In the UK, full-service agency ABA Research has been renamed 'Kokoro', the Japanese word for heart. The firm has also hired former Chime CIE Board Director Caroline Bates as Insight Consultancy Director in its leadership team.
The firm is based in St Albans and Leeds, and has additional offices in Rotterdam and New York, with plans to further extend its worldwide reach. Kokoro uses a set of proprietary tools and techniques to uncover how consumer emotions can help shape retail propositions, and track both the brand and the customer experience. These tools include 5Drivers, FeelFactor and FeelForward, which focus on understanding emotional connection in both quant and qual methodologies.
With the new name, the company promises to deliver 'emotional intelligence for brands', as well as new ways of delivering customer insight; and to this end, it has created three teams - Customer Research, Customer Experience (CX) and Insight Consultancy. Founder Alison Bainbridge explains why 'Kokoro' is the perfect name: 'This rebrand is so much more than a new name. It represents an exciting next step for our business, and an even more exciting prospect for clients who can really look forward to great commercial returns from our insights'.
Bates (pictured) joins after nearly seven years at Chime Insight & Engagement, where she served as a Board Director. Earlier, she was Head of Strategy & Insight at O2 Telefonica, and she spent six years at the Post Office; leading the Marketing Services team which included the Insight, Intelligence and Complaints team; Customer Experience and Store Formats team; and Brand and Communications team. Before this, she was Head of Consumer Insight at the Royal Mail Group, having earlier worked for Hall & Partners. In her new role, Bates will focus on activating insights, ensuring project work translates into concrete business actions for clients.
Web site: www.kokoro-global.com .
All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.