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TMRE: The Market Research Event


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October 8-10, 2024
Loews Royal Pacific ResortOrlando, FL

Connecting with Consumers

All Things Insights’ Seth Adler had a chance to speak with Julie Di Gregorio, head of insights at the Active Group and Corey Baumgardner, head of market intelligence at Wolverine Worldwide, to discuss taking the broad view of insights.

Baumgardner has a decade of experience in footwear, spending the past seven years in marketplace insights. He leads Market and Competitive Intelligence across the 12-brand Wolverine Worldwide portfolio. Di Gregorio has more than a decade of Insights experience and is now leading insights for lifestyle brands Saucony, Hush Puppies, Sperry and Sweaty Betty. She is adept at empowering brands by providing experiential insights and actionable recommendations.

In the TMRE session, “Hindsight, Insight, Foresight: How Our Strategic Framework Fuels a Culture of Consumer Obsession and Drives Strategic Innovation,” they’ll discuss how a thorough consideration of the consumer can deepen focus.

As an introduction to the thinking, Baumgardner described the three-legged structure consisting of “hindsight, looking back on what we know has happened within the marketplace. Insight is really the primary research that we do. Connecting with consumers and making sure our brands are really close to consumers, to understand what they want, what they need, whether they're saying it or not. And then foresight is the way that we translate all of that as well as where consumers are going, to make sure our brands are ready to meet them there in the marketplace of the future.”

So, the perspective takes in the relationship between a brand and consumers.

“We definitely pride ourselves on having this end-to-end insights framework to really create a holistic approach as it relates to making sure that we're staying close to the consumer,” Di Gregorio says. “So ultimately, we can be the engine, and fuel a culture of consumer obsession internally.”

She says it's critical to keep foresight in mind even with the present and past providing their own perspective.

“I think a lot of times you either focus on the hindsight or the insight, but really where you can have the biggest impact in change is really focusing on those early indicators of how the consumer is behaving, acting and gravitating in order for brands like ours, to have the greatest impact and relevance within the category that we play in.”

To demonstrate how the approach gets put into play, Baumgardener says, the session will include a case study of how it comes to life from inception to making the consumer connection. It will detail how running brand Saucony employed quantitative and qualitative research to identify a white space opportunity, then to execute against it to introduce a differentiated trail shoe to a crowded market.

Di Gregorio says the case study doesn’t just look at methodology but also “the engagement with stakeholders and brand partners internally and how that's so important in having those internal champions to be the ones to lean in on the research. It's helpful for us to present research that we find and feel, but it's even more powerful to inspire internal teammates to feel like they know these consumers, that they understand their stories and that they've been part of the process all along.”

See the video for more on Seth Adler’s conversation with Julie Di Gregorio and Corey Baumgardner, as they talk about end-to-end insights and the value of looking ahead for early indications of trend changes.