Our Approach

End brand narcissism

Traditional research is focused on the brand’s perspective. Have you heard of me? How much do you like me? Will you buy me again? The awareness, familiarity, consideration and purchase funnel can be a useful tool, but diagnosing a brand’s true health will not come from these navel-gazing questions. Never, as a consumer, has anyone considered buying a product and thought “which brand is the most trustworthy?” Today’s consumer shops by filters and sorts, is focused on their own needs and priorities, and has higher expectations of both product and experience. The old questions just don’t cut it by themselves.

Our custom research …

  • Is tailored to each client and built from the consumer’s point of view
  • Strives to understand what motivates consumers, how they make their choices, and where our client’s brand aligns with the consumer’s needs
  • Uses a blend of innovative quantitative and qualitative techniques as well as properly used more traditional research
  • Prioritizes the consumer truth
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Understand the promiscuous shopper

A number of forces are converging on consumers to encourage brand promiscuity – constant innovation, category disruption, accessibility and rising expectations all promote a desire to find the new best thing. Now, when we go to shop in a category, we assume there have been innovations since our last purchase and check out the competition to see what is happening. Gone are the days of automatic loyalty. Brands are in a state of constant acquisition.

We understand these pressures and how they are influencing consumer behavior and brand perceptions in each of our client’s brand categories. The traditional focus on brand loyalty is losing relevancy in a world where consumers are becoming accustomed to radical innovations. Research should not have loyalty or advocacy as a sole focus but comprehend the brand from all perspectives to illuminate strengths and weaknesses. The world is constantly changing, and consumers are changing with it. Brands must be nimble and knowledgeable enough to embrace those changes.

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Ground all research in the category context

Brand category has a huge influence on the way people shop. Yet, research traditionally asks the same framework of brand metrics regardless of the category. Does consideration mean the same thing to consumers when you’re talking about cars and ice cream? We have found that including category perceptions in our research provides a more robust and useable data set. This information clarifies marketing strategies, messaging, and even packaging and product development.

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Strategic consultants

Alter Agents has structured our business model to allow the most senior and experienced talent to work hands-on, in a consultative model with our clients that yields actionable, high value insights.

We don’t use the term consultancy to burnish our offering and upsell clients, but it is the most accurate descriptor of the services we offer. The company was born out of our desire to create a higher level of client servicing and build true partnerships that better served our clients’ needs. Our team is comprised of passionate, senior researchers which allows us to provide strategic guidance from study design to report delivery.

Our pricing is flat fee no matter how many times you lean on our team for additional data runs, brainstorming on delivered research, or discussing broader issues. Bringing a new executive team member up-to-date on the data, running analysis on a newly identified target and brainstorming on future projects are just a few of the things we do as part of our client servicing. Our people work best when we are a part of the conversation and the team. Cutting off access to our services hurts everyone. So, we keep that door open. Always.