Our team remembers the last time we were at GreenBook’s IIEX Europe in-person was 2020 right before lockdown. Two years later and we are back in Amsterdam with over 750 attendees! The air was electric and conversations stimulating as we were so happy to finally be together again in person. Our European team was there with representatives from our offices in Geneva, Paris, Hamburg, and London.
Together, we learned some interesting new insights and learnings from the event including:
Multiple speakers from both agencies and brand side explained how and why it is critical to work with more agile research solutions. The bottom line is that investing in such agile insight generation processes is key to drive consumer centricity into brands’ organizations. Why? Simply because there is not always room for long cumbersome processes as time is scarcer. Some talked about a ‘Sprint Process’ that delivers quickly the accurate few KPIs the brand wants to achieve rather than a laundry list of hundreds of KPIs. The idea is to work with insights at the right time within the process to get consumers in the room when decisions are made. And there are lots of technologies to leverage such as AI which is accelerating change. For some, AI tools already have saved over 100 years’ worth of work.
In the Live Podcast, “When Behavioral Science Meets Insights with KIND/Mars Wrigley,” Beatrix Daros of Mars Wrigley spoke to Melina Palmer (CEO of The Brainy Business) about how KIND bars use online communities to interact with consumers, so they are fully integrated constantly in the innovation and launch pipeline of the brand in Europe. Today, the brand sales are strong in particularly UK because of their social listening research.
In the session, “3 Crucial Ways to Ensure Gen Z Engages with Your Brand”, the speaker mentioned how TikTok comments have opened conversations to help influence brand directions. This leads to more collaboration, allowing brands to take risks and build their target demographic.
In the session about Gen Z, the speakers recommended that brands also be transparent on social media platforms. By doing so, brands can communicate their values, reaching new consumers on TikTok, Reddit, and others.
Dr. Christian Niederauer of Colgate-Palmolive spoke about how it is increasingly more important for brands to be authentic with consumers in his session, “Let’s Talk About the Elephant in the Brain: How Brands Can Tackle Diversity in Their Communications”. As an example, Colgate recently launched an advertising campaign celebrating people with disabilities but cautioned that brands must do this right and in a subtle manner. He stated that big brands have the responsibility to drive change in Diversity & Inclusion, Sustainability, and other initiatives.
We may be a little bit bias as we partnered with Protobrand on the We Better Behave! Sustainability Track at IIEX Europe but based on the outpouring of social media attention, it shows that consumers and especially the insights industry care about what we’re doing as a whole to help push sustainable products.
In our first panel, “Why Sustainability? Why Now?”, speakers from Colgate-Palmolive, Philips, and Mattel spoke about how “Sustainability” does not have the same definition in all industries. It goes beyond just a recyclable exterior packaging but also, the product inside.
Mattel’s Michael Swaisland talked about how they’re making toys more progressive so that the child will want to play with the same toy for longer years, potentially spanning several generations even. What about sales though? Companies need to rethink their business models and add features to the toys, selling programs online, etc. to generate value elsewhere. Be creative.
Afterward on-stage Crispin Beale (Behaviorally’s Group President) had the honor to interview Monica Tenorio (Vice President of Insights & Analytics at PepsiCo Europe), who started by saying how much she ‘loves the challenge Behaviorally is putting to the world with its We Better Behave movement’. Monica explained how as members of the insight community, we are at the forefront and that we all have a role to play.
She talked about three pillars for her brands to chart a new course towards sustainability: climate change, pollution, and food & water supply value chain. All three are creating several challenges for our planet but also, for populations. And Monica informed the audience on how PepsiCo is working to make a positive impact on each of them. She mentioned for instance the PEP+ initiative designed to address sustainability issues such as driving change towards regenerative agriculture (from the crops to the delivery of a product), but also all the work on the value chain (circular economy), and on driving positive choices. The objective of the latter is to rebalance the PepsiCo portfolio so that people make a positive choice also for themselves.
In our closing panel, “Looking at the Future of Sustainability”, Barilla’s Philippe Coquelle provided a case study story in which they attempted to be more sustainable by removing the plastic window on the packaging. However, consumers rejected the sustainable pack as they were conditioned to want to see the product inside. Also, further rejection occurred within the Barilla team with marketing and executives reluctant to change if the consumers did not agree. Moving forward, Barilla’s Philippe challenged executive boards to be move towards more sustainable options and force the changes even if consumers are not necessarily aligned with it. He noted how Harry’s moved from plastic bags to cardboard packaging with much success.
A big thank you to all our speakers including: Dr. Christian Niederauer (Global Head of Insights, Colgate-Palmolive), Michael Swaisland (Head of Insights & Analytics EMEA, Mattel), Andrea Gonçalves da Silva (Senior Market Intelligence Manager, Philips), Ed Taborda (Global Head of Insights, Electrolux), Monica Tenorio (Vice President, Insights & Analytics, PepsiCo), Stephen Donajgrodzki (Director Behavioral Science, Kellogg’s), Philippe Coquelle (Head of Insights, Europe, Barilla), Alex Peters (Global Insights Lead Purpose, Reckitt), and Jennifer Picard (Head of Center of Excellence for Mix Optimization – Global Consumer Insights, Pernod-Ricard). Learn more about our We Better Behave track here. Check out our We Better Behave virtual event recordings here.
If you missed our sessions and want to learn more about how to empower your insights team to be more sustainable, contact our team today.
Lonneke de Roo is Senior Vice President, Customer Success at Behaviorally and is head of the Geneva office. She is an experienced and energetic consumer insight professional with more than 20 years of expertise in behavorial shopper, packaging, and product research. Lonneke is passionate about working with clients across the globe and driving the right business decisions in today’s more and more digital retail context. Connect with Lonneke on LinkedIn here.