A little bit about us
We want consumer insights teams to be the heroes of their organizations. We can help you crack your brand building challenges by helping you understand and apply proprietary human and consumer motivation insight.
#15 on the list of most innovative global
We partner with our clients to pilot and deploy innovative new solutions to uncover insight that drives growth and long-term brand equity.
15 of the top 20 global advertisers work with
Global organizations use our platform because it allows them to harness insights to create growth, but also ensure that every touch point is consistently reinforcing their brand promise.
15 years, 25 countries,
We’ve come a long way in our 15 year history. We are now helping brands crack growth challenges in over 25 countries. We have 60+ amazing members of our Hotspex family, but you’ll learn more about them in our People section.
Our consumer motivation measurement platform is validated globally in 23 countries with thousands of hours of desk research and over 1 million consumer interviews. It is predictive with a 0.92 correlation between consumers’ intended and actual behaviour.
Growth through Segmenting & Targeting
How do I create segments that go beyond traditional needs states by identifying functional and emotional drivers of behaviour and ensure that my organization understands these consumer segments in their activation?
Growth through Brand Strategy
What are the functional, emotional, and personality attributes that will optimize my brand’s growth in a globally scalable way? How can I align my brand architecture and brand assets to support optimal growth?
Growth through Remarkable Ideas and Brand Activation
How do I identify and prioritize new consumer and communication targets, product innovations, and in-store activations earlier in the creative process to save non-productive marketing dollars and get these ideas into market sooner?
Growth of Brand Equity through Relentless Consistent Touch Points
How can we align all of our internal stakeholders and external agencies to consistent brand execution across omni-channel touch points, so that we build brand equity while growing our business?
I really think what you do with emotion is unique. Other companies say they measure emotions, but they only touch on it. They don’t have a deep understanding of emotions and what to do about it like Hotspex does.
Insights Director, Leading Global CPG Company
What sets Hotspex apart, and has yielded great insights, are their emotional discovery tools. They give us a competitive edge.
VP Marketing, Leading Beverages company
This is awesome! We will use this as the foundational underpinning to intentionally push the brand forward.
Brand Managing Director,
I was pleased with the overall learning and appreciate the value the methodology provides versus what we used to do with another supplier. The cost, timing, and quality of results are all a big improvement for me.
Global Category Manager,
Hotspex research tools are disruptive capabilities that have the potential to change the way marketers understand the consumer-brand relationship.
Design Director, Global Tier1 CPG Brand
We have debated how to bring this brand character to life at this multifunctional team meeting for several years and thanks to your methodology, this is the first time we have been able to get aligned and move forward with action. Hotspex map is our unified theory of brand which creates consistency across all touch points.
Marketing Director, Tier 1 CPG Company
Wow! The findings are awesome and very helpful! I wouldn’t change a thing in the deck. It was literally one of the best I’ve seen from a supplier partner in my career!”
Consumer Insights Manager, Global Brand
We call our family of 60+ amazing people our HotStaff.
We asked our HotStaff for the top 3 reasons they work here:
- You get to work with TOP global brand and work on really cool projects
- Incredible opportunity to grow and develop – we work hard
- We are a family and we have lots of fun (in a kind of nerdy way)
Managing Director, USA
Aron GalonskyManaging Director, USA
“Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.” – Hunter S. Thompson
Aron has worked across a range of roles through his 16 year career, from analyst, to head of advanced analytics, to Chief Innovation Officer, to account executive, to Group Head. Right before coming to HotSpex, Aron spent 3+ years outside of market research and in the world of brand & business consulting where he built out his consulting toolkit.
Across his career Aron has worked with many of the most prestigious brands in the world, helping them measure, manage and optimize their performance across brand, advertising, customer experience, loyalty, segmentation, new product development and innovation.
Aron has earned a Masters degree and is ABD PhD in Political Science and Research Methodology from SUNY Stony Brook. In graduate school, Aron studied attitude change and persuasion using techniques to understand both implicit and explicit attitudes. Aron is an award winning teacher and published academic author.
AVP, Innovation & Research Solutions
Joe SpencerAVP, Innovation & Research Solutions
Joe joined Hotspex in February 2011 and has progressed through multiple departments to become the Associate Vice President of Innovation and Research Solutions. His focus is to continually innovate and add new capabilities to the Hotspex toolkit. Joe’s career includes forays into information technology, statistical modelling, academia, and consulting. These varied paths share his core strength: problem solving through data. By combining skills from each of these disciplines he is able to create the tools and methodologies needed to create insight from all of the data available in today’s world.
In his spare time Joe is an avid reader and enjoys lazy weekends with friends.
SVP Research, North America
Luke AustinSVP Research, North America
“Be quick to listen, slow to speak….”
Luke’s almost 20 year career in marketing research has covered virtually every sector including automotive, beverage, financial services, packaged goods, not-for-profit, retail and food services in the areas of strategy, new concept development, target definition & segmentation, pricing, positioning, brand equity, communications development, customer satisfaction and retention. Luke is a rare breed of professional in that he is proficient in both qualitative and quantitative methods, enabling him to bring the best approaches to client work.
Nothing thrills Luke more than being with family, from ice hockey and equestrian arenas, to board games on Friday nights, to hosting social gatherings at the home.
"Surround yourself with great people and great things will happen."
Shane and his team of brand builders are on a mission to become the world’s most innovative and impactful brand builders. They are working with 9 of the top 10 global advertisers in over 25 countries to drive brand growth by accelerating the speed to market of new ideas, while helping reduce risk and non-marketing dollar spend.
Many companies talk about emotions, but Hotspex deepens brand builders’ understanding of human motivation to unlock brand growth. Their globally validated and proprietary human motivation measurement platform ensures that global brands trigger consistent emotions, personality associations, sensory cues, and rational benefits across all touch points along the shopper journey. The impact is that brands have more success driving consumer behaviors, while building consistent mental availability of their brand’s assets and cues.
Recently voted among the top most innovative insights consultancies according to GRIT, Hotspex is focused on innovation, including cutting edge research related to mental availability, mental memory structures, and implicit measurement.
Ashley RobsonAVP, Research
"Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest"
Ashley has been with Hotspex since 2010. Her 8 years in research has been focused on quantitative packaging, concept, and shelf testing and brand positioning for major CPG companies. Prior to her career in research, Ashley was a Financial Advisor and a Manager of Customer Service at TD Canada Trust. Ashley has a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from Wilfred Laurier University, and she completed the Research Analyst post-graduate program at Georgian College.
In her spare time, Ashley loves nothing more than spend time with friends and family – relaxing, laughing, and making memories.
Jonathan La Greca
VP Strategic Growth & Innovation
Jonathan La GrecaVP Strategic Growth & Innovation
"Life is magic."
BioJonathan leads strategic growth and brand building at Hotspex, which includes taking a leading role helping our global clients accelerate brand growth. He has 15 years of experience ideating, developing, and activating brands across 5 different industries, including both client and agency side. He joined us after 6 years at Canada’s largest oil company, Suncor, where he was a Global Marketing Manager. Jonathan received the gold medal for highest graduating GPA during his MBA at the Schulich School of Business and returned to teach MBA Brand Management shortly thereafter. He’s a brand builder by day and a mindfulness meditation and boot camp instructor by night.
Michael DorrSVP, Research
"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." - Albert Einstein
Michael has spent 15 years within the research & analytics profession, working at large
institutions such Loyalty One and Transcontinental to boutique research consulting firms.
The common thread across his experiences has been deriving consumer insights through
analytics; with skills spanning qualitative & quantitative research, data mining, web
analytics and financial modeling. Industries of keen interest and specialty are grocery
retail, CPG, pharma and wine & spirits. Michael holds an MBA (with a focus on marketing
and research) from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and a
Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.
VP Research, Mexico & Latin America
Eduardo InfanteVP Research, Mexico & Latin America
"Mientras algo se gana, no se pierde nada.
(As long as something is gained nothing is lost)"
- Miguel de Cervantes
BioWe are equally proud that Eduardo has decided to join our team to help us grow our Mexico and Latin America region. Eduardo has expertise in a wide array of industries and his expertise is conducting quant and qual research throughout the LatAm region and North America, primarily in cities with large Hispanic communities. He eventually founded his own qualitative market research company which operated for several years in the Hispanic market in the USA, covering multiple product categories. He was appointed Director of the Technology Commercialization Office, as well as a Research Professor in Universidad Panamericana in Mexico. Eduardo has an MBA from Tecnológico de Monterrey and has completed market research programs at the Wharton School of Business and Michigan State.
Kamala's involvement in the marketing research and advertising industries spans a number of years and achievements. Kamala brings her accomplished skills to her role as Senior Vice President and focuses them on achieving results for our clients. In a career spanning 20 years, she has held senior positions at Decima, Maritz Research, ABM and Ipsos-ASI. Most recently, as a VP at Ipsos-ASI, Kamala was responsible for managing large-scale advertising tracking and brand equity projects. Kamala has worked extensively in the packaged goods, financial services, telecom and alcoholic beverages sectors for several key Canadian, U.S. and global companies. Her focus is on establishing long-term partnerships with her clients and fully understanding their businesses in order to deliver truly actionable insights.
Toby PillingVP, technology
"Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more." - Nikola Tesla
Toby has over 18 years of development and consulting experience and is proficient in multiple programming languages and technologies from the architecture, development, implementation and management perspective.
He is an advertising veteran who enjoyed many years guiding agency and client through complex digital marketing initiatives, leading large projects for clients such as Mars, Energizer/Playtex, Research in Motion, Government of Ontario, AIM Trimark, Procter & Gamble, Eli Lilly, GSK, Unilever and Whitehall-Robins.
Since moving into Market Research, Toby has focused his creative technology skills on augmenting the Hotspex IP in the areas of data visualization and streamlined data collection. His most recent projects include EAT (a syndicated consumption diary aimed at food manufacturers and retailers), KYZ (our data visualization and delivery portal) and an enhanced, cloud-based version of our QCard software.
Toby was the President and Fundraising Chair of his children’s community-run day care centre and is a volunteer leader with Scouts Canada. He spends a lot of his ‘spare’ time arranging fundraising events and activities on behalf of the organizations and keeps active with scuba diving, squash, & cycling.
SVP Growth, Sales & Marketing
Gera NevolovichSVP Growth, Sales & Marketing
Gera has been with Hotspex since 2006 and has played a pivotal role in commercializing and establishing Hotspex research technology and tools as preferred solutions for Brand Strategy, Communications, and Packaging at Fortune 100 CPG companies. Gera is responsible for the growth of our company through long-term partnerships with our strategic customers and is a voice of next generation Insights and Innovation practices as a conference presenter and organizer.
Kristina DadswellVP, Research
Kristina has spent the past 5+ years working with Hotspex on a variety of research – brand positioning to package, concept and ad testing (among others). Before joining Hotspex in January 2010, Kristina spent four years at Ipsos Reid where she worked in both the Toronto and Vancouver offices. Throughout her 12+ years in research Kristina has managed projects across a number of sectors, including consumer packaged goods, retail, higher education, non-profit organizations, food and beverage, telecommunications, media and health. Kristina’s educational background includes a BA, Honors in Sociology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and she has completed the Research Analyst Post Graduate program at Georgian College.
Robert LauferSVP, Research
"Listen with the intent to understand not the intent to reply"
Robert has 15 years of experience in market research. Robert currently serves as Senior Vice President, Client Services and previously headed our Analytix Department that conducts all multivariate data analysis for Hotspex. Robert has also served as Dean of Hotspex University, the formal training program for all Hotspex staff. Robert graduated Beta Gamma Sigma, top 10%, at the undergraduate level majoring in marketing, with a minor in international business and ranked first in his MBA graduating class at Concordia University John Molson School of Business. Robert is our product champion for MarketSpex, our foundational brand strategy solution and has conducted over 50 of them.
When he is not studying brands, Robert is an avid photographer, blogger, and automotive enthusiast.
Whether you are a baby boomer or a millennial, you likely know who Colonel Sanders is. The image of the Colonel is likely etched deep within your memory, and thinking of him may trigger a variety of different associations from fried chicken to buckets with stripes on them. These mental associations have been built and reinforced through years of advertising, purchasing, and consumption. Repeated exposure to the Colonel has been fairly consistent over the years. Well, that is until recently, when Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) decided to change things up a bit.
KFC’s strategy to leverage its most Distinctive Brand Asset – the Colonel
In what is being dubbed the “recolonialization”, KFC has put a renewed focus on its founder, the Colonel, to make up ground against its competitor Chic Fil A. KFC is likely hoping to utilize the halo effect of a man that was known to be a notorious stickler for quality to increase the perceived quality of its food. In a category where functional differentiation is challenging, KFC may be trying to leverage its most distinctive brand asset, the Colonel, to trigger associations of heritage as a point of distinction over competitors with less of a legacy.
Correctly activated, brand assets strengthen memory structures in consumers’ minds in a unique and powerful way. KFC may be using the Colonel to automatically activate appetite appeal through associations with the old-school, honest goodness of Southern cooking.
Canadian families have a new delicious way to add vegetables into their diets, thanks to 2 new product innovations: Catelli Smart Veggie™ and Catelli SuperGreens ™. Hotspex is proud to be one of Catelli’s insights & innovation partners on these delicious and innovative new products.
Catelli Smart Veggie™ sneaks the goodness of carrots and cauliflower into our Catelli Smart® white pasta. In addition to fibre, it provides half a serving of vegetables in every 85 gram portion*. It’s the perfect solution for a nutritious, yet great tasting meal.
*Made from dried vegetables.
Catelli SuperGreens™ is the ultimate veggie pasta. Made from 100% Canadian wheat and the super-goodness of spinach, zucchini, broccoli and kale*, it’s big on nutrients like vitamin A, potassium, fibre, iron and calcium. It’s the perfect way to introduce a little green into your meal ideas.
*Made from dried vegetables.
Unless you have young children, you probably hadn’t heard from Pokémon for a while, but that all changed with the buzz surrounding Pokémon GO, a mobile game that uses GPS to engage fans to play the game out in the real world.
In an astonishing fact, Pokémon GO has been downloaded more times in one week than the very popular relationship app Tinder has been in the past 4 years and according to some sources, it could surpass Twitter in terms of its daily active users!
Avid Pokémon GO players uncovered that a McDonald’s logo was hidden in the app data and hours later the Pokémon Company confirmed that there would be a branded tie in with the QSR. Some small businesses had already been capitalizing on the global game craze with fun signs or promotions, but this announcement marks the game’s first foray into official brand partnerships.
How does getting the attention of these Pokémon crazed smartphone wielders benefit McDonald’s?
Early details seem to indicate that all McDonald’s locations in at least one country, rumored to be Japan, will be turned into “PokéStops” or “Pokémon Gyms”, which means players will follow their GPS and congregate at these locations to engage in certain geographically tied in game activities.
In How Brands Grow, Byron Sharpe describes how physical availability drives brand growth. Simply put, brands that are more readily available, are more likely to fulfill consumer need states. When it comes to QSRs, brands can increase their physical availability by increasing the number and accessibility of their locations. Providing more reasons to attend their stores or locations creates new consumer entry points.
In this case, the game itself will drive traffic to these locations by making them desirable destinations for anyone playing. Given that these consumers will have likely been walking around for hours glued to their phones while playing, the Golden Arch labelled “PokéStop” are likely to trigger and satisfy hunger and thirst need states. It will be interesting to see how the potential washroom lineups impact paying, yet non-playing consumers.
A relatable example from Byron Sharpe’s book is how Sainsbury’s in the U.K. demonstrated sales growth over its competitors during the busy Christmas period of 2010 by simply purchasing 12,000 tons of salt and ensuring that their parking lots were always free of snow, making their retail locations more desirable and accessible.
The Halo Effect
In simple terms, the halo effect is the tendency for an impression created in one area or by one brand to influence opinion in another area or for another brand. McDonald’s has had a long standing partnership with Nintendo, previously supporting the company’s DS and 3DS systems with Wi-Fi enabled beacons and having strong brand ties with the Pokémon franchise through promotions and Happy Meal toys.
By highlighting this partnership, the positive associations consumers have towards Pokémon GO create a mental halo that McDonald’s can position itself to take advantage of. The partnership may also dial up new associations that further strengthen equity in the brand.
McDonald’s is making a bet that this partnership will drive significant traffic and positive associations for the brand. Time will tell whether the game continues to garner the attention that it has so far , but in any event, we applaud McDonald’s for trying new things to build physical availability by making its retail sites more desirable and accessible. It is also a smart brand move to drive additional associations through the halo effect with the excitement surrounding Pokémon GO. If interest in the game and the overall popularity of Pokémon continues to grow, imagine the impact this partnership could have, especially if McDonald’s chooses to leverage its 30,000 global locations.
Whether you are trying to get in contact with us because of the rare Pokémon hidden in our office or are interested in learning more about how your team and other key stakeholders can leverage recent findings in the field of marketing or behavioral sciences, let us know.
Contributors: Gera Nevolovich, Ian Dalley
Hotspex has been built on a philosophy of continuous innovation. Our mandate is to help our clients uncover the most relevant and actionable human insights that can be applied to build mental availability and accelerate brand growth.
As such, Hotspex is very proud to have earned a spot among the most innovative global insights consultancies for the 3rd year running! Our innovation agenda over the past few years has led to the development of exciting new brand building tools. We are proud to have worked with 15 of the top 20 global advertisers in helping them achieve leadership growth by building distinctive brand assets, winning packaging and shopper-based design, and remarkable advertising.
Moving forward, as the insights industry continues to change, Hotspex is committed to collaborating with industry experts and global brands to develop industry leading expertise in implicit and explicit measurement to guide smarter and more strategic brand building decisions.
If you are interested in us sharing the most recent advances in marketing and behavioral science with your team or organization or would like to pilot leading edge methodologies to uncover unique insights and drive fresh new thinking on your brands, click here.
We’re so proud to have had our Senior Vice President Michael Dorr deliver an insightful presentation on disruption in the market research industry at the 2016 MRIA Annual Conference last week in Montréal. Thank you to the MRIA for being such gracious hosts and thank you to everyone who attended our session on the disruptions that our industry is facing.
View Michael Dorr’s Presentation “Danger Ahead… or is it Opportunity?”
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss the challenges and changes facing market research in 2016 and beyond you can contact Michael Dorr at Michael.Dorr@hotspex.com, or on Twitter @MichaelJDorr.
Or to discover how your brand can grow in 2016 and beyond contact Hotspex
Authors: Michael Dorr
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