The New Year is upon us, and the blogosphere is awash with posts along the lines of 'Predictions for 2014' and 'What will be big in the next twelve months'. The irony is that we live in an increasingly unpredictable, turbulent world, in which accurate forecasting is an increasingly hard act to master.
When deciding how to stand out at Christmas, it is vital that brands leverage and amplify their DNA - taking what is at the core of their identity and leveraging it in a way that is likely to resonate with consumers on a festive level.
Ryanair, one of the most successful brands in the last 25 years, has always taken an uncompromising approach when dealing with its customers - follow the rules to the letter and get a cheap fare - any deviation and costs will escalate. No excuses, no quarter given...
I left Dublin this year, at the close of ISPOR's 16th Annual European Congress, thinking in terms of what is important when making a decision. The parameters need to be simple, intuitive and transparent in any evaluation model. This sounds straightforward, but which parameters should be measured, and how is a fair decision made?
As researchers, we all love that 'eureka' moment; when we catch a glimpse of an underlying truth beyond the reams of data
How many LGBT youth groups, suicide prevention lines, anti-bullying groups or gay health initiatives are in line to see their funding slashed because the 'official' count of LGBT people in the UK according to the ONS has now just been revised downwards - by more than 75%?
Personal data is very much on the agenda but have brands really understood the implications? We have always been aware of the potential for negative publicity when things go wrong but it is only recently that we have started seeing the flip-side. Brands can actually accrue good publicity and custom for handling personal data and privacy issues well.
What does appear to be clear beyond reasonable doubt is that crime in this country is falling. It's falling in some other countries too, but the decline is particularly marked in Britain. Crime in England and Wales has halved since the 1990s, including an 8% fall in a single year.
The research sector is often seen to be dominated by a few of the biggest names, so how do smaller agencies make themselves heard under the noise from much bigger beasts?
There are a plethora of lists citing the most innovative companies in the world published by some notable names in media. It does not matter that all differ in their membership; the debate of who is in and shouldn't be and who is missing but should be in is not important. What is important is that there are common principles of innovation to learn from and that can be drawn from the companies that are expertly surfing ahead on the wave of creativity.