4 Lessons Learned from the 2020 Quirk’s Event in Brooklyn

Rachel Alexander
Rachel Alexander
3 mins
Skyline view of New York, where Quirk's Event in Brooklyn was held

The 2020 Quirk’s Event in Brooklyn packed a lot of insights into a two-day conference, and our team was onsite to soak up as much knowledge as we could. We unfortunately weren’t able to master the time travel technology we would have needed to attend every session, but we split up and covered as much ground as we could, and we left with some valuable takeaways. 

Several of our team members getting ready to soak up knowledge at the Quirk’s Event in Brooklyn

Here are four of the biggest lessons we learned:

Cultural Codes Signal What’s Around the Corner

No brand exists in a vacuum, and consumer behavior is shaped by a number of different inputs in your company’s sector. In her presentation, Shruti Saini, Senior Director of Brand Strategy & Insights at Anheuser-Busch, made the case that “cultural codes” help shape consumer behaviors that ultimately lead to new consumer spaces.

Saini helped break this idea down using the example of Lululemon, whose yoga pants started to gain popularity in the early 2010s as influential “yoga ambassadors” purchased them. At the same time, wellness and mindfulness culture started to become more mainstream. This led to an influx of wellness and fitness brands, such as Soulcycle and Pure Barre. From there, athleisure fashion became a mainstay– so much so that in 2016, yoga pant sales surpassed denim sales.

So what’s the big takeaway for market researchers? Think about how your brands and products fit into the bigger ecosystem of your consumer space, rather than just focusing on how consumers engage with your business. Studying how your brand fits into a broader consumer experience can help you build a better understanding of consumer motivations– and identify emerging trends. 

Doing More With Less Is the New Normal

Most insights professionals have probably heard some variation of the expression, “Low-cost, high-quality, and fast: you can only pick two.” However, Todd Adrian, Senior Director of Customer Insights at Harry’s, made the case that research should be four things:

  • High-quality
  • Low-cost
  • Acceptable effort
  • Agile

Being able to deliver valuable assets at speed is critical. “If we’re not available with insights that can guide employees to making good decisions, we’re not doing our jobs,” said Adrian. 

For more and more businesses, moving quickly on a tight budget means adopting in-house analytics tools and a DIY research approach. Market research teams should be constantly testing and iterating while also actively communicating their results to internal stakeholders. This is what allows insights teams to move at the speed of business decisions.

Research Teams Need to Focus on a Few Key Tools

The need to be agile was a theme our team saw across many presentations, and it was front and center in the Colgate-Palmolive presentation “Agile: Behind the Curtain.” One of the most interesting points presenter Urszula Paliwoda brought up was that most research teams use too many tools, which can prevent them from working as efficiently and quickly as they need to.

Paliwoda recommended that market research teams choose a few key tools, embed them into their organization, and train people how to use them. This resonated with us because we’ve seen many market research teams take this approach with Bloomfire: they’ll make Bloomfire their central research library, make sure stakeholders across their organization can access it, and train stakeholders how to use it. Making sure key tools like Bloomfire are embedded across teams and departments in your organization helps ensure that everyone stays aligned and benefits from your insights.  

Getting Buy-In from Stakeholders Requires Empathy

One of our favorite parts of the 2020 Quirk’s Event in Brooklyn was seeing one of our customers, Christa Chaffinch, presenting on the approach her research team at Comcast Business is using to keep stakeholders engaged with their insights. One particularly interesting idea that Chaffinch brought up was the importance of empathy when choosing how to share research and insights with stakeholders.

Chaffinch shared that when her team implemented Bloomfire, they spent a lot of time interviewing stakeholders to understand how their end users talked about and searched for customer insights. This ultimately allowed them to set up a research library that stakeholders have an easy time navigating and that they turn to whenever they’re looking for information about their customers. And that, in turn, has increased the impact of insights across the organization.

We attend conferences like the Quirk’s Event in Brooklyn because they allow us to learn more about the strategies and ideas research teams are using to empower their stakeholders with information and deliver exceptional customer experiences. We always enjoy hearing firsthand what researchers are doing to increase their impact– and, of course, we’re always interested in seeing how Bloomfire can help. 
If you’re interested in learning more about Bloomfire, we’d love to hear from you.

March 12, 2020

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