FEATURE1 January 2012

Ups and downs – Kate Norfolk


Make sure you test before you tinker, especially with established logos, says Opinium’s Kate Norfolk.

The best advice I’ve had is…
if you are feeling angry or frustrated with someone then write the email but don’t send it. It serves to dissipate your anger without letting you say something you may regret further down the line.

…and the worst advice I’ve had is
to always say yes to work and then work out how to do it after. It might be great to put yourself out of your comfort zone once in a while but it is always better to be confident that you are going to deliver exactly what you have promised.

“The John Lewis Christmas ad had a great message that resonated with consumers who were hoping to economise on Christmas without losing the magic”

A campaign that grabbed me recently is…
the new John Lewis Christmas advert, which has touched a lot of people this year. It may be a little cheesy but I think that you can be more forgiving of that sort of thing at Christmas time. The song choice, premiere slot during X Factor and the limited showings at the start of the campaign meant that word of mouth and social media did all the hard work for them. It was a great message too, especially from a large retailer, and it resonated with consumers who were hoping to economise on Christmas without losing the magic.

…and a campaign that needed more research was
Gap’s attempted rebranding at the end of 2010 stands out. After more than 20 years using the instantly recognisable navy blue square, they switched to black text on a white background only to backtrack less than a week later after an outpouring of comments on social media sites. Marka Hansen, president of Gap Brand North America, commented at the time that they “did not go about this in the right way” and that “there may be a time to evolve our logo, but if and when that time comes, we’ll handle it in a different way”. Lesson learned? Some market research in the first place such as concept testing or brand tracking could have saved a considerable amount of time, energy and – no doubt – money.

One thing this industry could use more of is…
communication between all parties, particularly at the reporting stage. This may seem a fundamental thing but it surprises me how many clients say that they have conducted research with another agency in the past and were left with a mass of data with very little consultation or support once the project was over.

A comprehensive service is absolutely essential when it comes to developing client relations as well as ensuring the data is used correctly and to its full potential.

…and one thing this industry could use less of is
research for research’s sake. Research that is poorly constructed or rushed can do as much damage to the industry as research that is not being carried out at all. A lack of interaction between the agency and the client, particularly at implementation stage, can lead on to a project that potentially either shows nothing or, even worse, provides an inaccurate
picture of what is being researched.

One thing I hope to do is…
as well as developing the healthcare division at Opinium I am hoping to get the chance to travel more over the course
of 2012. Mexico and south-east Asia are on my list of must-visit places.

…and one thing I wish I?hadn’t done is
started buying lottery tickets. I now feel a little unnerved on weeks when I have not bought one and genuinely optimistic on weeks where I have, despite the fact I am yet to win more than £10.

A product that impressed me recently is…
I may be a little bit biased as they are a client of ours, but I have been really impressed with Metrobank’s range of products. In particular, the service where they issue replacement bank cards and cheques on the spot in store. Having lost my cards recently and been made to wait for more than a week to have access to my bank account, this service seems like an invaluable one to me.

…and a product I’m not completely satisfied with is
the iPhone 4S. I’m a little disappointed that it does not seem to be a vast improvement on the previous models. I also resent the fact that customers are tied into it because they are issued with a SIM card that is only compatible with that particular phone model.