NEWS6 February 2012

Greenfield veterans return to sample with reInvention

New business North America

US— Former Greenfield Online executives Hugh Davis and Keith Price have launched a new sampling firm, reInvention.

The company boasts a team of project managers that will be available at all times of the day and night as well as its own panel, OneOpinion, which has already launched in the US and is due to roll-out in the UK in the next 45 days.

Davis and Price describe the firm’s approach as a response to the increasing automation and “do-it-yourself” nature of the sample delivery business. “There’s not enough focus on delivering a human-to-human, consultative approach,” says Price.

Often, that’s because such an approach is too expensive. For many sample providers, automation and DIY are a way to keep costs in check as buyers continually squeeze suppliers’ profit margins.

However, Davis and Price say reInvention works from a much lower technology cost base than other panel firms, which are having to deal with legacy systems. Rather than pay for banks of its own servers, reInvention is tapping into cloud storage services, like Amazon’s Web Services.

The money saved has been invested in customer-facing staff: around half of reInvention’s 20 employees are project managers, says Davis. Funds have also been put into developing a proprietary respondent management platform.

Davis and Price have invested their own money in the business and they are supported by John Almeida, the founder of Five Peaks Capital Management, and Joel Mesznik, founder of Mesco and a former chairman of Greenfield Online.

Davis worked for Greenfield Online for almost 16 years, and Price almost 10 years. Both remained with the firm for a further year after it was sold to Toluna – Davis as chief strategy officer and Price as president of North America.

They founded reInvention in July, but the business has been operating under the radar in the months since then.