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Reperes - passion for research - Page 3

  • News from Second Life

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    . We have published the results of a new Repères Second Life study: “Purchase Habits”, to know everything there is to know about the shopping habits of SL residents, ranging from the frequency with which they visit shops to the psychological price of clothing for avatars. You can read a complete report on the study here.

    . Marie Juan Lallier has published a note in her blog "Pourquoi Second Life n’est pas une déviance ? "(Why Second Life isn’t a deviance?)

    . The apéros du jeudi organised on Thursday 22 February, by Jeremy Dumont from the agency pourquoitucours gave me the opportunity to share a few thoughts about Second Life (the summaries of all the talks are available on the blog levidepoche) and especially to explain what, according to us, constitutes the three main areas of opportunity for brands in Second Life:
    • communication: Second Life can enable brands to offer an experience of immersion in the values of the brand via a site presenting the brand’s platform in an interactive and fun manner,
    • e-commerce: Second Life, often considered as the future of the Web, is characteristic of what could be the future of e-commerce, more human and more experience oriented,
    • lastly, an area which especially interests us at Repères Second Life, this platform gives us an opportunity of offering brands protocols for the co-creation of products and services: this is a typical example of participative marketing, with creative residents who wish to express themselves and to act and whom the brands will be able to call on in order to develop their offers.

  • Repères Second Life in the Media (continued)

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    The interest previously shown by brands and the media in Second Life has been confirmed. On Christmas day, we had the pleasure of discovering the television report by Soir 3 on Second Life, which included sequences shot at Repères and a short excerpt of the interview I had given on this occasion. This report can be seen on YouTube.

    At the beginning of the New Year, François Laurent also interviewed me on his Blog marketingisdead.

  • The 1rst survey from Reperes Second Life

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    Today we are communicating the main research findings of our 1st exploratory study conducted with residents from Second Life and dealing with their perception of this universe. 137 residents from our panel have completed our survey.

    These results reinforced our perception of Second Life as a deeply humain universe. According to its residents, Second Life is first at all :

    The largest community ever created, offering opportunities for exchanges with other people ranging far beyond that of the simple chat room,

    A step forward for humanity with :
    . more athenticity and access to the real self,
    . the opportunity to develop and even surpass oneself via apprenticeships and the use and unexploited skills,
    . an infinite potentiel for discovery and creativity.

    I invite you to read the main research findings of the analysis. For more details about this survey, do not hesitate to contact Emilie Labidoire, Reperes Second Life project manager.

  • The Home Use Blog or the Blog at the Service of Innovation

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    In January 2006, during the National Marketing Day organised by Adetem, Romain Moronzier from Danone Research told me about a problem his team was tackling: How to evaluate the relevance of disruptive technology with consumers, namely when it implies new habits or gestures.

    The problem of testing disruptive innovation is indeed a recurring problem in market research: confronted with innovation, the consumer can turn out to be a poor evaluator and to give arbitrary answers that say nothing about the future success or failure of the innovation being tested.

    The question raised by Danone Research reminds me of a conversation I had a few months earlier with Christophe Rebours, the founder of the management and innovation agency In Process. Christophe mentioned the launch of the talking rabbit Nabaztag and explained to me that with such an atypical product the approach adopted had consisted of not conducting a test with consumers but of launching the product on a small scale to observe whether or not it would find its place within the community of first users.

    The best way to find out whether an innovation is going to work, is to make it live. However, our customers can’t afford to repeat launches “just to see”. With Danone Research we looked for an approach which, with a reduced cost and in a short time, would enable us to test innovations by integrating two dimensions which seem essential to the relevance of the innovation test: experience and exchange.

    It is a fact that in the absence of concrete experience consumers find it hard to anticipate:
    . they find themselves locked up within their perceptive frameworks based on a past experience and one probably not relevant to the innovation being tested,
    . in addition when the concept is being tested they tend to call upon rational thoughts, whereas the body, sensations and emotions are insufficiently relied on.
    At the same time, the manufacturer also ignores how the innovation will be appropriated or used by the future consumer (concerning this François Laurent was telling me how surprised clients who had commissioned an experiment with television on mobile phones were: the majority of uses were not outside the home, as expected, but in bed)

    The dimension of exchange is another component we believe to be essential for testing innovations: the importance of the impact of word-to-mouth between consumers is growing. Today, the asymmetric relation between a communicating brand and the consumer as a simple receiver is no longer accepted. Consumers refer more to their peers, namely via the Blogosphere which provides them with a new realm of expression, exchange, reference and will soon help them in their decisions too.

    Our research protocol therefore had to respect these two conditions of experience and exchange:
    . a prototype tested in the conditions of actual use,
    . with communication between users and namely a dissemination of uses and perceptions.

    That is how we came to launch Home Use Blog: a community of consumers who test a product and share their experiences on a Blog. At the same time as the consumer Blog, a discussion forum enables exchanges within the project team (client company, market research institute…).

    The Home Use Blog protocol is simple:
    . we recruit 10 to 15 consumers,
    . each participant is interviewed separately and is instructed on how to use the community Blog. Participants are given a product to test during a given period, 10 days to a fortnight in the studies already conducted,
    . during this test period respondents share on a daily basis their experiences on the Blog, via texts, images, emoticons, etc. Thus generating an effect of amplification and acceleration (one use test generates x tests with immediate validation or invalidation) and an effect of regulating and testing the duration of opinions and practises.

    The findings gathered are extremely instructive especially thanks to the special aspects of the Blog as a communication tool, it being at the same time private and social. And unlike focus groups where the effects of leading may perturb the reliability of the information, the experiences or the opinions of the other participants are taken onboard and reinterpreted but without altering their individuality.

    In the end, the Home Use Blog is a wonderful, adaptable and quick experimental tool, in line with clients’ timing, an impressive tool for exchange (between consumers, between consumers and manufacturers and between the members of the project team) and for getting close to consumers. This protocol is perfectly in synch with the strategy adopted by brands of placing the consumer at the heart of the innovation process.

    The use of the Blog as an information gathering tool in innovation tests has a promising future before it. We would like to conduct experiments with larger samples of consumers soon.

    This method was the object of a joint Danone Research / Repères presentation at SEMO, the market research exhibition which was held on 7th and 8th November 2006.

  • Repères Second Life in the Media

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    The announcement of the opening of our offices aroused definite interest, confirming the current appeal of Second Life and the relevance of our approach.

    In the press, we had the pleasure of being interviewed by:
    . Sophie Peters for Les Echos
    . Jean Bernard Litzier for Le Figaro
    . Tanguy Leclerc for CB News
    . other interviews have been or will be done (articles not yet published) with LeMonde2, Télérama, VSD, Le Journal du Dimanche…

    Our Press Communiqué also featured in different on-line newsletters: emarketing.fr, strategies.fr, Influencia, Neteconomie

    Lastly, we would like to thank bloggers who mentioned the launch: SLObserver, of course, but also David Castera, Jerome Boutelier, Wangxiang Tuxing.

    Lastly, during the SEMO, the French annual market research exhibition which was held on 7 and 8 November, on our stand we set up an access terminal to Second Life: our clients and colleagues, many of whom were discovering Second Life for the first time, were enthusiastic and were won over by Repères’ initiative and especially by the fascinating aspect of this new universe.

    What is more, we may have found a first client for a future Repères Second Life study! This would be for a company set up in Second Life who wishes to interview its visitors. At best I expected to find a first client in 6 months or a year…

    This initial feedback is particularly encouraging. It is now up to us to fulfil the expectations aroused. To do so we will dedicate more human resources to the Second Life Repères team.

    The first study (self-financed by Repères) conducted among residents who have joined our panel will take place in the next few days. It will concern a first exploratory approach, the findings of which will be published.

    This of course is only a beginning: the prospects in terms of studies are extraordinarily promising (access to a creative international and avant-garde community, innovation tests, visits of virtual shops…).