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Doing Business in an Expanding Reality - Page 8

  • Best whishes from Reperes

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    Happy new year, and please see the film below to discover our wishes for 2008.

  • Understanding and mobilizing the consumer 2.0 via communities

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    For approximately two years at Repères we have been engaged in the process of updating the tools used in market research. Our objective is to look for better ways of accompanying our clients, in a context in which society is undergoing major changes: traditional tools are less and less able to provide an accurate picture of reality today, whereas new approaches, previously inconceivable for technical and budgetary reasons, now provide access to a wealth of new and highly relevant information.

    Among these new approaches, we are investing especially in all the “collaborative” techniques which represent a change of position within our profession. The citizen consumer is moving from the status of respondent to that of participant.

    Hence, on the occasion of the last SEMO trade show, Emilie Labidoire, in charge of Repères Communautés, and I presented a series of collaborative approaches aimed at the following:

    . mobilising consumers and involving them in designing the offer:
    - co-designing, namely by using the Second Life platform,
    - a concept test under the form of a collaborative blog, with 60 to 80 respondents alternating during a fortnight between collective exchanges and individual questionnaires
    - a prototype test via the Home Use Blog, previously mentioned in this blog

    . but also at gaining a better understanding of consumers via the creation of Virtual Communities of Interests, making it possible for a company to get a better understanding of its target and to continuously exchange with this target in a real spirit of partnership.

    In addition to this new position as a “participant”, clearly in line with that of the consumer-citizen today (Cf. the book, “Génération participation” by Thierry Maillet), the strong point of these approaches is that they are based on new time frames: We are no longer working with 15-minute quantitative questionnaires or 3-hour focus groups, but with a collaborative experience over one or two weeks (collaborative concept test, Home Use Blog) or even several months (Communities), thus providing a definite opportunity for ideas to ripen and for the experience to be integrated. Another important aspect is the advantage of asynchronous communication limiting leading effects (each participant integrates the opinions of the others, but with a "distance" which enables him or her to evaluate these opinions and to preserve his or her individuality) and also makes it possible for the respondent to express himself/herself in a very personal way.

    At Repères, we are continuing to develop and experiment with these collaborative methods which hold great promise, naturally for general consumer issues but also in the field of BtoB (for example: the development of a co-design protocol with certain key customers, or the creation and moderation of communities of retailers…)

    In short, we are fortunate to be working in a fascinating profession offering a host of new prospects!

  • The Home Use Blog at Pangborn

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    fc170562b8d3d7bc2a28b5dd667c749d.gifWith the Danone Research team we had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the prestigious Sensory Science Symposium Pangborn, which was held in Minneapolis in August.
    On this occasion, Michel Rogeaux and I had the opportunity of presenting the Home Use Blog to the scientific community involved in the field of sensory studies and consumer tests.
    As a reminder, the Home Use Blog is a protocol by which consumers test an innovation and exchange impressions in a community blog during the entire experience. This dual immersion of the product experienced by each respondent and within a community proves to be an extremely rich source of information and insight. At the same time, the possibility for the project team of monitoring the test day by day allows for a great deal of adaptability and is very motivating.

    This approach is also highly flexible: Since November 2006, when we presented the methodology for the first time at SEMO with Danone Research, we have had the opportunity of using Home Use Blog (for Danone and for other manufacturers) in a great variety of configurations:
    . in different countries, over varying periods of time (with a project in the very short term for a HUB during 3 months).
    . by combining the Home Use Blog with other approaches, for example by organising at the end of the blog a Focus Group with the participants face-to-face to work in a more creative manner on the elements of the product mix.

    In a nutshell, we are convinced that this method will become firmly established as part of marketing research practises in product development processes. The enthusiastic response on the part of the participants at the Pangborn conference backed us up in our conviction.

    You will find here the slides of the Home Use Blog presentation at Pangborn.

  • Results of the Jardin des Halles Competition

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    Joshua Culdesac and Piper Pitney are the winners of the competition "Call for collective design for the Jardin des Halles" initiated by the association Accomplir, the agency Pourquoitucours and Repères. The jury found the creative approach in the design of the Garden of Islands proposed by Joshua Piper especially appealing.

    The garden proposed by Yaox Bruner awarded the “public prize” following the votes of the Repères Second Life panel:

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    Lastly we would like acknowledge the quality of the proposals of all the participants, which may be seen during the whole summer on the Repères Second Life Islandor on video youtube.

    This competition was principally aimed at accompanying the Accomplir Association in its fight against the project selected by the Paris City Hall. The objective was not to create the future Jardin des Halles but to prove that other designs were possible which associated creativity and compliance with certain spécifications. The final objective of the members – volunteers – of the association Accomplir being to convince the Paris City Hall to abandon the project and to launch an official competition for the garden.

    We do not yet know what will be the outcome of this process but it is clear that Accomplir has made a clear statement in favour of its case thanks to Second Life; the association has benefited from wide media coverage enabling it to express its views (articles in Le Parisien, Paris Obs, Matin Plus, Lemonde.fr, lexpress.fr , BBCnews) ...And has effectively countered any criticism as to its alleged support of the status quo or rejection of innovation.

    As for Repères, our action as a sponsor of this competition has enabled us to validate once again the relevance of Second Life as a platform for co-design, even for Real Life uses.

  • Repères wins the Marketing Magazine Innovation Trophy

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    On May 22 last, we had the pleasure of receiving the Marketing Magazine Innovation Trophy 2007 in the Studies category.

    The profession rewarded our installation in Second Life, Repères having accomplished a world premier by developing a market research activity in a virtual world.

    Obviously we are very happy and proud of this award, and I take this opportunity to once again thank the whole Repères Second Life team: Emilie Labidoire, Christophe Desgouttes, Hailong Xia and Moragh McVicar.

    This award is timely in that it comes as a crowning achievement following a very fruitful first six months of Repères in SL:
    . We are now well established within the SL community, following the exploratory studies we have conducted and published (cf. the Repères Second Life site) and following the organisation of design competitions (Repères showroom, Fabrique du Future Building, The Halles Gardens in Paris)
    . our panel includes 8000 original residents from all countries ready to take part in qualitative and quantitative research as well as in co-creation projects,
    . within the next few days we will be launching our first research project commissioned by a customer (in our initial plan, we expected our first order only after a year in activity...)
    . And more generally speaking our presence in SL has given us the opportunity to take part in many events in France and abroad and to present the different tools used by Repères.

    In conclusion I would like to stress that our presence in Second Life is perfectly consistent with the strategic vision for the next 5 years that we have defined for Repères – Passion for Research:

    To be in 2011 the research institute:
    connected worldwide and constantly renewing and updating the tools of the profession by being a reference in terms of methodology and innovation


    An entrepreneurial vision that is indeed ambitious, but also clearly has the power to mobilize… and is rather fun.