how do we define differentology?
well, an ology is a branch of knowledge, and knowledge is what we deliver.
you gain competitive advantage, while we do the geeky stuff we love.
Gathering bulletproof data in a robust way.
Making that data meaningful.
Relating relevant insight back to brands, to help them grow and develop.
then we make that knowledge work harder with a bit of creative storytelling, like this.
Time Inc.: The New Mainstream
‘Millennials’ are the hot topic everywhere nowadays, with corporations and advertisers trying to get under their skin.
Time Inc. (and its publication NME) wanted to set itself apart as a leading authority on 18-34s, while delivering persuasive insight for their Sales and Commercial teams. So they asked us to explore, define and measure the Millennial audience in the UK, investigating their attitudes, behaviours and brand relationships.
What we did
We challenged the Generational Cohort Theory (Strauss and Howe) and the stereotypes assigned to the so-called ‘Millennial’ generation. Rather than taking broad brushstrokes based on a US, outdated theory, we aimed for the specifics. Who are this misunderstood group of young adults? Are they entitled, disloyal digital addicts like people say?
We took a mixed-methodology approach to the brief, using co-creation exploratory labs with our target audience and a focused (n=2000) online survey that allowed us to develop a detailed segmentation of the cohort.
We completely busted the ‘Millennial’ myths.
It turns out that 75% of the group don’t even identify themselves as ‘Millennials’, 44% still enjoy reading print newspapers, magazines and books, and whilst they admit to being ‘always on’, 23% actually enjoy a digital detox without their phones.
A key headline from the research revealed that Millennials are responding to the world around them by binding themselves to the mainstream and ‘soft authority’ figures, seeking reassurance from the turbulence around them.
Interpretations of mainstream are both broad and individualised. The word no longer has ‘dirty’ connotations. Instead, their passions and interests fit together like a game of Tetris, building an eclectic view of the world.
The study highlighted a wonderfully diverse group of people, from ‘Urban Optimists’ to ‘Responsible Rebels’, and picked apart the implications for brands.
It’s a brave new world out there, people.
Sky Media and Havas Media: The Mobilizer
Before this groundbreaking measurement study, no meaningful research on the effectiveness of mobile advertising existed.
This was an alarming fact for one of the fastest growing ad platforms. Sky Media and Havas Media thought so too, and they tasked us to find some answers.
What we did
Together we overcame industry-wide technical challenges that had previously hindered measurement. We created a brand new methodological approach to measure the impact of advertising on mobile platforms: employing ‘ad re-targeting’ as respondents used apps on mobile naturally, in real-time.
This was supported by a follow-up survey across partner advertisers including Nationwide, Domino’s and Birds Eye. With 2,600 respondents, our results weren’t only groundbreaking, but also robust.
The results were stunning. We proved that mobile advertising directly boosts brand awareness, perception, consideration and consumer engagement.
We launched the results of our research with ‘The Mobilizer’, an action-packed, superhero-themed animated video, using creative content to bring to life and communicate our important research findings.
On top of demonstrating specific brand KPIs, ‘The Mobilizer’ measurement programme also provided useful insight around the role of consumer mindset and contextual environment in mobile ad performance, helping to further engage the industry on the subject of mobile advertising.
As renewed confidence in mobile translated to sales, app revenue grew by 20% at Sky Media.
Radiocentre, Radioplayer and Global Radio: Getting Vocal
The Amazon Echo launched in the UK in autumn 2016. All interaction with the device – both stimulus and response – takes place through voice alone.
This is an unchartered territory for advertisers. They’ve historically focused their energies on the visible elements of brands. Now the lack of a visual interface presented them with a challenge.
Radiocentre, Radioplayer and Global Radio asked us to capture a UK perspective on ownership and usage of screenless voice-activated devices, to explore their impact on radio listening, and to consider how brands might adapt to an increasingly voice-activated future.
What we did
Innovative technology stimulates new behaviours that users aren’t always aware of. So we used a mix of observational (filmed ethnographic) research and a deeper exploration of behaviours via further (qualitative) super groups.
We used a nationally representative omnibus (survey) to establish current awareness, ownership and likelihood to purchase voice-activated devices.
Finally, a focused (U&A) survey of device owners was used to quantify behaviours.
A key headline from the research revealed how Amazon Echo devices have already become widely established (14% of UK households own one or more) and predicts that they’ll soon become mainstream technology in the UK.
Despite other functions like Spotify being available, radio dominates listening on the device (accounting for 72% of all Echo time spent with audio entertainment). The study highlighted how radio easily adapts to new technologies, making it more resilient to change and helping to keep it relevant for both listeners and advertisers.
As audio-led user interfaces skyrocket and search becomes not just triggered but also delivered by audio, brands will need to develop distinctive brand sound to help them stand out from the crowd. Consistent use of straplines, music, and voice – over time and across different platforms – helps drive brand recognition, likeability and deeper engagement.
meet some of the team
Head of Research
Head of Insight
Head of Strategy