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Are you keeping up?

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Well it looks like we’re surviving. Brexageddon hasn’t happened (yet) and consumers are starting to ditch their plans to save for the end of the financial world – yep, there’s a few more pounds floating round the high street.In fact GfK’s Consumer Confidence survey shows that confidence in personal finances, the overall state of the economy and in purchasing major items have all rocketed over the summer. And the really good news? The savings index has dipped, proving once and for all that consumers are ready to spend, spend, spend. Good news unless you’re an investment company, obviously.
Great – we can start to flog anything we can lay our hands on again…

I go away for a couple of months and this is how you think without me? If you think that, you might want to revisit the back catalogue of TMP blogettes, just to get yourself back up to speed.

Quality and value are still the watchwords on the High Street – and if you’re one of the 5 million people who tune into the BBC’s ‘Eat Well for Less’ you’ll know that there are two pesky greengrocer types trying to prove that high-value brands just ain’t worth the extra cash. You simply can’t rely on your good name anymore, because there’ll be someone trying to offer exactly the same for less.

So how can we make sure we’re worth a little extra?

This is where knowing your market really comes into play. If you don’t know exactly how your market sees you and what they value you for then no brand, however big is going to be able to convince customers to part with a little extra cash for their products or services. And we mean precisely knowing your market, as in with crack SAS sniper precision.

Take a guy I met at a networking event. He has a pretty well-known service brand under his belt but despite his good rep, profits were falling, with fewer prospects actually signing on the all-important dotted line. His customer service was always rated as good to excellent – save for a couple of the usual Moaning Minnie’s we all get – and his brand consistently delivered on its promises.

So where was he going wrong?

I asked him what his most important market driver was. And this guy – Mr Success with the shiny car, achingly cool workspace and all the right business moves – finally stopped talking for a second. He ummed and ahhed. He started to speak and then stopped before the first word had been properly formed. Finally – thankfully I’m good with embarrassing pauses – he managed to spit out a whole sentence. And then another. Progress!

Now, look, I can’t be too specific about what he said without potentially letting the name of his cat out of the bag – and I’m hoping that said cat might sign on the TMP dotted line any time soon – but safe to say that he’s been seeing his market all wrong. Well, unless we’d just stepped in a time machine and gone back about seven years. You know, around the time when Gordon Brown was PM, Michael Jackson was just about still alive – and the world had recently experienced the most catastrophic financial crash in history. Bit different to today’s circumstances…

Say no more.

But I have to say more, it’s what I’m here for. Here’s the deal. You might have the hottest market research in the entire universe, you might know your prospects so well that you can predict what name they’ll give their first born child but you need to update your research more regularly than every seven years. Come on people! What next? PC World wondering why it can’t seem to shift its stock of Commodore 64s?

Look at the world we live in now.

Over the space of two months, consumers have stopped hoarding money and possessions for the end of the EU world, have been buoyed by Team GB’s most successful Olympics ever and have gone a little bit giddy over some genuinely hot summer days. What have you been doing? Do you know how your market’s thinking right now, not 70 long days ago? We need to keep on top of it my TMP Faithful!

What’s surprised your consumers so far this year? How would they sum up how their lives are going if you asked? Have their desires shifted in the past few months? If a genie appeared out of Great Auntie Gertie’s old brass lamp, what would they wish for right now?

Ask the same old questions, get the same old answers.

Which is why The Monachie Project never seeks out the mundane. Surprising questions, a road less travelled, a quirkier perspective than your average consultancy. It’s all what makes us your most reliable eyes and ears on the ground. We can get to the heart of the matter in an instant – and give you insights that will have your competitors weeping with frustration.

There are only 115 sleeps ‘till Santa – and that means just over 120 until the new year. How are your business goals for 2016 going? There’s still time to make them happen – get in touch! Our laser sharp consumer insights will have your customers realising that you understand them better than Tony Robbins at a Date with Destiny gig. And it all comes without any excruciatingly excessive eye contact or an overabundance of words beginning with the letter ‘f’. I’m not sure whether it’s my place to say this but seriously, from the reactions I’ve had from clients, I might just be your guru…

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