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.
CB News in partnership with Repères presents an opinion poll conducted among 1085 Second Life residents on their perception of Real Life brands in this universe.
The main thing learnt from the poll was that the presence of RL brands is perceived as positive by a great majority of Second Life residents: 66% believe that the presence of RL brands has a positive impact on SL, whereas 22% believe that RL brands have no impact on SL, and only 11% believe that RL brands have a negative impact on SL. Therefore there is no evidence of any overexposure effect or rejection. On the contrary, the avatars are looking forward to the presence of brands (45% of respondents even want more brands) because they enhance and give more credibility to Second Life:
- they give realism and substance to SL by establishing a link with Real Life,
- they make SL more interesting by increasing the number of residents and thus contribute to a greater permanence of this universe.
On the contrary, the main obstacles have more to do with the fear of spoiling the universe, by being too close to real life or too commercial.
In this context, being present in SL may represent a real opportunity for a brand since beyond the impact of communicating around events linked to the current buzz around SL, the brands can promote RL products and also benefit from the creativity of the avatars by associating them in their innovation processes. The potential of Second Life in the co-creation process is confirmed in this study. The majority of the residents are ready to take part in this type of operation… in exchange for remuneration and visibility. It should be noted that the motivation to take part will be even stronger if the aim is to innovate for a much-liked brand.
Upon analysing the results of the study, it is clear to date, that the brands are still far from having succeeded in exploiting all of their SL potential. For instance no RL brand introduced in SL has succeeded in establishing a strong presence in the minds of residents. According to residents, the RL brands that wish to penetrate SL should offer a sim which:
. associates the philosophy of the universe (namely conviviality, originality and innovation) and the image of the brand
. maintains a link with RL
. is visible, easily spotted
. energises the universe by introducing real added value by offering goods or special offers, by organising events, in a fun manner.
You will find a report on the study here.
For further details, please contact Emilie Labidoire, project manager at Repères Second Life.
Repères Second Life and Pourquoi tu cours are partners of the association Accomplir which has decided to organise a design competition in Second Life for the re-development of the Jardin des Halles in Paris.
This is an extremely interesting example of the application of the principle of socially aware co-creation. This is how Accomplir qualifies its motivation in initiating this approach.
Why are we launching this virtual contest?
Because we love the Halles district, and want to live there pleasantly, in harmony with those who frequent it.
Because the project we are presented with does not satisfy our expectations, which have been clearly expressed, nor does it take into account the surveys previously carried out.
Because we refuse to disavow the official consultation, or challenge the power of the Paris Town Hall, which holds the final decision.
Because it is essential to break the deadlock we have been in for months, and re-establish the urge to demonstrate creativity in les Halles.
We are impatiently looking forward to receiving the projects! (the deadline is 1st June 2007)
The detailed specifications of the competition, the plan of the site and the rules may be consulted on the Repères Second Life site.
Following is the entire press communiqué.
Among the types of studies that may be conducted in Second Life, one area that seems particularly promising to us is that of co-creation: Businesses today are aware that they cannot innovate inside laboratories behind closed doors and that innovation will be successful if it is partly conducted by calling on collective creativity (see the book “Fabriquer le Futur 2” (Creating the Future 2, co-written by Pierre Musso, Laurent Ponthou and Eric Seuillet, who is the president of Fabrique du Futur).
These approaches will develop and are precisely a part of the societal trend of the “Participation generation” described by Thierry Maillet in his latest book “la Génération Participation”. Citizen/consumers are increasingly seeking direct dialogue with the brands and expect them to take into account their proposals.
We believe that Second Life is an ideal platform for this process of co-creation, namely because it allows those who wish to do so to provide their creative input to the brands and to present their designs under the form of 3D prototypes. Prototypes that may then be evaluated by other residents…
To activate this co-creative process, the organisation of a competition is amusing, stimulating and well-adapted to Second Life.
Our first experiments in this direction have been very positive. The first competition we launched, a building competition for a Repères showroom, was initially intended to propose an event for our panellists and to test the principle of competitions. The result is exceptional and I invite you to admire the design, presented in the next two snapshots, by Joshua Culdesac and Piper Pitney on the Repères Second Life island.
You will also find more information on this design and its creators on the Repères Second Life site.
The other competitions we have organised so far, have also been conducted experimentally by our panel, and we have found it more interesting and of greater impact to conduct this work for the benefit of partners who do not necessarily have the means to benefit from our services normally.
We are therefore moving towards two types of co-creation processes in SL:
. Operations for the brands, invoiced according to our usual conditions,
. and, for the purposes of communication and events organisation, joint operations with associations whose projects we support, with a sharing of the costs.
I have the pleasure of announcing the creation at Repères of an Industry and Services quantitative department, headed by Christophe Ralle who recently joined us and will provide Repères clients with the benefit of his experience in these areas.
Christophe’s team will work in perfect synergy with the other departments at Repères: qualitative studies, observation studies, community management, data mining and modelling.
The creation of this new department is consistent with our intention to develop innovative research in all sectors of activity.