It’s back! Christmas Unwrapped 2019

Get our highly-regarded report series and get the tactics to win this key Christmas trading period

The biggest and best Christmas insights

Be better prepared for the challenge of growing your revenue and profit in one of the most competitive, ever-changing trading periods.

Our reports ensure you’re armed with the insight to react quickly to evolving consumer sentiment and buying habits so you can adapt successfully.

After all it’s often those small tweaks that can make a big difference between the winners and losers in such a tight market.

Highlights from Christmas 2018

Here’s a taster of the report highlights from 2018 and how understanding these can help you drive better commercial returns this Christmas.

Download pdf version here

Pick and mix your favourites

Just choose the insight reports you’re interested in or get the comprehensive full set and save.

Each report is based on a sample of 2,000 nat rep UK consumers plus qualitative interviews throughout the Christmas period.

Each report is priced at just £3,950 or get all 4 reports for just £11,500 (save over £4,000)

Report 1: early mindset

  • Predicted spend (vs. last year)
  • How uncertainty’s hitting plans
  • Wider feelings towards event
  • Critical festive milestones
  • Category winners/losers
  • Brands expecting to use
  • Hopes/dreams for season

So you can understand the challenge ahead and flex plans accordingly

Released 25 Oct ‘19

(Fieldwork 17-20 Oct)

Report 2: preparations underway

  • How plans are evolving
  • £ spent/still to play for
  • Brands quick off the mark
  • Response to big ad campaigns
  • Emerging winning tactics and hot buttons pressed

So you can benchmark your early performance and assess your tactics to win big

Released 25 Nov ’19

(Fieldwork 16-19 Nov)

Report 3: reality replaces dreams

  • Deep dive into Black Friday
  • Brands succeeding
  • Response to the big advertising campaigns
  • Emerging winning tactics and hot buttons pressed

So you can gauge the strategies which are hitting home and identify final tweaks to optimise your performance

Released 13 Dec ‘19

(Fieldwork 3-8 Dec)

Report 4: winners and losers revealed

  • Winners/losers and why
  • How hopes played out
  • Stated/revealed importance
  • Pain points in Christmas journey
  • Key emotions played to/missed
  • Outlook for 2020

So you can get great plans in place for Christmas 2020

Released 10 Jan ‘20

(Fieldwork 28 Dec-6 Jan)

Who is it for?

Any retail and eating-out brand where Christmas is a key trading period for their business.

Sign up now

Want to buy it? Got some questions? Need to understand more detail? Just pop in a few details and we’ll be in touch to discuss more.

Each report is priced at just £3,950 or get all 4 reports for just £11,500 (save over £4,000)

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Goodbye shopping – hello experience spaces

Two of the biggest tech players, Samsung and Microsoft, opened new flagship spaces in London last month. One thing they definitely have in common….. they offer so much more than shopping alone. These are experience spaces on a grand scale – oozing innovation and play. Whilst Samsung invites you to connect with your passions through a jam-packed series of events, Microsoft invites you to learn new skills for free in its Community Theatre. Both brands bring the capabilities of tech to life through interactive, memory-making moments with AR, gaming and simulation. Plus, this isn’t all about the tech – the staff working here share the passion for the new possibilities technology provides and the know-how to solve our tech problems and transform our lives.

Not seen them yet? Take a look in our galleries below

Microsoft – Oxford Circus

Samsung KX – Coal Drops Yard

Kokoro Cuts – best of July

A round-up of the best new experiences and campaigns we’ve seen on our travels. Here’s what you need to know about

Microsoft launches its first UK store with community focus (it’s not just a shop)

July saw two big tech giants launch experiential spaces in the UK – Microsoft and Samsung. Microsoft’s first ever UK flagship is impressive, not so much architecturally, but more because of the community focus. Yes it has an incredibly impressive gaming lounge but it also has a Community Theatre for students, parents and small businesses for lots of free learning. It’s great to see a brand put the emphasis on how it can help foster relationships with the community, and put its colleagues centre stage in delivering this, rather than just provide immersive experiences through tech.

Samsung launches the ultimate ‘experience space’ (no, it’s not a shop)

Samsung KX has just opened its doors in Kings Cross. Adamant that this is so much more than a shop Samsung has even put this message at the heart of its campaign “It’s not a shop. It’s a place you can #DoWhatYouCant”. The space is impressive architecturally but with all the friendly colleague faces to bring warmth to a sleek interior. It’s all about experiences – it gives people the freedom to try their hands at things like digital graffiti, DJing, the future of driving… plus the opportunity to connect with your passion through a plethora of daily talks and events.


Converse goes beyond the sustainability headlines

There are a lot of hyped-up headlines at the moment about brands jumping on the sustainability wagon as the Fashion industry looks to clean up its act. Most high street brands have upped the ante on sustainable ranges in the last couple of months. ASOS even has a ‘sustainable filter on its app! But looking beyond the headlines its Converse that really sticks out with its credible, honest stance. Its latest campaign has emotive creatives, a really decent product range (this isn’t eco bland basics) and an incredibly transparent and simple 3-step process of how plastic bottles are transformed into great product. This is what consumers want – 0% effort, 100% feel-good.


$50 boxes of cereal – this is value in 2019!

Who on earth would have thought of a collaboration between Travis Scott and Reese’s Puffs. Then who would have thought that an arty pop up at Paris Fashion Week could promote it. This collaboration has created quite a stir for an old American favourite. At $50 a box (yes we did say that correctly) you could have got your hands on a Travis Scott designed box for a mere 50 seconds before they all sold out! This is a fun way to create a surprise buzz and get big social coverage.  Reese’s Puffs’ official Twitter tweeted: “Missed your shot? Follow @trvisXX + @ReesesPuffs for more to come.”


Genius timely ad from Country Life

We just had to include this clever advert which manages to link butter to a feeling of Freedom by playing on May’s confession that the naughtiest thing she ever did was run through fields of wheat…. Great timing ensured this had maximum impact.

Applications for the fan club now open

Why feel-good ambassadors deliver the greatest return in customer experience

As consumers seek experiences and generally become harder to please, the best brands are saying goodbye to staff, and hello to brand ambassadors.

Simple smiles win

Brands full of staff who are happy and proud in their work really shine. We’re drawn to positivity. Those serving us in Nando’s, Virgin Atlantic and Apple radiate feel-good. They bring an extra spark to the experience.


Fanatics charm us

A sense of genuine passion for the brand and product brings authenticity. True brand ambassadors exude energy, and it’s contagious. Think Lego store, full of those proudly still in love with their childhood favourite. Book worms in Waterstones, beauty addicts in Sephora, animal lovers in Pets at Home, the wanderlusts in Kuoni – wow, because we’re all drawn to passion. It makes such a difference. The Harry Potter Studio tour would be a very different experience if it wasn’t guided by mega fans.


Drama seduces

One of the biggest buzz words in customer experience is ‘theatre’ – but what does that really mean? Well John Lewis recently hit headlines for sending their staff to drama school – teaching the tools and techniques of the stage to ensure every customer interaction is as magical as possible. When we visited we could absolutely feel the difference. Turns out, there really is a little theatre in us all.

Empowerment builds bonds

Independent, liberated teams glow. Brands who empower staff are renowned for brilliant service, Lush and Pret are great examples. Lush colleagues are genuinely passionate about the cause, know products inside out and there’s a real sense they love what they do. They are well cared for too, with incredible company-wide parties and celebrations which show them just how valued they are. But the real genius for us is the ‘surprise and delight’ budget staff are in control of. They can give customers gifts and do incredible product displays (writing off sellable stock) all to create theatre and memorable moments. Pret have something similar, a big charitable cause for staff to be passionate about, but also the ability to give away freebies. The key is these give-aways and gifts lead to customer wow-moments – but crucially are the choice of colleagues. They are in control. It’s powerful and that feel-good oozes in the experience.


Going against the grain gains traction

Lush hit headlines by taking a stance on social media. Tired of the fake, robotic game of algorithms, they wanted to hero authenticity and real community. So they are no longer on social media, instead their staff cultivate the feeling of closeness opening dialogue in human ways like email, telephone and face-to-face in stores. The revolution has begun.


Boom! launch webinars

In half an hour you can totally change the way you think about customer experience

Boom! packed into 30 minutes

Book your place to hear our new report brought to life in just 30 minutes. You get the powerful truth why brands like Monzo, Boohoo and Emirates thrive whilst others fall short. It’s a completely new outlook on how you should measure and leverage customer emotions to build your CX strategy and deliver extraordinary commercial return

Key takeaways

Hear about what inspired us to create Boom! and get your powerful takeaways:

  • Why you need to get serious about emotions – the workings of the subconscious brain and the role of emotions in creating memories
  • FeelFactor – a completely new way of understanding if your brand connects with customers and why leaders are gravitating to it versus NPS
  • A completely new way to think about experiences – we show you four types of brand experience, the strategic role of each, and how to optimise them to grow revenue/profit

Why listen?

We promise to fill your 30 minutes with engaging and thought-provoking content so you can be part of something that might just change the way you think…..forever!

Where and when?

Choose one of two slots and simply fill in your details below for free access to the webinar

Slot 1: Thursday August 22 – 14:30 GMT (15:30 CET, 09:30 New York Time)

Slot 2: Tuesday September 3 – 17:30 GMT (18:30 CET, 09:30 San Francisco Time)

This is a live session lasting 30 minutes including 5 minutes Q&A at the end

Who should attend?

Anyone who is interested in challenging their thinking about the future of brand and customer experience. From entrepreneurs, to brand managers, UX designers to researchers. If you work in marketing, buying, design, CX, UX, retail, fashion, beauty, travel, grocery, banking or eating out this event is made for you

KokoroBites: unlocking emotions – webinar 2

Supercharge your brain cells in 20 minutes with our new live webinar series

Webinar 2 – unlocking emotions

We know consumers feel first, act second and think later. Our job is to appeal to their irrational desires. We must understand their deep-rooted needs. Our webinar shares the secret to understanding consumer emotions with an explanation of our 5Drivers model

What will you learn?

We like to think we’re rational, but really we go with our gut. Brands can win by making customers feel happy – but that’s vague, how do you spark happiness? And how can you make sure your way is unique? Our 5Drivers model reveals the feelings we’ve identified as most important in building happiness with a brand. Our model allows you to pinpoint the feelings your customers experience when using you, and the Drivers which, if played to, will open up most opportunities for your brand

In this webinar, we reveal our 5Drivers model and how brands can connect on a deeper level to achieve commercial success

Who should sign up?

Insight professionals, designers, marketers and CX specialists who want inspiration to think about their brand and experiences in a more emotive way

When is it?

Choose one of two slots and simply fill in your details below for free access to the webinar

Slot 1:  Tuesday August 6 – 17:30 GMT (17:30 CET, 09:30 San Francisco Time)

Slot 2:  Wednesday August 7 – 14:30 GMT (14:30 CET, 09:30 New York Time)

This is a live session lasting 20 minutes including 5 minutes Q&A at the end

Who’s providing the thought-provoking thinking?

You’ll be inspired by Laura Gillespie  – leading Kokoro’s powerful work on leveraging emotions

Boom! You’re invited

Join one of our events and totally change the way you think about customer experience

See Boom! brought to life

Rejig your diary and make space for one hour of learning, debating and great conversation-making with people who genuinely want to challenge their thinking on the future of brand and customer experience. This is your opportunity to see Boom! brought to life and get access to exclusive content that isn’t in the report.

Why attend?

We promise to fill your hour with fun, engaging and thought-provoking content so you can be part of something that might just change the way you think…..forever!

We know you absorb and learn so much more when you immerse yourself in a topic and debate it – not through tweets and likes, but through human conversation. The type of conversation that results in sparking all kinds of exciting stuff.

Hear ideas from inspiring thinkers and doers in your industry and share your own personal challenges

Where and when?

Boom! breakfast – 8:30am-9:30am, Thursday 15th August. Kings Cross, GridIron Building, One Pancras Square London N1C 4AG. Only 30 seconds from King’s Cross! Grab a coffee and croissant and expand your mind before your day job

Boom! over the hump – 3pm-4pm, Wednesday 14th August. 33 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JG. Get over your mid week hump with a glass of gin and some real pick-me-ups!

Who should attend?

Anyone who is interested in challenging their thinking about the future of brand and customer experience. From entrepreneurs, to brand managers, UX designers to researchers. If you work in marketing, buying, design, CX, UX, retail, fashion, beauty, travel, grocery, banking or eating out this event is made for you

Sign up now

Fancy a chat at 9pm? Sorry, **insert vague excuse here**

Why are we still loyal? We explore why we’re so connected and invested in Love Island

There’s those who swear they won’t tune in but end up getting hooked, those who pretend to ‘watch it if it’s on’ but really they started the count-down 2 weeks early, and those who are so addicted they’re lost on Saturday nights. For loads of us, Love Island is totally our type.

Naturally there’s lots to connect with on the show, beautiful young things in a glorious setting is an easy watch and it’s on almost every day so that regular drum beat keeps us engaged. Even though we’ve seen similar stories play out time and time again, the drama never stops giving. “Tonight on Love Island…” and we’re already excited.  We love the grafting, the texts, the toe stepping, the head turning, the recoupling, the debates on girl code and a juicy challenge (more twitter reveals please). It even widens our vocabulary! But there must be more to it than that, if someone asked me if I had a spare hour each day this summer to squeeze something else into my schedule, I’d roll my eyes, but somehow, I always manage to make time to for a trip to the villa. This show isn’t a pretty drama, its emotions run much deeper than that.

Connection is probably the Islanders most over-used word. We examine what makes us connect and take a look what drives us to be so emotionally invested in the show.

All-seeing audiences

As the audience we really get the measure of people – we know the two-faced, those really falling for each other, the starting of a feud before anyone in the villa. This connects us, because we like holding knowledge of course, but also because we can predict the drama. We’re constantly creating our own trailers and teasers in our minds for what will happen next, very few shows give us so many tools to do this.

Revealing our own boundaries

Glued to Love Island WhatsApp groups for live updates on friends’ reactions during the show and distraction over ad breaks. And if we’re not nattering on WhatsApp we’re doing it in person – watching with our partner, family or friends. Other addictive TV shows don’t see quite the same behaviours. Love Island helps us learn about our own relationships and boundaries, we can test each other without having a tricky conversation or picking a fight. Watching others navigate the highs and lows of friendship and dating allows us to see how our nearest and dearest would react – what they think is fair game, snaky or immature. We’re drawn to this, because we love to know where our nearest and dearest heads are at.

“He shouldn’t have said that in front of everyone”

“I agree”

**follows with a warm glow of aren’t we on the same page**

Compare to:

“He shouldn’t have said that in front of everyone”

“She’s such hard work though, I think she was out of line”


**follows with hitting the pause button and a bicker over how hard it is to be the one to put yourself out there

Validation for our fears and reactions

Emotions run high – every episode there’s tears or tantrums. We’re intrigued by this. We’ve all had moments where we haven’t been our best selves. Seeing these reactions validated as normal by watching others do similar, is a nice feeling. Getting a slightly smug reassurance as others do far worse than us can also feel nice.

Meme afterparty

For at least half an hour after watching the drama unfold we’re scrolling through Twitter and Insta. Not only are the comments and memes hilarious – they further validate our own reactions. The meme afterparty is open to everyone and helps us feel like we belong.

We are all Iain Stirling

Iain’s sharp commentary is the reality check every viewer needs. Quick to highlight oddities and contradictions – we often find ourselves making similar comments simultaneously or regularly thinking how spot on he is. Iain is important, he’s the down-to-earth voice in a glossy, image-obsessed show. Which means we all feel connected, not alienated, even if we are watching it while wearing a facemask, in our PJs, binging on ice cream.

Kokoro Cuts – best of June

A round up of the best new experiences and campaigns we’ve seen on our travels. Here’s what you need to know about

Marketing with Pride (not just rainbows)

June was Pride Month and as 2019 marked the 50th anniversary there was an explosion of brands launching new campaigns, products and events to show their support. Many brands got it wrong – with token efforts or bizarre rainbow redesigns (think Pride antiseptic mouthwash from Listerine!) rather than real authentic commitment to the LGBT+ community. Here’s two campaigns that made a strong stand. Converse once again launched one of the most impressive Pride product collections. What makes this different to other brands is that a huge 100% of proceeds of sales are donated to several supportive LGBT+ organisations. Sephora wanted to do more than just sell colourful Pride make-up (which it also does very well) so it launched a campaign called ‘Identify As We’ which features big members of the LGBTQA, transgender and gender-fluid community. The video to their campaign ends with the words “We Belong to Something Beautiful” which reflects the company’s new manifesto – including a mandate to build a community “where diversity is expected, self-expression is honoured, all are welcomed, and you are included”.

Source: Converse

Empowering women’s football campaigns

June marked the most anticipated Women’s World Cup in history. As interest in the sport surges brands have most definitely jumped on the bandwagon. Tubular Insights claims that in the past 90 days, Women’s World Cup-related content scored 71.2M views across social video platforms. It’s sad that England are no longer in the running but there’s been some cracking campaigns to encourage nations to get behind the sport. Here’s our top three. Nike’s “Dream Further” campaign is truly empowering and has racked up a whopping 20.2million views since it was released on its twitter account. Lucozade Sport launched their moving #ThreeLionesses campaign and re-wrote the 3 lions song. It also released 16m special edition bottles featuring members of the England squad. ING’s commercial for the Dutch women’s football team “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” does a great job to capture the energy, grit and determination of the sport and its players.

Primark’s truly instagrammable Central Perk café

Don’t just sell coffee – sell an iconic experience that is sure to draw in crowds and end up in their memories. We dare you to follow the footsteps of Primark and create something as ‘Instagrammable’ as their Friends throwback Central Perk café. Everything from the coffee cups to the pieces of art, the iconic orange sofa and famous window scene create opportunities for Primark to end up on your social media account! See more in our gallery

Customers’ dangerous desire for everlasting (self) love

It feels everywhere we turn, we’re encouraged to be kind to number one, open up about mental health, strive for balance and prioritise self-care. We ask, in a bid for self-love, are we creating another unattainable standard?

On the surface, it’s tricky to see how talking about feelings and being kinder to ourselves can be anything but good. It’s making us more understanding to one another; we’re no longer plugging such a strict view on ‘perfect’. By opening up, we’ve given permission to talk about tricky topics, fewer people are suffering alone and more feel supported. These feelings are sparking real action as more of us question and critique messages that threaten our ‘be kind’ manifesto.

Our image of self-love is actually piling on the pressure

The reality of prioritising exercise, committing to a natural skin care regime, practicing mindfulness, running a side-hustle, living in the moment, joining the crusade to be kind to others, doing our bit for body positivity and opening up about our feelings can be overwhelming. Especially, as to truly nail this self-love standard we have to make it look natural, authentic and effortless a la Meghan Remarkable.

We predict we’ll reach tipping point soon

We’ve created a new aspiration, it might sound more wholesome and healthy than those we’ve had in the past, but it’s certainty not easy.

Self love will become a new way to critique ourselves, we’ll see consumers snap. We already seeing ‘30 day self-love challenges’ and ‘self love hacks’. How long before we hear the phrase ‘I’m really falling behind on my self-care” or start downloading self-love tracker apps?

We’ll look to brands to help us navigate

We believe some brands will win by feeding the frenzy – making it easier for us to achieve Markle-status. We suspect subscription models, services which advise and curate for us, propositions built around easy multi-tasking will soar in popularity. Helping us achieve the impossible.

We imagine the brand to re-calibrate this and liberate us from the new unattainable aspiration, will thrive. Our money is on brands who play in the empowerment space, like Nike. Which breaks down our image of greatness, democratising fitness with liberating perspectives – summed up in their crusade, ‘if you have a body you are an athlete’.

Our unique work with emotions tells us this sense of freedom is one of the most transformational feelings we possess. We help brands reimagine customer propositions to do just this.