Justin Sutton

About Justin Sutton

Justin is a senior director of research and consulting in the qualitative group. He has over 10 years of market research experience conducting both qualitative and innovation projects. He has a background in qualitative design and execution, new product and service ideation, service marketing, promotional planning, and developing packaging and messaging concepts. Justin’s experience spans multiple industry groups, including energy, technology, healthcare, CPG, automotive, and others. He has conducted hundreds of qualitative focus groups, depth interviews, on-site interviews, and online discussions. Justin loves helping clients address their objectives by delivering actionable insights and implications specific to their business situations. Justin holds a BBA with a concentration in marketing from Texas Christian University. Once a Vegas stage performer, Justin has since moved on to spend his spare time on home-improvement projects and experiencing the world with his two kiddos. Meet the Moderator

Brand Evolution Is Hard—But It Doesn’t Have to Be Unnecessarily Risky

Brand Evolution Is Hard—But It Doesn’t Have to Be Unnecessarily Risky For many global companies, brand evolution is a natural part of running the business. As consumer attitudes and lifestyles change, so must brands if they want to continue to deliver value to their customers.

But in an effort to remain relevant, companies too often hinge their brand identities on current events and passing trends rather than thoughtfully forging a path forward. In this pursuit, many companies forget to first examine their place in the hearts and minds of customers. That’s a mistake because the stakes are high if you don’t get brand evolution right. This is a lesson Tropicana learned the hard way when, in 2009, it decided to drastically change the design of its packaging—a move that resulted in swift consumer backlash and a 20% sales drop.

Packaging is just one small part of your brand identity, but Tropicana’s misstep is a cautionary tale on the potentially risky consequences of making drastic changes to your brand without engaging with your customers first. In changing markets, it’s important to be nimble, but it’s even more crucial to step lightly and purposefully to maintain a healthy brand and avoid alienating existing customers.

We get it—evolving a well-recognized global brand is hard. Staying true to your brand while keeping up with the evolving habits and preferences of consumers is a tricky balance. But why do some companies pull off this transformation successfully while others confuse their customers and lose sales in the process? Examining three brands that are currently in transition can help answer this question.
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Aligning for Success: Innovating with Clear Eyes

Aligning for Success: Innovating with Clear EyesIt’s common for qualitative research practitioners to cast a wide net to ensure no insight is left unconsidered, and many apply the same logic to their innovation efforts, aiming for the big, blue sky with the hopes of capturing a new, game-changing idea. In practice, however, I’ve seen this approach to innovation not only produce incremental or non-actionable results, but also shelve some of the best ideas to collecting dust. To find success in innovation, it’s important to act deliberately and remain cognizant about where you want (and don’t want) to go. Continue reading