Jamie Gailewicz, Bailey Brand Consulting Vice President of Client Services: How many times have we, as Jane explained, gone away for four or five weeks to do research and then come back, looked at the insights and gone: “Oh man, I wish I would have asked this question” or “Oh man, I wish I would have had that question,” or “I wish I would have put this stimulus into that.” This allows us to say: “Oh, we can do that tomorrow.”
Voice-over: Welcome to The Bailey Video Podcast. Today we're talking to Jane Mount from Libran Research & Consulting about Agile Research. Let's take a listen.
Eric Yeager, Bailey Brand Consulting Associate Creative Director and Director of Media Production: Jane, Jamie, good morning. Thanks for joining me. I’m super excited to have you guys here. So, Jane Mount, you are from Libran Research & Consulting, and Jamie Gailewicz, you are from Bailey Brand Consulting — welcome. I’m so excited to talk today about our topic; we're going to be talking about Agile Research. When I think of Agile, I typically think of something more associated with software development or websites. Jane, I want to kick it off to you because you're the expert: what is this methodology? How does it work?
Jane Mount, Libran Research & Consulting President: Think about it in two ways: one is flexible. So, we have a flexibility of different types of techniques: Agile Research could take place online, in person or over the phone, but it's also integrated into your project management process. You are learning and iterating while you're developing — It's very quick. How it works is that we engage respondents and consumers to get the voice of the consumer all along the way. There are different techniques we can use: one that's really popular is to engage an online market research community, where we have a group of respondents along the way.
Eric Yeager: You had mentioned gathering information and the voice of the consumer. Jamie, maybe you can speak to us on that. How important is it for a brand to really understand the voice of their consumer?
Jamie Gailewicz: It's everything, right? When you think about making brands matter, who are you making them matter for? You have to understand the consumers, your customers’ behaviors and attitudes. In today's market, specifically for 2021 through this pandemic, they're changing faster than ever, and businesses and leaders need to understand and adjust to the evolving market — it's key, right? Leaders must stay connected to their consumers. This Agile approach allows you to do that. It also allows you to be very responsive and flexible to those needs. When we think about the Agile approach or voice of the consumer, it's the core — it’s the center of creating a brand.
Eric Yeager: How exactly does it work? Jane, can you take us through some of the steps you take to conduct market research in this manner?
Jane Mount: The way it works is we set up a market research online community and engage the entire team to participate — what I mean by participate is that I will engage the consumers and get feedback. In essence, they will be co-creating with us: we will be presenting them with ideas, we will be getting their insights, and they will be helping us iterate our product and our brand along the way. The benefits are probably threefold. One is this flexibility of method: if we need to get deep, qualitative insights from them, we can do that; if we need to get some more quantitative insights, we can do that very quickly. We also are saving money: it's lower cost than some traditional methods. Another key benefit is that you're getting broader, more profound insights. You're learning a little bit more than you would have in the past, where in the past you're stage-gate: you did this study, and several weeks later you got your findings and then you said: “Okay, what did we learn from it? Where do we go from here?” While we're in the online research community, we provide an idea, they give us some feedback and we can tweak it immediately. So, we're cutting back the time, and we're learning more about what's going to work with these consumers and what's going to engage these consumers.
Jamie Gailewicz: The idea of co-creation is critical. But the idea of co-creation through a shorter period is what's so beneficial for us as we create brands. How many times have we, as Jane explained, gone away for four or five weeks to do research and then come back, looked at the insights and gone: “Oh man, I wish I would have asked this question” or “Oh man, I wish I would have had that question” or “I wish I would have put this stimulus into that.” This allows us to say: “Oh, we can do that tomorrow.” For this to work, your project team needs to be very flexible and nimble. They can't go and say: “Oh, we think what we normally do takes four weeks, five weeks. It takes three days, four days, five days.” Your internal team, the culture and the mindset, are just as important, but it allows us to pivot and be flexible and nimble, to go back to consumers quickly and not forget that ultimate question that later down the road, in six months, you're like: “Man, I wish I would’ve asked consumers that question because that would have been great to know.” This approach allows us to do that on the fly.
Eric Yeager: It matches what you mentioned earlier: more changes more quickly with consumers. We're talking here about a methodology where you could change quickly on the fly and gather intel on that consumer just as quickly as they're changing as well. It seems like it has many benefits for collecting that data. Give me an example; you've worked on a few things; can you share an example of Agile methodology and how it has worked for some clients?
Jamie Gailewicz: A brand that we recently did was the Yuengling lager and light lager brand. Here's a brand that is well established on the East Coast of the United States, and it's the oldest brewery in the United States. It has tremendous equity and consumer loyalty, but the brand hasn't been refreshed or touched in 25 to 30 years. So, the question on the table is how far do you push the brand? From a positioning standpoint,
from an essence standpoint, from a reason-to-believe standpoint and then ultimately from a creative perspective. If you had taken more of a waterfall approach, it would have taken six, seven or eight months, but we were able to tap into the consumers, the loyal consumers and new consumers to the Yuengling brand, which allowed us to help co-create where the next evolution of the brand could go, and where it should go.
Jane Mount: It's also an important question, as Jamie was saying, how far can you expand the brand? There are longtime Yuengling consumers that you don't want to turn off in any way while expanding the brand. Yet, at the same time, you want to bring new consumers into the Yuengling fold. So, what we did is we engaged both of these groups to make sure that we were developing something that was going to interest the next generation of Yuengling consumers while still keeping their current consumer base excited about the brand. Our Agile approach was to concurrently speak to both groups and work and develop at the same time, understanding the dichotomy between the two.
Jamie Gailewicz: When you think about “what did the consumers co-create?” They were helping with positioning, reason to believe, aesthetics, visuals, packaging, naming and campaign themes — when you think about co-creation, it can be a vast variety.
It's not just understanding the unmet needs or the behaviors and the attitudes but it is also getting down to taglines, campaigns visuals, designs, creative, and really giving people the opportunity to help create what they're going to buy and what the brand experience ultimately is.
Eric Yeager: Jane, can you give me a couple of examples of what the benefit really is at the end of the day? What does it all boil down to with Agile?
Jane Mount: At the end of the day, it boils down to flexibility; it boils down to the depth of our understanding of the product and the brand; it boils down to speed. There are also cost savings overall, but at the end of the day, producing a successful product is going to generate way more than saving a few dollars on your marketing research. It's about learning flexibility and speed.
Jamie Gailewicz: I'd like to add to that because it's one of the most efficient ways to make brands matter and get to the ultimate solution. From Bailey's perspective, the ability to test as much as possible in a short period of time brings us to the ultimate solution of making that brand matter, versus “Let's just throw three concepts, three stimuli on there,” and six weeks pass, and then we get the results. So, the more we can understand consumers, the more we can get them to react and co-create, the better off we are and the better chance we have of making that brand matter in the marketplace.
Eric Yeager: Fantastic. Thank you both so much. This was really enlightening. I appreciate your time, and thanks for sharing with us on this methodology.