Fountainhead Brand Strategy

Madison, WI

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Key Categories
Brand Equity Brand Positioning Studies Ethnographic Research Tracking Research Motivational Research

Company Description

Fountainhead Strategy is an insight, brand strategy and innovation consultancy. We thrive on human truths and determining the “why” behind the “what.” The seemingly unpredictable behaviors of consumers can be explained when core motivations are uncovered. Regardless of B2B or B2C, it’s about humans. And we understand humans.

We have expertise in a vast variety of qualitative and quantitative insight-mining tools, including implicit research techniques, to drive business momentum. No one size fits all, so Fountainhead customizes efforts for each client need. Of course, no one budget fits all either. We will work together to provide you with a range of possible approaches to get you the critical information you need.

Quantitative: Finding the patterns in human behavior

Things that appear random aren’t necessarily so. Actions that seem impulsive are driven by subconscious impulses. Our Fountainhead team is continually finding new ways to uncover patterns and predictors of human behavior. Here are a few examples:

Strategy evaluation using conviction measurement

  • Our client uses a cooperative business model. This wasn’t working hard enough for them in impacting consumer choice. We developed, then evaluated four strategic communication pathways to determine which elements most resonated with people.
  • A “conviction measurement” was overlayed into the traditional questions about “compelling,” “differentiating” and “fit with brand.” The slower the response, the lower the conviction or certainty of response. Think of it as an insider’s view into the consumer brain. With this, we discovered the ideas consumers really felt most strongly about, rather than those they thought they should like.

Brand health

  • A global non-profit was struggling with understanding what they really stood for in people’s minds and which of their efforts most motivated people to donate money.
  • Study design tapped into two groups of people – those that are regularly donating to non-profits and those that dabble in philanthropic giving. The differences and similarities were critical to understand to find ways to cultivate the next generation of dedicated donors. We found that our client’s functional equity was similar across groups, but its emotional equity varied dramatically. This insight allowed the brand to evolve its strategy to better appeal to philanthropic dabblers.

Our quantitative tool kit includes brand positioning testing, brand health, consumer segmentation, pricing analysis, implicit research, advertising testing, conjoint, MaxDiff and concept optimization. In addition, we have an in-house marketing science team, so we can also tackle predictive modeling and other more complex analytics projects.

Great insight is the result of great data

Qualitative: Seeing the human element behind the data

Our qualitative work digs deep to find those unspoken human truths. We are constantly curious, poking and prodding to find those hidden motivations. Here are a few examples:

Optimizing in-store display

  • Our client is a home good fighter brand in big box stores. They needed to know if their package communication was really pulling people in and proving that they are a brand to be trusted. Mobile ethnographies to the rescue.
  • We tapped into consumers and professional contractors, sending them in-store to check out the displays. Following question prompts on their phone, people videoed their first reactions to the displays, then focused on evaluating our client’s brand and key competitors. Closed ended questions were included as well, to gain insight into what features are most valued in this category. Our client made significant changes to the communication hierarchy they were using in-store to drive sales.

Evergreen voice of the consumer

  • Our client is a fast-growing restaurant brand focused on the highest caliber food and providing an outstanding guest experience. With fierce competition in this space, and many restaurants screaming “deal” “deal,” “deal,” staying attune to guests’ wishes and needs will help them to continue to grow for years to come
  • We established an invite-only online guest advisory council, with about 500 participants, to have a direct line into ever changing diner behaviors, learn about new players on the restaurant scene, how people were navigating restaurant food purchase during Covid, and more. The council has been actively used to address issues from multiple departments: marketing, operations, culinary, restaurant design and finance to name a few. The community has been informing business decisions for over 10 years and still going strong.

Our qualitative tool kit includes in-person and digital ethnographies, voice of the customer/VOC, in-person and online focus groups, online discussion communities, shopper journey and professional interviews, just to name a few. We get at the heart of needed understanding.

Leading qualitative with empathy yields the richest business building insights.

Strategy and innovation: Making promises and products that resonate

Many of our clients come to us with strategy and innovation needs that may require mixed modality research or no primary research at all. Let’s chat about your brand positioning, eye-opening new product development workshops, portfolio road mapping sessions and/or concept development. You won’t regret it!

Year Established:   2008

Research Services and Specializations

315 Wisconsin Ave.
Madison, WI 53703
United States
Customer Contact(s):
Jeane Kropp
  • 608-227-4808
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