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Big Data

Using Big Data To Shape Brand Experiences


TESCO Brand Strategy

What can Big Data do for a brand? It depends on how it’s used.

TESCO, more than any other large-scale, global retail brand, had committed to customer research, analytics, and loyalty as its marketing and operational edge. When it comes to behavioral data and loyalty programs, TESCO was the standard-bearer, the bar-setter, and it set the bar very high. With all of this phenomenal data, why then is Britain’s largest retailer in trouble?

In a recent HBR op-ed, Michael Schrage, a research fellow at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business opines, “Tesco’s decline presents a clear and unambiguous warning that even rich and data-rich loyalty programs and analytics capabilities can’t stave off the competitive advantage of slightly lower prices and a simpler shopping experience…Despite its depth of data and experience, today’s Tesco simply lacks the innovation and insight chops to craft promotions, campaigns, and offers that allow it to even preserve share, let alone grow it.”

Big Data is just more data, hopefully better data. Insights are just more data too. It’s the distinction between insight and actionable insight that transform data into a dynamic component in brand storytelling. What can data do? To answer that, we start with the end in mind: What do we want data to do?

Knowing what role we want data to play will tell us what data we need, where the data will come from, and how long it will take to glean insights from the interactions that we measure.

Gavin Heaton offers this insight into retail disruption:


Brands are capturing more consumer data than ever and consumers want to see what all of this data is doing for them. Realizing that the only story to which consumers listen is the story they tell themselves, there is little excuse for not finding a way to incorporate a feedback loop into the data brands are collecting. Find a way to thank people for the data they are providing by showing them that the cost and effort to collect and analyze the data is worth doing it. Ergo, that doing it has value, and meaning – for them.

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1 Comment

Dara Schulenberg
Twitter: dschulenberg
on October 31st, 2014 said

Great insights Chris. As brand marketers we must find means to use the data to improve the customer experience or risk revolt in the form of conversion decline, dirty data collection etc. To earn the trust and loyalty of our buyers demands we use big data to find opportunities to delight them with predictive analytics. This is the opportunity of convergence and is both high risk and reward.

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