“Give me an insight.”
This is my favorite request, and one I get on a regular basis. I love this question because it opens the door to a conversation with the stakeholders. I’ve been fortunate enough to serve over 25 years in CPG and retail, and the ambiguity of this question never fails to fuel my innate curiosity and creativity, ultimately leading to new ways to think about the business and to breakthrough solutions that can have lasting impact.
How do we do it and why does it matter?
There is no rigid list of steps we take to create insights. There are, however, principles and frameworks applied to develop answers and solutions, and they are almost always customized to fit whatever scenario we face.
Here are some guiding philosophies I employ which have led to tangible, long-term, sustainable growth for brands and retailers alike.
Begin With The End In Mind
- What does success look like?
- What do we think we know to be true?
- Who will be making decisions from this information?
It is critical to move the conversation from one of fuzziness and ambiguity to one of clarity and desired outcomes. The outcomes are not always financial (though we understand that those are the ones that keep the lights on), they can be higher levels of engagement with our clients and retail partners. These outcomes help in overcoming the status quo stifling innovation, or simply to demonstrate thought leadership and creative problem solving. Without this principle, nothing else really matters.
Be Curious & Resourceful
Curiosity breaks through barriers and unlocks the door to coveted “Ah-ha!” moments. A curious mind understands anything is possible and is the antidote to the dreaded, “But, we’ve always done it this way”.
There is no class one can take or a list of steps to become curious, rather, it’s an innate quality, and probably the most important to consider when seeking to hire someone to fulfill an insights-driven position.
Alongside curiosity is resourcefulness. Resourcefulness comes in handy when there isn’t data at your fingertips or there is no money to acquire it. At Legacy Retail, we leverage the hell out of every piece of data and information we have access to. We find new ways to use our data by layering multiple and disparate data sources to get down to the answers we need.
There is a wealth of information available. It just takes dogged tenacity and an optimistic attitude that anything is possible.
Humans crave stories because our minds are always searching for meaning. Storytelling is such a powerful communication vehicle because there are patterns our brains are primed to receive and recall.
Unfortunately, our industry tends to default to complexity and a never-ending supply of facts and figures. How can we expect to drive successful outcomes if the way insights and data are communicated aren’t even remembered by the people who we want to take action?
I have become a lifelong student of the psychology of effective communication. I spend a lot of time getting to know our audience and developing stories that are engaging and that moves them. Making meaning from all the data available is what ties everything together. The right visuals, words, and communication medium are thoughtfully considered each and every time we provide insights.
“Jason has spent 20+ years working with Fortune 100 companies to develop long-term, sustainable growth strategies with key retailers. Jason has successfully led teams across shopper insights, category management, and analytics, working with some of the world’s most iconic brands. Jason’s category experience spans a diverse group of products in food, beverage, household products and health & beauty. His expertise is in “connecting the dots” across disparate sources of information and communicating insights through visual storytelling that lead to action. Jason is deeply curious, thrives in ambiguity, and intensely focused on delivering positive outcomes. Outside of the office, Jason enjoys connecting with friends and family, traveling to interesting places around the world, going to live music events, and spending time at the lake.”
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