For Emotional Logic, it was an honour to be among the finalists for the MRS Awards 2021, the most prestigious awards within our industry. Annett Pecher, Director of Emotional Logic, comments:
"We have been working with centre:mk for several years and have seen first-hand how adopting a research based strategic approach can transform business performance".
Research Live Award for Business Impact of the Year: Research that has helped transform businesses
One of the worst hit sectors of the COVID pandemic is the retail and leisure sector. Our case proves that integrating research into all aspects of business operations not only delivers competitive advantage but also speeds up recovery from the pandemic.
centre:mk is a shopping and leisure destination in Milton Keynes and we have been working together since 2014. Over this seven-year period we have transformed how research insight is applied within the organisation, embedding the voice of the consumer across all areas of operation. Our research programme is centred around a shopper segmentation based on Behavioural Science. This helps us understand not just what shoppers do and want but also the motivations driving those needs. And that is essential for predicting behaviour, which is important in a sector beset by rapid and dramatic changes.
Integrating research into all areas of operation has positively impacted business performance. As a result, the catchment has expanded by 11 minutes’ drive time and annual spend per shopper has grown by 15%.
In addition, the research programme tracked behavioural insights throughout the pandemic and informed the post-Covid opening strategy. As a result, the centre is bouncing back from lockdown: on the day of reopening (12 April 2021) footfall was 4% above pre-Covid levels compared to -16% for the average UK shopping centre.
Since reopening, UK shopping centres experienced daily footfall increases of 278% on average, while centre:mk grew three times as fast, at 814%. Currently, footfall is 5% closer to pre-Covid levels, equivalent to an estimated spend of £87m.
Effective incorporation of research into all strategic and operational decisions has enabled centre:mk to deliver exceptional performance under extremely challenging market conditions.
"The 2021 research live Award for UK Business Impact of the Year, sponsored by The Marketing Soc, goes to Emotional Logic and centre:mk for their clear entry that provided compelling benchmarks for their progress in the context of the wider retail sector. Impressive." Market Research Society, 2021.
This provides powerful evidence that investment in research powers business success even (or especially) in difficult market conditions.