Share and share alike

This has been a week of sharing. Brands are joining forces to get the most out of market research. One collection of brands is joining together to create The Consumer Forum (see story below). The aim of this body founded by Simon Calver, the chief executive of Lovefilm, is to interact better with consumers. Calver says that focus groups have been too reactive in the past and, The Consumer Forum’s aim is to involve real people in the process.

The surprise here is that businesses are willing to collaborate with each other. Although brands like Lovefilm, King of Shaves and Ella’s Kitchen don’t directly compete with one another, many businesses shy away from collaborating with anyone outside of their own walls.

Calver says that the reason why these brands have all been attracted to this different approach to market research is down to the fact they are all consumer-centric. Whatever the reason, it’s good to see businesses working together and not seeing each other as the enemy.

Discovery Channel is also in the mood for sharing. It is sharing it lifestyle research with brands online which will allow business to collaborate around the insights. The Collaborative Knowledge Partner Platform has been bought to life with the help of innovation consultancy Sense Worldwide and funded by NESTA (The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts).

The chaps over at Sense Worldwide believe that this new way of working will enable brands to work together to create new ideas, ways of working and even new products.

They hope that this platform will result in collaborations like Apple and Nike’s partnership, which resulted in Nike+. Working around market research, it seems, is also creating a central point for businesses to talk to each other and potentially generate fantastic new ideas.

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