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  • Best Wishes for 2009 and Repères Prospects

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    On behalf of the entire Repères team, I wish you all the best for 2009 and much success personally and professionally.

    The beginning of the new year is always a time for reflection, even more so this year which has started in an atmosphere highly conducive to anxiety.

    I would therefore like to take this opportunity to step back from this very short-term and hackneyed vision of the crisis to share with you some of the medium-term strategic issues for Repères.

    From my standpoint as the CEO, I believe that in such periods of uncertainty there is all the more need for us to focus on respecting the core identity of the company (the values and mission) AND at the same time to renew and optimise everything that is not a part of this core identity (organisation, process, methods…).

    This belief is largely exposed in the writings of the American academic Jim Collins:
    "The most enduring and successful corporations distinguish their timeless core values and enduring core purpose (which should never change) from their operating practices and business strategies (which should be changing constantly in response to a changing world)" Jim Collins - Built to last

    In the case of Repères our core values are the following:

    Our mission is “to help companies design, develop, optimise and market their offers of products and services”.

    In accomplishing this mission we respect four core values:

    . Rigour, with high-quality services,
    . Honesty and ethics
    . A spirit of partnership with our clients and internally with our different teams,
    . A permanent quest for progress, in individual terms and regarding processes.

    These core values are not destined to change. However, with the aim of making all the rest evolve, we constantly seek to optimise our methods and processes to ensure we are always in synch with the needs and constraints of our clients. This has led us to successfully innovate in certain areas of research (testing products and brand images, qualitative studies...) in which the application of innovative approaches generates enhanced relevance and more value for money.

    This strategy is a response to our objectives for the next 5 years which translate into a vision. Hence the Repères vision for the period 2006-2011 is as follows:

    « In 2011, Repères is the research institute which is:
    . Connected globally,
    . Has renewed and continued to renew the tools of the profession,
    . By being a reference in terms of methodology and innovation »

    This vision is clearly associated with the Repères positioning: the aim is to renew research tools, not as an end in themselves, but in order to provide the most valuable contributions for our partner-clients.

    I propose we meet in 2001 to assess the realization of this vision :-)


  • SEMO 2008 : Repères Wins Two Grand Prix des Etudes Awards

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    Last november, we had the honour of being awarded two trophies at the Grand Prix des Etudes Marketing event organised by Marketing Magazine and SEMO:
    . The bronze trophy in the “Field Research” category for the chocolate cake prefmap conducted for the R&D department of Kraft Biscuits,
    . and the silver trophy in the “International Research” category for the Thalys Emotional Monitoring project.

    We would like to thank our clients (especially Marie-Christine Marcuz and Cédric Liège from Kraft Biscuits as well as Béatrice Pâques from Thalys) for their confidence in our projects.

    We are particularly proud of these two prizes:

    . The Fieldwork prize gives us the opportunity of showcasing the high level of expertise of Repères (by nature less conducive to obtaining media coverage than our recent developments): the development of sophisticated research protocols involving major logistics, especially in the case of product tests. The prize-wining project was part of a preference-mapping approach in which each respondent had to test the entire group of products, in this case 15 varieties of chocolate cake. We used a protocol in the form of sessions, each of the 250 respondents being pre-recruited and returning two Saturdays in a row to finally taste all of the products according to a balanced user experience planning.
    This complex data gathering process allows for a highly enhanced level of analysis: identification of the key preference drivers, modelling of the links between consumer appreciation and sensorial profiles of products, updating of consumer segments having specific organoleptic expectations.

    . The “International” Thalys Emotional Monitoring prize was awarded to us for our work in creating and developing the Emotional Monitoring tool, a real breakthrough in understanding and monitoring imaginary dimensions associated with brands. Initially developed for Moët Hennessy this tool is now used by several major advertisers, especially internationally.

    Without going into the details of the Thalys strategy, we may evoke the contributions provided by such an Emotional Monitoring study conducted simultaneously in several countries:

    - to identify and quantify the emotional background built by the brand among its clients:

    o to understand what customers feel about the brand at an emotional level,
    o to measure the individual differences in this emotional experience to know all the existing perceptions of the brand and how much they weigh respectively,
    o to measure the emotional tie created between the client and the brand thanks to quantitative emotional indicators.

    - To put into perspective the perception of customers with the brand platform and to identify convergences, dissimilarities but also the potential and risk for the platform

    - To have a global international perspective (to identify the federating trans-national identity for all countries) and by country (to identify the national specifics in terms of expectations and sensibilities) in view of a common strategy to be adapted for each country.

    In addition to this prize, Emotional Monitoring was the focus of special attention at SEMO: We had the pleasure of presenting a workshop on this method with Hélène Coric, Head of Strategic Research and Planning at Heineken France, whom we thank warmly. The objective was to relate the case study of Heineken's use over time of Emotional Monitoring as a complement to quantitative image tracking. We were thus able to present the benefits of the Emotional method, especially when used in synergy with more traditional approaches such as image tracking.

    For further information about this method, do not hesitate to contact Catherine Schutz, Partner at Reperes ou Sandrine McClure, head of the qualitative department.

  • Datamining at Repères

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    During the last fifteen years at Repères we have developed a high level of expertise in the analysis of market research data for the modelling of consumer preferences. Our work has been based on Trade-Off analysis models and on Preference Mapping tools. From services that were only initially proposed within the framework of market studies conducted exclusively by Repères, we progressively evolved towards services involving customised modelling, by working on data from a variety of sources that our clients provided us with: sensorial evaluations, physico-chemical measurements, panel data, client data-base extractions...

    In order to further develop this expertise and to promote it more widely we decided to create within Repères a department dedicated to Datamining, which intervenes either independently, based on client data, or in synergy with Repères research projects. The management of this department has been entrusted to Fabien Craignou, previously in charge of quantitative Senior studies at Repères and a specialist in research involving preference modelling.

    As a complement to the Trade-Off and Preference Mapping models referred to above, the team now has extensive expertise in the use of Bayesian networks, an especially effective learning and modelling technique, that we have applied successfully for the development of typologies and scoring based on client data.

    In compliance with the vision of Repères, the objective of this department is to take part in the development of new tools for the profession and the dissemination of new practises. Hence Fabien's presentation, in partnership with Lionel Jouffe from Bayesia, of our work on the identification and modelling of the appreciation of a product at the latest Sensometrics seminar in St Catharines in Canada:

    Also attached is another presentation from our Datamining department, again in partnership with Bayesia, conducted during the SKIM conference in Barcelona last May. The objective was to present the advantages of Bayesian networks for defining consumer typologies, namely within the context of the ‘Uses and Attitudes’ studies. Among the advantages of the method a key point is that we analyse links of all variables 2 by 2 without establishing any principle ex ante – contrary to the usual approach of canonical typology, which requires dividing variables into two groups, for example, on one side uses and on the other attitudes, a method which is at times highly arbitrary (“I use this product every day”, is that a behaviour or an attitude, or both?).

    For more details concerning these services, or more generally on Datamining services, please contact Fabien Craignou.

  • Repères Winner of the 2008 Silver Trophy for Innovation in Marketing Research

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    The Repères Community Hub was created in the autumn of 2006 with the aim of devising and implementing new marketing study approaches, and to do so by activating new web platforms (collaborative sites, virtual worlds, online communities…).

    To this day the contributions of the Repères Community Hub consist of the implementing of co-design protocols or more generally speaking collective intelligence collaboration procedures.

    To our great satisfaction these initiatives have provoked a positive response from the profession which has acknowledged them. After last year’s Gold Trophy for our introduction into Second Life, we are proud to have been awarded another prize by the jury of professionals assembled by Marketing Magazine.

    The prize-winning project this year concerns a Jean-Paul Gaultier Parfums “Research Community”: we have worked for the brand to set up and moderate the community of sellers in permanent contact with the marketing team.

    This community:
    . provides access to knowledge, with a constant relay of information from the field,
    . provides opportunities for exchanges, with the sellers who are able to react in a qualitative manner to the new product launches, and point-of-sale projects,
    . provides an opportunity for collaboration and co-design for new offers and marketing operations.

    This prize is all the more gratifying since it relates to a new field high in potential, namely in BtoB: the deployment of procedures aimed at activating the collective intelligence of networks.

    I would like to thank the Repères Communities team, Emilie Labidoire, Christophe Desgouttes and Stéphanie Hahn, as well as Jean Paul Gaultier Parfums, and more particularly Fany Péchiodat who entrusted us with this project.

  • Repères at the Esomar Congress: 2006, 2007 ... and 2008!

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    For those who do not know the Esomar Congress it is probably the most prestigious event in the field of market research where professionals from all over the world present their most recent research.

    We were therefore delighted to learn that we were selected to present a paper at the next Esomar Congress; this is the third time in a row (which to my knowledge, is a first for a French research institute:- ):

    . in 2006 at the London Congress, with Moët Hennessy we presented the Emotional Monitoring tool, a real disruptive innovation for the understanding and monitoring of the imaginary perception of a brand, and which has now become the object of a licence with partners in the United States (PERT) in Germany (OPINION) and in Spain (ADVIRA) who now offer Emotional Monitoring to their own clients .

    . in 2007 our presentation at the Congress in Berlin concerned our presence in the virtual world of Second Life,

    . and finally, in 2008 in Montreal, with Danone Research we shall present a paper on the inclusion of non verbal communication in our research methods, via VideoEtude, a concept developed by our partner Franck Saunier. It concerns a whole field of research aimed at approaching the consumer from a holistic point of view by never separating verbal from non-verbal communication at any stage of the study. Beyond the theoretical aspects, we shall present very concrete examples in two areas that seem especially promising: The detection of unconscious insights able to help anchor disruptive innovations, and the measurement of the emotional involvement aroused by a stimulus (concept, communication, product...).