Kind of like the A-team but without the van

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“When there’s no stranger in the room, the truth comes out.” That is the motto of Hatch.

What’s Hatch, you ask?

Hatch is a new approach to consumer research combining two simple techniques: online community studies and in-person discussions.  We use new tech and old-fashioned personal connection to provide companies with what they need to know now.

We have a handful (make that two handfuls) of Hatch projects under our belt and we can’t wait to do more. Over the last couple of years we’ve been cultivating relationships with responsive and articulate consumers. We believe in going beyond the average two hour focus group and engaging our participants on a personal level. We help our participants feel vested. They’re not just part of a quick research study; they are on a brand journey. Continue reading

CES Opener…phasers set to stun??

Qualcomm CES Big Bird Developer

As an expert marketer, not sure how to take this review not having witnessed the presentation live but the opening presentation from Qualcomm this year is a little Saved by the Bell meets Willy Wonka. Remember when Qualcomm was one of the best performing stocks? Think tech bubble.

Via The Verge:  2013 was the first time in many years that Microsoft didn’t host the opening keynote for the Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas. Instead, the show went to Continue reading


Superheroes Management

Who says we don’t need another hero? That’s why I’m really in love with this concept that Superheroes Management has brought to fruition. The founder Jaimeson Keegan has set up a model to merge youth marketing, sports marketing and the subculture into one tidy, flexible and creatively-driven package. They manage superheroes. Here’s what they have to say: Continue reading

The iEconomy starts at $11.25 an hour

Eye-popping article in the NY Times Business Section the other day. For how long will those who support the empire be happy with what they earn in comparison to what they sell? It’s hard being one of the most wealthy companies in the world. What’s the balance between innovation and taking care of your employees? Check out the article for detail behind those Genius workers, their view of the job and how they get hired.






Apple’s Retail Army, Long on Loyalty but Short on Pay

Last year, during his best three-month stretch, Jordan Golson sold about $750,000 worth of computers and gadgets at the Apple Store in Salem, N.H. It was a performance that might have called for a bottle of Champagne — if that were a luxury Mr. Golson could have afforded.

“I was earning $11.25 an hour,” he said. “Part of me was thinking, ‘This is great. I’m an Apple fan, the store is doing really well.’ But when you look at the amount of money the company is making and then you look at your paycheck, it’s kind of tough.”

America’s love affair with the smartphone has helped create tens of thousands of jobs at places like Best Buy and Verizon Wireless and will this year pump billions into the economy.

Within this world, the Apple Store is the undisputed king, a retail phenomenon renowned for impeccable design, deft service and spectacular revenues. Last year, the company’s 327 global stores took in more money per square foot than any other United States retailer — wireless or otherwise — and almost double that of Tiffany, which was No. 2 on the list, according to the research firm RetailSails.

Worldwide, its stores sold $16 billion in merchandise.

But most of Apple’s employees enjoyed little of that wealth. While consumers tend to think of Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., as the company’s heart and soul, a majority of its workers in the United States are not engineers or executives with hefty salaries and bonuses but rather hourly wage earners selling iPhones and MacBooks.

About 30,000 of the 43,000 Apple employees in this country work in Apple Stores, as members of the service economy, and many of them earn about $25,000 a year. They work inside the world’s fastest growing industry, for the most valuable company, run by one of the country’s most richly compensated chief executives, Tim Cook. Last year, he received stock grants, which vest over a 10-year period, that at today’s share price would be worth more than $570 million. Check here to read more at the New York Times.

Storytelling in World that Needs Influencing

We’re fresh off of our first workshop on corporate storytelling. That’s right…the presentations we give day in and out deserve more attention, action and engagement.    That’s where BOON comes in. Our team had a blast taking the PepsiCo Strategy & Insights group (70 people!) through this three-hour adventure. Can’t wait to BOON our way again soon. For more information on how to get your “BOON on”, and to find out what the heck it all means, contact us. We can develop a custom workshop for you that helps what you do connect with others and influence better business decisions.

From the B&W of the Kindle to Full-on Fashion

Amazon is entering the high-end fashion realm – I’m letting out a muffled hooray on my end. Why? I’m tired of wasting time flinging through the designer flash sale free-for-alls on Gilt where nothing seems to fit me anyway and I’m now dinged return fees of $14.95 per item. I love Nordstrom but lately I’m spending too much time trying to find what might work for my style that is on the higher-end realm of things. What do I want? I want Amazon to give me a Mario’s experiences in service and quality of goods in a pre-selected way that makes me want to update and explore great style but without having to go in-store. Great relationships can be built online – we do it all the time in our immersive Hatch research studies. Why can’t this be done with clothing as well? Establishing a safe, trustworthy working relationship that let’s real life take hold and guide genuine recommendations. Costly service – yes. But really all you have to do is sell me just a few pieces of Rachel Zoe at full price (I actually do like her stuff against all my will!) and a couple pairs of perfect shoes and the service has paid for itself.

Part two of this? Let’s talk more soon about how tough it is as a small retail start up to actually get your product listed on Amazon. Red tape and calls to India galore gave us months of pain and suffering at Longshot Apparel that resulted in shoddy listings of our beautiful product. The high-end product showcase they are talking about will have to be a special ops mission. Go Jeff Bezos!

An Illusion of Choice or Just a Reminder?

Courtesy of John Voorhees and the facebook effect. This great infographic is titled “The Illusion of Choice” and while I get it, it’s even a better reminder that the choice of what we buy and consume is ours. Brands are a game of segmentation only it’s us consumers under the coconut shell being pushed to the brand that fits our demographic, mindset and desires. The above is just simply business. Insert any industry in the same overlay will apply.

Drinking Never Gets Old, Even if the Can Is: Churchkey Can Co.

Churchkey Can Co. Flat Top Beer Can from Churchkey Can co. on Vimeo. What is old again. And it is finally available in Portland and Seattle. This beer is darn good and in time for the sunny weather. It was fun working with the Churchkey crew helping them articulate their vision for brand onto and getting it into an action plan. Congrats Ryan, Justin, Adrian, Sean and Lucas for getting making this a reality. It’s worth the effort!