How to Take Your Innovation Workshops to the next Level

August 21, 2017

‘Whenever you’re guessing, think of Attest’.

We’re often asked how and where is the best way to start using Attest. So here it is:

Anytime you’re guessing about what consumers what, what’s important to them, what they’re feeling, why they feel that way, and how they rate your ideas. All those moments where you’d love to have some data and facts, but they’re missing. Those times when you have to base important decisions on your best guess, which you know isn’t good enough.

This is exactly what we built Attest to do; answer your burning questions in real-time (however big or small), so you can make consumer focussed decisions with speed and confidence every time. We believe this should be possible, on any topic, for everyone, whenever you need it.

Here are 3 real starting points for how clients are using Attest right now, and the impact Attest can create for you.

1. In workshops


Innovate with continuous consumer input, at every stage.

Several major FMCG companies use Attest in their innovation and new product development processes. Sometimes dedicated workshops, sometimes continuous improvement, but always looking for real input to help achieve better results.

The old way. One FMCG hosts regular 3-5 day long innovation workshops with 10-35 people, designed to come up with new ideas, iterate, and pick a winner to pursue further.

In the past, they only ever included consumer testing at the end, picking just 1 idea - their best guess at which was the best idea - and running that through a traditional 4-8 week testing process. They’d receive a single ‘Red, Amber, Green’ result, on a single idea, usually weeks after everyone involved had left the workshop, when all the buzz had died down.

This model has a slightly over 50% success rate, due to long cycle times, and a lot of guesswork.

New approach, with Attest. The workshops now start with a clear instruction: “Everyone (all 10-35 of you), please test your ideas, assumptions and potential angles for this workshop, starting right now. The idea is to explore, uncover and evaluate, with real consumers. You can test anything you like. Go crazy, move fast, and learn quickly.”

Suddenly, everyone’s immediately thinking about (and engaging with) consumers. Everyone’s receiving direct input and guidance from target customers, in real-time.

They quickly discover that their original subjective preferences are way off-target, and uncover new angles that real consumers find appealing. This allows them to iterate and evolve ideas in huge detail, within a short space of time. It makes the investment in innovation far more powerful and real.

After testing 40 ideas in the morning, by the afternoon they’ve cut the list down to 5-10 to really focus on, and also come up with 5 news ideas in the process - always testing with consumers.

This is bringing real consumer input into the innovation process, right at the most important points. By the end of the process, they have 2-5 new and highly-validated ideas, crisply defined and with consumer appeal baked in, making them ready to run with immediately.

This model squashes bad ideas quickly, and has a 80% success rate (and rising).

Outcomes created by using Attest:

  • Better ideas, more ideas - Bring the voice of customer into every decision. Let real consumer input guide you to explore, iterate and improve in real-time.
  • Remove guesswork - Test ideas earlier and find ever-more detail, eliminating individual/group biases, using facts to inform every choice.
  • Engaged innovation - It’s fun to test and learn in real-time. Teams love seeing results stream in, with the power to react, take risk and explore. Happy innovators, better inputs.

Learn more about using Attest for innovation workshops.

2. In meetings.

productive meetings.jpg

Make meetings more productive with 10x the data, for every topic.

Retailers use Attest to deliver new data during live conversations, particularly group meetings and workshops. The mandate is clear - ‘crack this problem’, ‘consider all the options’, ‘arrive at consensus’ - but so often there’s missing pieces, absent data, and an incomplete picture.

The old way - One retailer hosts weekly management team meetings, where the whole company looks to Marketing and Insights for answers on the latest news and competitive trends.

So often the response is ‘Let us check that out, and get back to you when we can’, or ‘We just don’t have that data,’ or ‘We can see the data says this, but we just don’t know why.’

Existing data and tools are better than nothing, but nowhere near good enough for modern businesses that are hungry for a fact-based approach to decison making.

New approach, with Attest - Live, in the meeting, whenever the executive team is missing data or needs input, they turn to Attest for answers. “We’re guessing here, so let’s find out some answers right now”. “We need to put some facts around this”. It’s a new superpower for the Executive team, simply supported by the Attest platform.

Sometimes they test un-branded, to understand market reactions without undue influence, risk to the brand, or confidentiality concerns. Often, this is for questions like: “That competitor campaign is really cool... but who is it that’s liking it?... who is reacting, who is buying it? ...we need to know now, and we need to start reacting right now!”.

Sometimes they test branded, to drill down into detailed diagnosis. You can use this approach for questions like: “If we take the ideas we’ve collected from peers in the US and Canada, and apply them to our brand, which consumers see it as a fit?… where is it a total mis-match? ...which can we realistically start trialling with confidence?”

Outcomes Attest creates here:

  • Access the data you don’t have - Know 10x more, on any topic, in the moment you need it most. Current/historic analytics gives you so much, but it’s now possible to know so much more.
  • New competitive powers - Unique, privileged insights, customised to your exact target consumers and all happening live, right now. It’s an amazing new asset for your team.
  • Say “let’s test that” more often -  Test hard things. Test your assumptions. Test what’s new. When you can test 10x more, you can try-out many ideas at small-scale, and hit ‘Increase Sample’ to add depth on the ones with interesting observations. Test branded, test unbranded, test detailed, test anything, anytime it’s useful to test (which is most of the time).

Learn more about using Attest for getting the data you don’t have.

3. In pitches

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Wow your clients and win more business with insights they can’t get anywhere else.

Media and Creative Agencies use Attest to find out what’s driving performance and trends. Whether it’s bringing new value to existing clients, or pitching to new clients, showing details and understanding often makes the difference in a win/loss.

The old way - Using static, tired old datasets (like TGI, Gartner reports, and popular stats. - which, as legendary US VC Mark Suster says "people then parrot them around like they’re fact when most of them are complete bullsh*t"). Another old way: simply asking around the office.

It’s hard to stand out if you’re using the same data as everyone else. Hard to quickly crowd-source accuracy, unless the population of your office perfectly matches the consumers you’re trying to reach (which is unlikely). This is the way it’s always been done, but if you want to be new and different, there must be a better way.

New approach, with Attest - Custom data. On demand. For every occasion. Plus, a new superpower… when you see surprising results, with Attest you can actually take action:

Play with Attest’s live Filters, to understand what’s driving the results. The outliers. The splits. The details behind each overall observation.

Hit ‘Share’ to get more people looking at the data, in new ways. Share with the room. Share with the team. Share with Angela who’s meeting a new opportunity in Manchester today. Do it now.

Hit ‘Follow-up’ on the most interesting results, to dig deeper. “You said you’d choose Charcoal for emergency supermarket deliveries… why did you say Charcoal? ...which type of Charcoal? ...what should it come with?” ...what are you doing, and how urgent is the delivery?” With this power, you can really know so much more.

Outcomes Attest creates here:

  • Offer amazing - Client: “That’s a super-cool new insight. I wonder what’s driving that divergence with the over-40s segment?”. Agency: “...let me show you!”.
  • Research like a scientist - Every great piece of research breeds more questions, and better questions. With Attest, you now have the ability to actually do something with those questions. Iterate and research anything, to create empirical miracles!
  • True understanding - Dive deeper and find out the ‘why’ behind the results you’re seeing, by engaging with and understanding the real people behind the data.

Learn more about using Attest for winning client pitches.

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Who's going to stand out this year? Will brands that took a battering in 2017 make a statement in 2018? Will it be the year of challenger brands or incumbents?

To bring you answers to these questions (and more), we reached out to 5 experts with very different backgrounds across startups, content, social media, experiential marketing and audio to share their unique perspectives on who are the brands to watch in 2018.

Alison Battisby, Founder, Avocado Social

Monzo: The digital mobile-only challenger bank saw nearly half a million new users sign up for its services and claim their bright orange bank cards last year. Monzo is a fantastic way to manage your budget thanks to their instant updates in the app showing you how much you've just spent, and provide added value when used abroad thanks to their free withdrawls up to £200. 

Having just received their full UK banking license from the FCA and PRA in 2017, Monzo is rolling out "the best current account in the world". With their slick app and excellent communication, they are playing to millennials by offering a unique customer experience and we're set to see even more new banking features in 2018. 
Sanctus:  The mental health startup based in London has the vision to create the world's first mental health gym, where people can go and work out their mental health fitness as they would their physical fitness. Right now, the company is working with businesses to create space within a company for people to take time off and talk to a Sanctus coach. In 2018, the company aims to work with 50 business partners and continue to spread awareness of mental health. Founder   James Routledge   writes an excellent weekly newsletter on mental health and growing the startup, which is honestly written and is well worth a read .
Neom Organics:  Hot off the heels of significant new investment, this Harrogate-based beauty and wellbeing brand is set to launch a new range of products in 2018, as well as new retail stores both in the UK and abroad. Neom was found by two friends, one of which was an ex Glamour magazine editor who realised her own wellbeing, and that of her close friends, was affected by the stress and demands of modern life. She quit journalism to train as an aromatherapist and nutritionist before founding Neom. The brand's products focus on improving people’s wellbeing through home fragrances and skincare. 
Adam Azor, Managing Director, Curb
My first pick is Pepsi. Lets be honest, Pepsi had an awful 2017 from a brand perspective, they created what they thought was going to be a work of advertising art, an ad that would change the world, but instead it turned them into a global laughing stock.
This is also on a backdrop of huge backlash and increased legislation against sugary drinks. The days when all they had to worry about was competing against Coca-Cola are probably looked on with nostalgia by the marketing team. However Pepsi are a brand with true marketing pedigree, iconic campaigns, partnerships and experiences.
I’m really interested to see how they come back. The test of a great brand is how they react when they are at their lowest. I will be watching Pepsi closely in 2018 to see what they have planned.

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