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What We're Thinking

Breaking the Habit: Why Understanding Workflow Habits Is Key to Successful Marketing

August 22, 2017

by: Patty Klingbiel

Habits are powerful. In Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow, he talks about habits as “the law of least effort,” saying “if there are several ways of achieving the same goal, people will eventually gravitate to the least demanding course of action.” It makes sense. Scientists have conducted numerous studies that have demonstrated that the human brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort. We’d all be completely overwhelmed if we fully considered every decision we made every minute of every day.


Topics: market research

The Connell Group is Proud to Be Wearing Red!

February 3, 2017

by: The Connell Group

The AHA: champions of women’s health

The first Friday in February is a day set aside by the American Heart Association to support their Go Red for Women campaign to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke.

In years past, heart disease was only considered to affect predominantly men. Clinical trials, guidelines, and even treatment options were largely male dominated. National Wear Red Day kicks off an entire month dedicated to raising awareness and education for women.


Wear Red

Six countries. Four weeks. One story.

January 26, 2017

by: Sean Connell

We were once asked to do a global branding project for an outdoor clothing retailer. Instead of going straight to a focus group setting, we really thought about the brand and what would authentically help shape its story. We asked, “How can we take local marketing research expertise and translate it into countries we’ve never been to?” and, “How do we ensure we can leverage the regional differences and still come up with a cohesive, global plan?”

This kind of thinking led us to an alternative (and ambitious) approach… we decided to “go native.”


Topics: Going Native

Sean Connell at The Great Wall of China

Observational Research Com-plexities

January 26, 2017

by: Sean Connell

Observational research isn’t a perfect science. One of the biggest issues is reflected in the Hawthorne Effect, which states that those being observed tend to alter their behavior in a study. To balance the value of this type of research with the desire to reduce bias, we’ve developed some approaches that can enhance learning while not unduly influencing the interview. We find that the key to success in this space is to work with the environmental factors, not against them.


Listening With Your Eyes | TedxUCincinnati

June 6, 2016

by: Sean Connell

Sean Connell speaks on principals he developed over the years that lead to deeper cultural understanding and cognitive empathy in the context of international market research. But these principals can be valuable for anyone who travels frequently, works on global teams, works or studies with people from other countries, and even those with an interest in international affairs. So grab cup of coffee, relax, and enjoy 17 minutes of “Listening With Your Eyes”.


Topics: marketing communications

Sean Connell | TedxUCincinnati

The Story of the Green Hat: Avoiding Cultural Pitfalls in China

March 12, 2012

by: Sean Connell

Marketing textbooks are littered with examples of American companies rolling out their products in foreign markets with little regard for seemingly “basic” cultural norms and language. Who, after all, hasn’t read about the Chevy Nova in Mexico? While this urban legend has since been debunked, it holds as an apt metaphor. A widely selling car in the US in the 1960s and 70s, a myth grew that consumers in Spanish-speaking countries wouldn’t buy the Nova because “no va” in Spanish means “it doesn’t go”. With regards to China, I like to call this The Story of the Green Hat.


Topics: market research

Green Hat

Why Counterfeit Brands Hurt as Much in China as in the US

February 28, 2012

by: Sean Connell

When multinational companies think of China, unfortunately they often think of counterfeiting. And how couldn’t they? From pirated DVDs to knock-off designer bags, counterfeit goods are a huge industry all by themselves. According to ABC News, Chinese counterfeiting now costs foreign firms an estimated $20 billion a year in lost profits. Some items, like pirated software and music, can provide buyers with almost the same quality they would get if they purchased the product legally. For other products, however, counterfeit goods can provide shoddy quality that greatly reduces the value one gets from the cheaper price. Batteries can...



Topics: global markets

Counterfeit Bags


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