connections chapter news

June 2014
Vol. 13, Number 5

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News

Philadelphia Chapter Experiences “Get Real Branding Boot Camp”

Laurie Tema-Lyn,

On May 9, 2014, the Philadelphia Chapter of the QRCA hosted Toronto-based brand maven Janet Rouss, founder of Get Real Branding™. The Get Real Branding Boot Camp was well attended in person at Schlesinger Associates, Bala Cynwyd, and some people participated remotely, thanks to Focus Vision.

Janet’s mission is threefold: to help clients…

  • Get clear about their strategy
  • Get creative in developing the brand experience, and
  • Get clients: find the right ones for your offerings.

Janet reminded us that “branding is like dating.” You attract (clients) on three levels: physical, mental and emotional.

Using nature as a metaphorical framework (earth, air, water, ether, and fire), she demonstrated how a variety of airlines communicate their value propositions quite differently from each other.

Later she guided us in a brainstorming exercise to clarify our thinking about what it is that we offer our clients. Working as individuals and small teams we explored and brainstormed new product/service offerings, functional benefits, emotional connections, status, altruism, purpose and many other factors that go into the development of our brands.

Janet also urged us to create an ideal client profile, envisioning and articulating a specific person (complete with name, age, occupation, social activities, needs, problems, desires and more) who represents who we would like to work with. This level of detail provides tremendous focus in shaping how you want to write and speak about your brand.

The workshop was useful to the many independent and small business owners in our chapter, but is also relevant for the larger clients and brands with which we work.

The Get Real Branding Boot Camp is still available via Focus Vision. You can access it via this link:

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San Francisco Chapter: “OK Glass. Take a Picture.”

Judy Riggs,

San Francisco chapter meeting attendees enjoy testing out Google Glass.

These were the words echoed over and over in a roomful of excited QRCs testing out Google Glass. The May 9, 2014 meeting of the San Francisco QRCA Chapter had a focus on technology and Google Glass was one of many of the highlights. In a beautiful space at Fieldwork San Francisco, with gorgeous city views of San Francisco, we had some real time exposure to this exciting new product. 

When we were unable to get an “official” demonstration from Google, the chapter organizers went into the mode of doing what QRCs do best – making it happen one way or another. Chapter Co-Chair Janet Stande, was able to secure the participation of Ricky Zhang, Social Media Guru, with Instant Insights to give us a hands-on demonstration.

The device was tested on taking pictures, giving directions and more. Interestingly, the device quickly adapted to the voice of each individual across the room. The general consensus was that it felt a little awkward but the concept is intriguing. One physical downside: Those who wear glasses had to remove them to use the device. Members discussed lots of pros and cons with the device and agreed it is clearly a tool that will continue to be developed and copied and improved. Frankie Johnson pointed us to an article in Research Arts that profiled the device as an ethnography tool:

Other features of our Annual Tech Day include a presentation by Aryeh Jacobsohn, Customer Experience Lead at dscout. He provided a case study using dscout’s platform to elicit real time shopping experiences via a mobile platform. Jen Berkley Jackson shared an overview of Reality Live and used the platform to elicit opinions of the SF chapter to strengthen the focus for the future. She also shared use of Civicom’s Text Analytics capabilities. At the end of the day, members shared their own tech tips and tricks including Allison Rak’s tip on finding Google images labeled for reuse. After you search for images, go to “Search Tools” at the top and click on “Usage Rights.” 

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Toronto Chapter: Local Talent – Fresh from Budapest’s AQR/QRCA Conference

Catherine Dine,

Sometimes we forget just how green the grass is on our side. Thinking about speakers to inspire at our Spring QRCA Chapter Event, we looked far and wide before realizing we had two International Sensations right in our midst.

On Friday, May 23, Daniel Berkal (The Palmerston Group) and Sarah Johnson (Athena Brand Wisdom) had just spoken in Budapest and graciously offered to take the Toronto Chapter through the wonderful work they shared in Europe. The two talks showcased complementary methods to add another perspective and richer insights to primary research.

Sarah started us off with a focus on semiotics and how to weave this cultural analysis into a range of initiatives from market landscape reviews and mapping through to interpretation of deep-seated cultural themes embodied in consumer projectives. She has done this work on a range of products and categories including a global initiative to understand beliefs around obesity!

Daniel took us through fascinating case studies on immersive techniques that deepen engagement and insights:

  • Want to find out about gambling behaviors, rituals and problems within ethnic populations? Why not ride the buses from ethnic areas to the casinos. Daniel and I did this one together then followed up with deep and targeted probing in face-to-face sessions.
  • Rock climbing as a warm-up to group discussions? Why not! It builds camaraderie and openness and makes guys share true feelings.
  • How to simulate reality? Why not stage a launch party for a new beer brand to get beyond posturing and into the real reactions of night club patrons.

The talks inspired, the conversation was dynamic and many of us walked away ready to inject these techniques into our upcoming projects!

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Virtual Chapter Reactivated!

Julia Spink,

We apologise that the Virtual Chapter has been rather ... well, virtual for a while, but we have been reassessing our Chapter and are re-launching to offer more for our members!

We now have in place a team who are enthusiastically working to provide a range of offerings for our members, with a focus on including more opportunity for dialogue between members living on opposite sides of the globe or who lack the opportunity for relevant communication with fellow quallies in their own country.

The Virtual Chapter is designed to serve QRCA members who live too far away to attend live Chapter meetings, and includes many from the US & Canada as well as a global spread of members. Our new Virtual Chapter team embraces our global remit, representing regions across the world:

Chair – Julia Spink, UK

Africa – Samantha Loggenberg, South Africa

Canada – Layla Shea, Canada

Europe – Hana Kloučkova, Czech Republic

Australasia & Asia – Karin Curran, New Zealand

Central & South America – Astrid Velázquez Potenes, Mexico

If you would like to join the Virtual Chapter, whether as your Home Chapter or as an additional Chapter membership, then just log in to the QRCA website. Then, on the home page under MEMBER QUICKLINKS, click the pink box QRCA GROUPS. This will show all the groups to which you belong plus offers a click-through if you want to join a new group.

When you have registered, please do visit the Virtual Chapter home page and read the postings and blogs. We have been working on this site and are looking forward to providing a communication channel to meet, liaise with and learn from each other.  Between Chapter meetings we would really encourage everyone to feel free to post questions, comments, advice, suggestions, interesting articles and reading material – any ideas that can be shared with fellow Virtual Chapter members. This is our virtual water cooler where we can all exchange ideas, and learn from each other. 

Plus we will have a new program of Chapter meetings – the first one in June will provide feedback from the recent Worldwide Conference on Qualitative Research in Budapest, including a replay of two poster sessions by our members. This promises something interesting for everyone!

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