Proposition development

Create, test, repeat

Great brands find new ways to chime with eternal emotions

Consumers can’t create your next breakthrough product or service. Top brands are vision led, but that vision is always rooted in a great feel for what people really want. Kokoro are experts at closing the gap between a stated need and an emotional drive. The latter’s the boss but one who’s hard to get to. We have the key to their office.

We remove constraints

Consumers are limited by the world as they see it today – they are poor at imagining new propositions and defer to the familiar. To break this pattern, we focus on the motivation not the product – the why not the what. This opens up new, stronger possibilities for brands.

We park rationality

Consumers go with their gut. They like to think they make rational choices but the truth is most decisions happen fast and unthinkingly. A great proposition doesn’t need a list of practical benefits to succeed, it needs to chime instantly. Focus on wooing not informing.

We work across the innovation cycle

Want to develop the next big thing in your category or sector? Want to take your brand into brave new verticals? Need to know why your range isn’t growing? We make a difference at any point in the development cycle – always with agile, tailored solutions. Here’s how we do it.


Identify unmet needs

Discover new territories to be owned. The unmet needs that offer most potential often exist at a subconscious level. They’re hard to recognise in oneself and difficult to articulate. Kokoro cuts through these barriers and spots how brands can offer things consumers have never said they wanted.


Generate new ideas

Harness the best of consumer and expert input to develop propositions that address those unmet needs. Start with an ‘anything’s possible’ mindset and only introduce real-world constraints when imaginations have roamed far and wide. Rigorous filtering can then nail the ‘feel and think’ of ideas and leave you with the strongest.


Test + refine concepts

Concept ready? It’s time to test. Our way avoids the common pitfall ‘consumer conservatism’, which favours familiar ideas and rejects unusual ones -because it’s hard to envisage how these might fit in with your life, We use consumer insight to help polish ideas into fully fledged propositions that have a far greater chance of a fair trial.


Optimise products

Before full launch, we test fully realised products and services to get packaging, messaging and ranging nailed. We always test in as close-to-real-life situations as possible.


Evaluate post-launch

Understand impact on brand perceptions/use, and pinpoint the emotional drivers that make/break the concept – also discovering which changes would optimise success chances.

How we do it? With our agile innovation toolkit

25+ years of experience have enabled us to perfect traditional techniques and create game-changing new ones which get to the feelings that truly shape behaviour. We can unpick whether/how your new product or service connects emotionally – maximising its appeal and giving you an understanding applicable to every other proposition you develop.

Mood + trends intelligence

Spot the next big thing. Explore how customer needs are transforming to reveal emerging hot buttons. Providing a spring board for new concepts and propositions. Offering an important cultural lens to view behaviour patterns and predict customers next move.


Authentic, natural interactions that drive real discovery. Observing closely as customers let us in on their lives, gives a real feel for their needs, desires and pressures. It opens our eyes to the dissonance between what customers say, and what they really do.


High energy explorative sessions put customers and stakeholders side by side, blending naivety and expertise always leads to magic moments. We reveal the big problems to confront and work collaboratively to dream up solutions


Spot the next big thing. Explore how customer needs are transforming to reveal emerging hot buttons. Providing a spring board for new concepts and propositions. Offering an important cultural lens to view behaviour patterns and predict customers next move.

System 1 survey design

So much research still relies too heavily on long, unengaging surveys with too much emphasis on claimed behaviours. We use implicit techniques, engaging design and inject gamified questioning to uncover real motivations and appeal.

Implicit qual

Designing tools which enable us to tease apart the difference between what customers say and what they actually do. We create innovative ways to utilise projection and play to reveal the unspoken. We experiment with putting customers in real-life decision making scenarios and observe their behaviour.

Outputs with impact

We all draw general conclusions from specific experiences – it’s why we love and remember stories. Our customer closeness puts storytellers centre stage, creating moments for authentic personal insights.

Customer events

We unite stakeholders with customers and get them working together to co-create new ideas in fun, imaginative ways. These form memories which deliver a long-lasting impact on anyone who attends.

Customer videos that hit harder

We can cover everything from Insta-story nuggets to poetic short stories to professionally shot films. We’ve got the wordsmiths, videographers and producers to make your insights a hit!

Immersive platforms

Globally, we design ways that put stakeholders in consumers’ shoes – revealing how the brand is perceived and used. Access to insights and customer content is made easy, and the platform stimulates discussion and further learnings.

Our secret weapon = 5Drivers

Our 5Drivers model sheds new light on customer needs, revealing the most important feelings for brands to play to. It brings new energy and insight to customer closeness. We can understand the blend of feelings most important to your consumers – how you can sync with their emotional requirements to satisfy them. And how you can delight by transforming them from one emotional state to another – helping them to become the person they want to be, a little at a time.

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