Free download – Which adverts nailed it?

A tough Christmas to land well!

In a Christmas full of separation and compromise the usual levels of excitement have been severely dented. It’s been a tough year for Christmas adverts to land well – in fact, with so little festive cheer, it’s almost a shock to see them appear on our screens!

Get your free download now

We’ve tested 20 major Christmas adverts, using our acclaimed FeelFactor framework, to give our view on which brands have won the battle of the ads for 2020 and the 5 main narratives of Christmas.

Just fill in your details for instant access to the results on the next screen.

Free download – the Score segments

New consumer segments for unsettling times

We’ve developed five groups based on how people feel about their lives. These are rooted in our 5Drivers model of consumer emotions and substantiated by over 10,000 interviews conducted across the UK, France and Germany.

The segments have already proven hugely effective in unpicking how people are adapting to life in unsettling times. We’re now using them to predict how each group is likely to behave over the months to come.

Download the free segment playbook

Get your complete overview of each segment’s characteristics, emotional hot buttons, outlook on life, comms levers and more!

Enter your details below for instant access to the playbook.

Start using the segments on your own data

We’ve done all the heavy statistical work so you can take advantage of our segment algorithm on any of your surveys or internal customer data.

  • Simply divert your survey to our QGen platform where we’ll ask a few questions in an implicit style – securing truer feedback.
  • Our algorithm will instantly determine each respondent’s segment.
  • Segments are coded in real time against each respondent and fed back to your system instantly.
  • You get to cut your data by segment for deeper understanding and sharper targeting.
  • Or you can use our consulting services to analyse your data and transform it into actionable insights.

Want more detail? Simply email Mark Taylor (Client Services Director) on or call him directly on +44 7971 285990.

Want to know your segment?

Try out our survey to see the segment that best represents you!

Kokoro Cuts – best of February

A round-up of the best new experiences and campaigns we’ve seen on our travels. Here’s what you need to know about.

Everyone was talking about Mouldy Whoppers and then…

Wow! So Burger King’s mouldy burger dominated the ad land conversation when it hit last month. Read WARC’s great analysis of its impact right here. What really wowed us was how quickly and cleverly Nando’s surfed the publicity wave and won the burger war!

Be a Lady They Said – International Women’s Day and poetic justice

On March 8 International Women’s Day attracted unprecedented media attention. One piece in particular stood out to us, and to many others it seems – amassing over 20 million views within just a few weeks of launch. Be a Lady They Said, from fashion mag Girls Girls Girls, is a simple yet powerful adaptation of poetry originally featured on the Writings of a Furious Woman blog – a blast against the conflicting demands women face each day. We think it chimes perfectly with a key trend of 2020: “Accept me, whoever I am’.

Valentine’s 2020: let’s talk about sex differently

Back in February, the month of love, two brave campaigns stood out. Durex adopted a new brand positioning and visual identity, which focussed on a more honest, positive portrayal of sex – a move on from the porn-inspired, nudge-nudge tone that’s always dominated. This is about connecting with a younger consumer who’s comfortable with a franker approach and wants to free themselves from society’s ‘sexpectations’: “Worry less about how it ‘should’ look. Celebrate how it can feel. Porn’s not the norm. STDs are kinda real.” Meanwhile, the KFC-Moonpig link-up brought quirky fun to the party. This unlikely pairing felt like a stroke of genius at a time when the nation needed some light relief. It was a witty, disruptive boot up the backside of conventional, often very tired Valentine’s gifting options. The language of love is changing.


Gymshark’s frenzy-causing physical retail

Much anticipated, February saw Gymshark open its first physical space as a pop-up in London. This promises the allure of new, exclusive product in-store every Monday, plus a collaboration with London’s hip GYMBOX that will offer highly desirable fitness classes. This is a bold venture into the world of physical retail for, internationally, the UK’s fastest-growing fashion brand (Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200). Innovating on so many fronts, Gymshark is a young player that seems to have mastered the art of creating drama around its brand – something we think retail needs a lot more of right now!


Primark and wellness done well

Primark does another great job of creating new memories around the brand experience with a pop-up space dedicated to wellness (also available in a fuller form across 11 UK Primark stores). The concept design, product and comms have left customers startled and delighted in equal measure. We know that disruption equals attention equals exploration, and the surprise emphasis on wellbeing and sustainability cuts through. The pop up’s mantra is “comfort, rest, and reflection” – not perhaps the qualities shoppers would associate with a brand celebrated for fast fashion at full tilt. The message, supported by simple packaging and authentic backstories, is tailor-made for an era where wellness and well sourced are very much on trend.


Taking the leap from FOMO to JOMO

Many of us are ruled by the fear of missing out. Behavioural economists have long talked about how FOMO affects our decision making. Increasingly, the term has made its way into everyday conversation – from having that pudding after hearing a friend’s menu choice, to buying festival tickets you can’t quite afford #FOMO.

We want to soak up as much as we can, breathe it all in and celebrate with souvenirs (photos, posts, and likes). The downsides of this desire to experience it all and shout about it too are getting more apparent. It’s like running our own Sunday supplement! It’s exhausting. We can feel pressured to produce an endless lifestyle highlights reel, feel compelled to say a big fat YES to every offer that comes our way. But wait, there’s a new acronym in town! Meet JOMO, the calmer, more nurturing sibling – the joy of missing out.

JOMO is here to save us from the overwhelm of our own making. JOMO frees us from obligations. It says ‘stay home, cancel your plans’. It gives us permission to duck experiences we don’t fancy or can’t afford. Of course, we’ve all taken last-minute rain checks and told white lies to avoid the dull or effortful. JOMO takes this further. Not only do you dodge the giant night out when you’re feeling too tired, or the meal at that restaurant with eye-watering prices. With JOMO there’s a side-helping of guilt-free reassurance that you’re not a total loser or aging faster than you can say birthday.

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Whether we recognise it in ourselves or not, this JOMO instinct is powerful, and brands are cashing in – largely by focussing on the J in the acronym. The thing is we still want some joy! Without this it really is just plain missing out. Here are some winners…

  1. Leading the tribe is Dominoes and its celebration of JOMO. Naturally, we see Just Eat and Deliveroo winning here too – tasty food without leaving the sofa is the very definition of joy!
  2. Of course, any streaming service lends itself brilliantly to indulging in some downtime, and we predict Netflix, Amazon and Apple’s race to provide the most addictive, jaw-dropping content will only heat up,
  3. Fashion brands who emphasise luxurious loungewear are well placed – we are prepared to spend big on feeling cosy and looking chic whilst doing so.
  4. Luxury-led home brands are set to benefit – from high-priced candles to high-thread count sheets, we’ll want to invest in our nests if we’re to spend more evenings in them.
  5. And finally, could JOMO give quality food and drink a nudge too? We’ve seen specialist wine brands like Naked and Laithwaites fly recently. Perhaps splurging on the refreshments reassures us we aren’t boring or past it.

So, at your earliest convenience, get your comfies on, put your feet up, order some noodles, light the candles, open wine, mindlessly scroll Netflix, debate what to watch and then settle on that re-run of Friends. JOMO would want you to.

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Excited to be partnering with Nationwide!

Kokoro is proud to announce a new client partner, Nationwide Building Society. We are working together to deepen the society’s understanding of its members’ lives, needs and preferences.

We’ve won the trust of many brands through our unique grasp of the power of emotions; identifying the actions which resonate and drive spend. Owned by, and run for, the benefit of its members, Nationwide’s customer focus makes them a great partner for us. Kokoro’s expertise will deepen Nationwide’s understanding of how it fits with people’s lives and enable it to create even more compelling propositions.

”I’m delighted about our partnership with Nationwide. They are famed for seeing their members as people not numbers, and this is really in tune with Kokoro’s mantra that consumers go with their feelings. I’m confident we’ll be able to strengthen Nationwide’s natural empathy with their members still further – and ensure our insights get translated into both strategic and on-the-ground improvements to Nationwide’s legendary customer service excellence.
Caroline Bates, Director, Kokoro

Why so many digital experiences fail to deliver

Martha, our Director of Digital Activation, gives her expert take on how to avoid digital transformation disasters

A recent client meeting got me thinking. Why do some new digital experiences fail to deliver commercial benefits?

This particular client has been on the digital transformation journey for a while. They’ve invested heavily in their programme and are sure they have the right tech capabilities. And yet benefits in terms of adoption, cost savings and revenue are just not coming through.

My years at the coalface of digital transformation planning and execution, allow me to identify five common problems and five solutions…

  1. Compromised business cases
    • It’s very hard to make accurate forecasts on the financial return from something which doesn’t yet exist. We make it even harder for ourselves if we fall into either of these traps:
      • potential benefits are overegged (tempting when you’re under pressure to deliver a high net present value)
      • costing assumptions are divorced from those about benefits (can happen when the first is done bottom up and the latter top down, or when multiple stakeholders are involved)
    • Solution: independent forecasting based on clear, consistent user stories backed by statistical modelling and benchmarks – plus strict ownership of case, with relentless documentation (dull but essential!)
  1. Research not fit for purpose
    • Typically, research underdelivers in one or more of these ways: it doesn’t go deep enough, isn’t actionable enough, or is not used often enough. The best foundational research delves beyond people’s post-rationalised answers and gets to the subconscious, emotional drivers of behaviour. Insights are then coupled with collaborative ideation to build action plans which product teams own. Lastly, the research is used iteratively throughout development to define, refine and validate new digital experiences. Too often too many of these elements are missing
    • Solution: talk to us about Kokoro’s innovative, impactful approaches such as biometrics and our game-changing 5Drivers model of consumer emotions. We’re confident we’ll make your research budget go further and deeper!
  1. All eggs in one basket
    • I really admire product and creative people who have an instinctive vision of how their digital journeys should function. However, time and again I’ve witnessed seemingly great ideas fall short. This is often because there are a ton of factors to consider and the odds are stacked against even very good ideas delivering first time
    • Solution: the best way to beat the odds is to play the numbers game. Start with multiple executions, whittle these down and refine through rounds of fast-turnaround user research and A/B testing – de-risking your benefits forecast with likely success rates in mind. Get in touch to find out how our genius for arriving at the best idea has won the loyalty of so many big brands
  1. MVP is too M (or not V enough)
    • Minimal Viable Products are a familiar part of the Agile delivery model, but sometimes what gets launched is just too minimal! A particular risk with technically complex solutions is requirements get sacrificed in order to meet a release deadline. Then, before you know it, you’re launching with only the most basic features and a sub-par user experience. You’ll optimise this post-launch, but will those unforgiving younger users give you a second try?
    • Solution: put points 2 and 3 (above) in place and ensure product owners are steeped in users’ needs – and willing to go to bat for them
  1. Benefits attribution plan is MIA
    • Too often, product teams ask analysts to quantify the benefits of something they’ve launched only to find that meaningful measurement isn’t possible. This can happen when they’ve not planned any controlled way to gauge impact – leaving the analyst unable to disentangle the effects of the new experience from all the other factors that affect performance (seasonality, marketing activity, pricing, competitor campaigns etc.)
    • Solution: engage analysts early to plan a measurement approach that balances the need for accuracy with pragmatism (e.g. controlled release, A/B testing, lookalike analysis, post vs pre period etc.)

Get in touch for more on how Kokoro can help you make a success of your digital transformation.

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Have you fallen into the ‘easy trap’?

Our Founder, Alison Bainbridge, gives her view on why focusing on just being easy won’t work for your CX strategy

I get it. Nobody wants a hard experience. Picture this supermarket visit. Three times in five minutes the product you need is out of stock. Your cortisol levels rocket. You feel under attack. You’re no longer on autopilot. You’re forced to think. This is bad news because, thanks to Daniel Kahneman, the world knows thinking is something humans don’t like doing. It’s painful to have to rethink your tea plans or nip to another supermarket – and shit! The kids need collecting in 20 minutes! If a supermarket wants to stay in business, it cannot inflict these moments on shoppers.

Now picture another visit. Everything was in stock. You were out in ten minutes and arrived at school with time for a quick Instagram. Would you remember this experience? No! It was unremarkable. It’s gone. And if a store is always unremarkable it will become invisible and steadily fade from customers’ minds. Rivals will fill the vacuum.

So why do so many companies sign up (so easily) to the pursuit of easy? A big reason is that driver analysis often shows a hassle-free experience to be central to satisfaction. Alert 1! You need to be very careful about what customers actually mean by easy. It’s not just about practical things. They also mean ease in a higher-order sense i.e. ‘Get me! Solve my problems. Help me realise my dreams.’

Alert 2! But I think the real reason companies focus on ease is it lets them hit the ‘no brainer’ button. It doesn’t require them to step into the unknown, to create something new, to do something head turning.

The quest for ‘hassle-free’ ease results in directives to ‘find and remove pain points’. In the business plan this gets described as ‘Year One: get the basics in place’. Everyone agrees to it because, whilst it might require lots of work, there are always lots of people willing to do this. And it definitely feels right to get the house in order – especially in uncertain times.

Alert 3! This plan should really be labelled ‘let’s be unremarkable, drift from consciousness and let others (like Boohoo, Greggs, Next, Pretty Little Thing) steal the limelight’. Put like this it doesn’t feel so right does it?

Alert 4! So, what’s a better weapon than ease? It’s to disrupt – to build memorable, irresistible elements into your CX. Picture a trip to your local Aldi. Whilst the prices are predictably low the constantly changing ranges hold surprises: Halloween dancing skeletons, a giant Jo Malone lookalike candle or some new vegan products. These spark ‘how do they do it?’ moments which form lasting memories.

This kind of experience is what a psychologist would describe as a state of ‘flow’. You’re not on autopilot, you’re engaged. You’ve suddenly got exciting ideas for your kids. You laugh at the sheer cheek of their copycat tactics! All this demands enough attention to make you feel something, but it doesn’t become ‘hard work’. And because you’ve felt something, you’re much more likely to remember it (it’s how our brains are wired).

This is a fine balance. Every feeling at every point of the journey must be nailed if the magic is to happen. Entrepreneurs get this instinctively. Today’s business school graduates are taught it. Others can be left flatfooted.

Report 4 just landed! The real winners and losers of Christmas 2019

Get the real truth behind the trading reports

We predicted the Christmas trading period would be tough and we’ve certainly seen some shocker trading statements. Get the real consumer truths behind the figures with the final report in our Christmas Unwrapped series.

In report 4 we analyse the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of 2,000 UK consumers to reveal the 6 big stories that defined Christmas 2019. Don’t miss this crucial analysis so you can better understand your performance and opportunities to crack Christmas in 2020.

What do I get?

You get a story-led report, written by our senior insight experts, which will arm you with the intelligence to understand your performance against rivals and strategies to win in 2020! We’ve combined survey data analysis, qualitative research and social intelligence to give you the big picture and the smallest details on why Christmas panned out the way it did – including:

  • How the election shaped a nation’s sentiment, spend and socialising
  • Going out versus staying in – how the shift to nesting impacted
  • Splurge or sensible? See how consumers tackled the last few weeks of festive spending
  • Winning brands and secrets to their success
  • Why 2020 is a time for me to move forward but not move richer

Plus – free bonus content included! Consumers 6 wishes for 2020 and how brands can help

How much?

  • Report 4 is only £3,950 for over 40 slides of insights and recommended strategies.
  • Reports 1, 2 and 3 are also charged at only £3,950 each.
  • Or you can get all 4 reports for just £11,500! (saving you £4,000)

Want to buy?

Simply email or enter your details below

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Kokoro Cuts – best of November

A round-up of the best new experiences and campaigns we’ve seen on our travels. Here’s what you need to know about

Apple dials up desire with arrival of AirPods Pro site

We started November with the latest Apple fix – the launch of AirPods Pro. It’s not the super positive reviews of this product that are blowing us away – it’s the amazing digital experience on Apple’s website to discover them. How can any website have any excuses when Apple can immerse us in this sort of dreamy digital desire?! The site helps bring to life (often boring) technical features with slick interactive animation and high res, beautiful imagery. And it looks just as amazing on mobile as it does on desktop. You even get to see the product in AR – not entirely sure why, but feels cool nonetheless.

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Nostalgia sells! Kitsch bars booming

Miracle Christmas bar phenomenon is booming across the pond and we think it’s only a matter of time before the UK follows suit. There’s only one Miracle pop-up franchise in the UK (at the oh so stylish Henrietta Hotel) but, like in the US, it’s a sell-out. With revellers attracted to the promise of full-on Christmas kitsch – from the retro decorations, to cocktails like Christmapolitan served in festive mugs, to a specially crafted Christmas playlist and an ‘Ugly Sweater’ party . What’s behind the boom? This is full-on feel-good in a pretty gloomy climate right now for consumers. There’s something very comforting about getting immersed in all this tinsel nostalgia!

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Source: Miracle pop-up

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Lush new concepts land in Paris and Florence

Lush, that brand that always manages create Visionary experiences, is at it again – immersing us in even more experiences that stir our senses! In Paris Lush experiments with the concept of ‘fresh’. The new store, called Fresh & Flowers, combines all the classics with flower-infused products (some of which are made on demand in-store) and its own florist selling locally-sourced, seasonal bouquets (such as those recently opened in Liverpool and Tokyo). Whilst in Florence, Lush focuses on perfume – stocking more than 70 lines of the stuff in The Lush Perfume Library. “The Perfume Library had to be in Florence because it was the birthplace of modern perfumery during the Renaissance. It is hard to not take inspiration from such a place and we really indulged ourselves in its history, art and iconic sights,” said Co-Founder of Lush Constantine. On top of this, in the UK Lush has opened a super fun experience for the holidays – the bath bomb conveyor belt adorns its largest stores! Each conveyor belt has over 100 bath bombs – yep you heard it correctly. Now that’s a way to improve dwell time in your store!

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World’s largest Starbucks hits Chicago

If only every Starbucks was like this? A massive 10,000 people showed up for the grand opening of the world’s largest Starbucks in Chicago in November. Starbucks has always been a bit ‘cult-like’ in the past with a massive sense of Belonging to the brand from its loyal fans. However, we’ve seen its feel-good experience dip with its loyal followers recently – check out how it performs in our thought piece. This huge four-storey store is certainly memorable! The Starbucks Reserve Roastery has a bakery, an “Experiential Coffee Bar,” a bar that serves alcohol and all coffee beans are roasted on site and transported around the store in Willy Wonka-esque pneumatic tubes! We’re intrigued to see how the brand can roll out elements of this vast concept to rejuvenate its high street following…

Future of the café experience?

A café that kids and adults can both enjoy? Surely not! Well this brand might just have cracked it. The world’s first educational café experience has opened in China – called Lolly-Laputan. It has been designed to house an amazing variety of play ideas in what is called a central wonderland, while adults eat at tables around the outside! We can’t envisage many more things a kid would want here – there’s a giant ball pit, a carousel, a theatrical stage, mini kitchens and supermarkets, toilets inspired by candyfloss and space travel! This is a massive step up from awful soft play options and tired, overpriced Rainforest Café style dining. It even has private dining – winner!

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Source: Dezeen

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