An Interesting BreakfastPosted by Jason on January 17, 2013 Share
Yesterday morning we had a delightful visit from Ole Bjørn Landsverk, a brand consultant to Meny, Norway's equivalent to Whole Foods. (He also happens to be Craig's father-in-law.) One of his roles is to advise and develop the brand strategy for the chain, and spent some time sharing thoughts on their framework for 2017. That's right. 4 years away.
I was inspired by his sense of exploration. At 50, when everyone told him he was crazy, he went to get his PHD in branding in England anyway. Now everyone calls him "Professor."
Our whole team asked him questions about branding and strategy, and then gaped at his thoughtful responses. He shared about studying trends in the market and avoiding focus group testing. One leads to key insights for understanding customers, and the other is a dead end. For instance, by observing trends, they are noticing that a majority of their customers are going to 3 or 4 different grocery stores a week to buy less than 6 items a visit. They are so busy they only shop one day at a time to prepare one meal at a time. On the other hand, they don't bother with focus group testing because creatives have a way of envisioning something that is yet to be.
He also explained the investigation of different segments of their brand. It is one thing to have a relationship with a brand like Coca-Cola, where you have an interaction with a product and some marketing. It is different kind of thing to brand an environment and an experience where customers are considering a multitude of products, service interactions, convenient accessibility, and alternative buying behaviors.
You can tell he is genuine about his work because his curiosity extends into an excitement about visits to every grocery store in town.
I am thankful for a reminder to be interested. How amazing – to have the gift of using my faculties to make a difference in the way a brand interacts in the world.
What is something you can imagine being curious about for the next 20 years?