Nuggets of Insight

I feel like the nuggets of insight lecture has been really valuable to our team over the past week. It made me realize how deep you have to dig and how much research and analysis needs to go into a project like this before you can really find what you’re looking for. In this case, my group as the brand team has been gradually gathering all of the information we can (on iced tea in general, Lipton and other brands specifically, purchasers of tea, data on millennials, etc.) so we can really build a strong background of knowledge on our brand to be more confident when we find that one piece of insight. For me, that one piece of insight is like the “imprints” that are being discussed in my book. I think that in order to find the driver (of millennial purchases) for Lipton iced tea, I want our group to find the imprint of this tea- that meaning the first time that millennials ever came in contact with it. I want to find a way to bring millennials back to their past, to the very first scenario in which they encountered Lipton iced tea (where and why they were drinking it, what emotions they were experiencing, how they felt, who they were with), because  I think that first imprint (as explained in Culture Code) is what creates the foundation of associations to the brand. If we can figure this out, we can figure out what iced tea really means to millennials, and what the underlying driving factor is that causes them to buy it (not just what they want you to hear).

As our team has been working setting up our focus groups, we are trying to use some of this knowledge about imprints  (and how to reveal them) when developing our set of questions and projective techniques. I’m glad I am getting to go through this whole process of creating and analyzing a focus group. It’s a tedious process, but you learn how carefully every aspect and how each wording of each question needs to be considered.

I’m hoping it won’t be too hard to gather participants for the study… I know students sometimes need a lot of incentive and even with that it’s hard for people to take that extra hour of time out of their day. We really need a couple diverse groups of millennials for this if we want valuable information, so hopefully we can get them.


Week 4

We began this week with a reveal of our agencies and the conference call with Rachel. I think our agency matched up perfectly with Moximum. While they are definitely risk takers, we believe they have the background and experience to support that as well as a fun and creative personality. They seem like they will be dedicated to the job of refreshing the brand without totally alienating the heritage of Lipton.

It’s fun getting further along in the process of acting as the client and negotiating with the agency. It’s interesting to see how it’s kind of not one set process, but negotiations can change as we go and ideas can be passed back and forth.  Our agency recently asked us (after the pairing) for a short write-up/comparison of the Lipton brand to other Pepsi brands Pure Leaf and Brisk. They wanted to know what differentiates Lipton from these two brands and have a clear outline of the brand personalities as well as the customer purchase information for each. Our Unilever team is happy that the agency really seems to be on top of their project and look forward to what the coming weeks will bring. I feel like I’m really getting to know the brand and act as a part of the company.



My book finally came in the mail so I’ve started reading Culture Code… it’s a really interesting book & great way to teach yourself about marketing while enjoying what you’re reading. Culture code is all about the thought process of people and what the real internal factors are that drive us to buy what we buy. People never say what they mean, and Culture Code shows multiple different scenarios of that.

It’s actually perfect timing, because it’s connecting a lot to what we’ve been talking about in class. Culture Code, if you don’t know what it means, is basically the unconscious meaning we give to any given item via the culture we’re raised in. This immediately made me think of our lecture on nuggets of insight. The main character is famous for finding “imprints” on brands, or the one thing/connection that creates the first imprint of an object in your life.

It’s also already taught me a lot more about focus groups, which our group is going to take a lot from when we conduct our own.  The main character’s method of conducting his focus groups helps make so much sense out of why we like what we like and buy what we buy. When you ask someone to answer something about a product, they will never tell you what they’re actually feeling or their underlying thoughts. They’ll tell you what you want to hear. Questions like these immediately register in the intelligence cortex of someone’s brain rather than the emotional part of it, so we have to take a different approach. What Clotaire does is bring people into a calm, quiet state of mind, and take them back to the images, experiences, and memories of their first time using a product or their first time remembering being associated with a product. This is where you have the potential to figure out the “code word,” or the main insight to what emotional memory or circumstance connects people to the product. This “imprint” as he calls it, is what will shape the future image and perception for that person about the item.

Using this method has helped him figure out that one word, emotional connection, or driving factor that people have to the things that they use in life. I’m excited to introduce these tactics to my team and use similar methods in our own focus group.


Creative Brief Presentations

Key takeaways to keep in mind for future presentations:

  • Brand managers lead the discussion- engaging, make it personal
  • Know your role & be an expert
  • Better to have an overview of 3 visuals of deliverables before presenting them
  • Powerpoints –> less words, more pictures
  • Less like a presentation; more like an engaging session

Beginning to read the book Culture Code. Think it will definitely be insightful in the reasoning behind the way different people live their lives & the decisions they make.

Penn State Prime – The beginning

Weeks 1 & 2:
It’s the first two weeks of class, and I’m starting to not even want to call it “class.” So far, the days of being in this environment have been so different than any other class I’ve taken at Penn State, and I love it. I think I do my best learning when I’m actually learning by doing, as opposed to listening and being lectured to. Because this class is totally experimental, the structure of days and assignments is somewhat free-flowing, but I think that’s what works so well with everyone. When I go to prime every Tuesday & Thursday, I feel like I’m actually spending my time in a simulated business environment, rather than class at Penn State. Everything seems more professional, and everyone seems so insightful and determined to make the class great. Being in Prime makes me feel as if I’m actually doing what I could potentially be doing in real life as a job, and making a difference in a company.

Working on the Unilever side, I’m spending the semester as the brand manager for my team of six along with two other managers as well. Our group seems like we will be able to collaborate, bring new ideas and work well together. I hope that by the end of the semester, I can feel as if I’ve actually become my Role, and become part of Unilever with my team.

We started doing some research on Unilever’s heritage, values, and mission for today and the future to become more familiar with the company. I also found some great articles and important information about millennials, their habits, and the future of marketing/advertising. A lot of this helped shape our creative brief, which was really fun to work on and a great experience to pitch our brand values and information to Moxie. Important things I wanted to keep in mind:

  • Millennials love to look, and maybe not so much as be healthy
  • Mobile is going to become the center of marketing
  • Millennials are adventurous, optimistic, “in the moment” kind of people
  • Good content will not slow down –> need for this in the online marketplace is crucial
  • Customers continue to demand more transparency and engagement from genuine brands
  • Social will be THE channel (for marketing and brands)

Questions to explore:

  1. What makes a great brand?
  2. What makes a great brand manager?
  3. How long can a brand be “cool” & “relevant” for? How do you keep it sustainable

Links to go back to:

Books to read: Aliza Licht, Leave your Mark

*Missed the second day of class and phone call with Rachel- luckily, my team recorded the whole thing so I was able to keep up. However, I did learn a lot in NYC at the NRF Big Show -(notes from speaker Aliza Licht):

-Build your personal brand (DNA of the brand –> what do you stand for; what is your purpose; do you add value)
-Your network is your most valuable asset
-Value your relationships
-Surround yourself with smart people
-Don’t be afraid of “no” – present the idea anyway