Our blog focuses on individual testing and strategy tactics that strike our interest. We organize tips, tricks, and inspiration around trends and developments in the industry. We also send these out in a newsletter you can sign up for below, just sayin…
In this issue, we will do a quick survey of how growth strategy is changing and then explore a framework for thinking about customer acquisition strategy.
The massive shift in behavior accelerated by the events of 2020 is causing a follow-on lurch in marketing—marketers are sprinting to keep pace with a customer whose behavior and attitudes have changed in a matter of months.
Whether live or remote, college is restarting, and so we are saying good-bye to two amazing marketing interns who helped us manage a busy summer.
Can we innovate our way out of an economic crisis? Fingers crossed, everyone.
This week, we are celebrating the innovators and the hustlers—the people who are finding solutions because they see no other choice.
Glib or not, digging through the manure pile to find a glimmer of opportunity will contribute to getting the economy back on track.
If you are wondering how marketers behave when panicked, look no further than your email inbox and social media feeds a month or so ago.
The business book is a conundrum. With so many ways to convey ideas, why does it still exist?
By all accounts, the rental economy is on a tear. And it’s not only millennials who are eating it up.
We have big plans for this year, and we bet you do, too. In fact, expectations are so high for the new year/decade, it can seem a little overwhelming.
Big companies are getting savvier about innovation. And a number of service firms (Spark No. 9 among them) are evolving to help them.
Sometimes we get stuck. We need the big idea—the hot new product concept, the clever business model, the catchy tag line. We’ve done our homework on users and their needs.
Casey is a new business concept that Spark is incubating. Think of it as Rent the Runway-meets-luggage, another node in the increasingly complex sharing economy system.
We are getting ready for our first test of the concept, which will use ads to drive people to a "coming soon" landing page. Why don't we just start buying suitcases, building an app, and getting on with things? Because we want to be sure we build exactly the right thing
What’s the worst new product or business name you’ve come across lately? For every Brandless and Ollie, there’s a doozie like Be Best. Finding a good name is hard, right?
Red Pill or Blue Pill: Why You Need a Matrix to Launch a New Product
So how do you, too, become a nutjob and create breakthrough innovation? You need to be brave—that part’s up to you. You also need to think differently
If you want to see why millennials and Gen Z are so important, look no further than major league sports.
Weather isn’t just for small talk. It’s big business—and getting bigger.
We love you and we want you to have a great brand position for whatever it is you are growing.
If you are already back in action after the holiday break, it may be tempting to just get on with things.
In this issue, we explore the concept of major makeovers and self-transformations.
What makes a good gift? At Spark, it better be well-designed and produce data.
Did anyone remind you to vote? Your spouse? Your mom? How about Demi Lovato?
There is a lot of hand-wringing in the market research industry.
Emotional connection. By many accounts, it is the ne plus ultra of branding, the single best driver of brand loyalty and, by association, sales.
How being flexible and receptive can lead to delivering the best creative to your audience.
Let your personas reveal themselves
5 Things You Never Knew About Ariel
Why should you care how Gen Z manages their money?
You have come up with a brilliant new business concept. You've pulled together your pitch and you are ready to approach friends and family/present it to Corporate/pitch every VC in town. But the first reaction you receive after your practice pitch to your spouse/best friend/mentor is emphatic: “Solid pitch. But that name has to go!”
Call us old-fashioned, but we think email newsletters are a fantastic tool. We use them in a few different ways:
We have been a bit lazy. We rely far too much on Facebook and we know it. We test new product concepts, we test ways to market existing products, and Facebook, frankly, is great for both of these activities.
You have probably heard statistics about the high failure rates of new product launches. Is it 40%? 80%? 95%? Why so high?
The oldest of the Gen Z cohort is starting to graduate from college. Will they follow millennials to the coasts?
There’s a fine line between capturing a cultural moment and exploiting social issues for financial gain. Exhibit A: International Women’s Day.
In the last twenty years, news media revenue models have taken a series of gut punches.
It's hard to be a big mass brand in a world of microsegments.
Algorithms are everywhere, controlling your digital experience in ways that can have unpalatable social implications. But every once in a while, users fight back and get the better of algorithms.
You’ve mastered millennial marketing, right? Good. Because there’s a new kid in town. Gen Z has arrived, and they are going to require all of your savvy and creativity to reach and engage.
Over half of the world's population lives in urban areas, and, according to the United Nations, another 2.5 billion may join them by 2050.
We love PowerPoint. We just think it should be regulated, like (ahem) guns. Clearly not everyone should be allowed to use it.
What types of risks are associated with launching a new product? First and foremost is product-market fit: is there a demonstrated need for your product in a market you can reach affordably?
In the world of marketing, a debate has raged for several years: is creativity or analytics the key to success?
Ah, January! That time of year when everyone makes predictions about upcoming trends.
If you read our last newsletter, you know that we are focused on escaping our echo chambers. And since it is the time of year when our minds turn to resolutions, we decided to do something about it.
Working at Spark No. 9 means that we need to leave our echo chamber—you know, that place on social media where everyone agrees with you—almost every day.
Can’t shake your shopaholism? Gaming got you glued to the screen? Facebook fixation interfering with work?
So-called smart cities have been a thing for years now, but most of the successes have not been visible to the public.
Bias has been much in the news, mostly in reference to the media. And it’s also bandied about in reference to the echo chambers and bubbles of social media.
Looking for a new tech-driven craze to fill out your to-do list? Microvideo is here, and it’s the latest marketing must-have, especially for social media.
But New York City, with its collection of retailers both chic and esoteric, seemed resistant to brick-and-mortar demise. Not anymore.
Pie charts are the smiley faces of data visualization: Overused. A little too cute. At worst, a substitute for thinking.
Finding your first customer is very different from finding your 5,283rd customer.
Trendiness is often looked down upon. We praise the style-makers and iconoclasts, the people who see around corners, the founders and inventors.