and yellow together is likely to make you think of McDonalds, according to this Idea. Such is the power of colours on brand recognition and long-term storage of advertisement information. Certain colours in particular are more stimulating than others, and marketing executives can use this information to build stronger advertising campaigns.

Idea #201
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Guests lounge at the pool at the Dolphin Village Hotel in Shavei Zion, 1954 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Overlooked Longevity of Experiential Goods

Idea posted: March 2014
  • Marketing

When consumers feel financially constrained, they are more likely to choose tangible material purchases over experiential purchases in the belief that those material purchases will ‘last’ longer. This longevity factor can be deceiving, however; material purchases can often be more frivolous (and thus less valuable) than experiential purchases — and experiential purchases can last longer, through memories or well-being for example, than material ones.

Idea #351
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The Boy in the Red Vest (detail) Cezanne c-1890 (Courtesy: Foundation E.G. Bührle, Zurich)

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Covert Marketing

Idea posted: March 2018
  • Marketing

With traditional marketing losing its impact in today’s overcrowded marketplaces, marketers are developing creative covert campaigns to create buzz around their products. Sometimes, however, these covert campaigns can backfire. 

Idea #694
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The Effect of Pruning Sales Channels

Idea posted: November 2013
  • Marketing

A firm that eliminates a search or purchase channel, such as a catalogue, will lose customers who prefer that channel. The decision to eliminate a channel can still be profitable in the long run, as long as the savings from the elimination is greater than the lost revenues. Managers can help the math by taking proactive steps to reduce the level of lost revenues.

Idea #252
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Official U.S. Navy Imagery – a sailor presents his girlfriend with an engagement ring (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Competitive Implications of Customer Expectation

Idea posted: July 2016
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

Past research has shown that products and services that don’t fit specific market categories are more likely to fail in the marketplace. A new study demonstrates that even a product with all the attributes of its category can fail. To truly understand the competitive dynamics of its market, a company needs to look beyond categories, and focus on the customer expectations that underlie those categories. 

Idea #612
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Photo by Negative Space on Pexels

The Benefit of Blockchain Loyalty Programs

Idea posted: November 2018
  • Marketing

A review of the different types of traditional loyalty programs, the challenges associated with those programs, and the potential benefits of blockchain-driven programs reveals the benefit of adapting blockchain technology to loyalty programs. 

Idea #719
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Marriage à la Mode, William Hogarth, 1743-1745, National Gallery London (Source: Wikimedia)

Socially Aware, Media Savvy: Social Media Strategy

Idea posted: March 2013
  • Strategy
  • Marketing
Institutions: Henley Business School

Social media offers both great opportunities, and also challenges, to businesses. For those that embrace social media – by adopting the right strategy – risks can be averted and rewards unlocked. Using a simple framework to create an effective strategy for social media can enable your company to enjoy its benefits.

Idea #111
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