Big, established brands can get stale, so in the fast-changing and hyper-competitive consumer products market, rapid, results-oriented market research is a real asset for large brands.
in Hyde Park builds on founder Carol Shea's decades of experience in consumer marketing research to help brands shake things up a little. Olivetree helps find new answers to the perennial question: What do consumers REALLY want?
Shea started Olivetree Research about 11 years ago, not long after Sept. 11, 2001.
"It was the right time for me to make a split from my former company," she says. "I'd been in marketing research for 25 years, and had been thinking about starting my own business for a long time. Sept. 11 was a wake-up call for living every day the way you want."
Additionally, Shea served as adjunct faculty of the Williams College of Business at Xavier University
as a former member of the Advisory Council to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Olivetree works with large and mid-size local firms that are looking to solve marketing and sales challenges that stunt growth.
"We're working with companies that are committed to positioning new product development that meets the needs of their consumers," Shea says. "We work with companies who want to spend time up-front on research, understand what positioning is and are willing to engage in that process."
Through her work, Shea has helped brand everything from pickles to neighborhoods, all by finding what customers want and what the company needs to do to market and meet those needs.
Companies often come to her when their marketing efforts are flagging, they have a decline in sales or a new competitor enters the market. With Olivetree, companies look to strengthen their brand, reinforce customer loyalty, expand into new markets or develop new products and services.
The market research process takes about three to six months, and can continue over years as a company evolves. In addition to consumer products, Shea often works with healthcare and financial services agencies.
This year, Shea is growing her own business by starting an online training company that will offer courses for new market researchers.
"It will help them understand what techniques work best in certain situations," she says. "The training will help them have confidence in their position. It can be very difficult for someone new in market research to speak with authority on how you should proceed based on the (research) results."
Shea plans to launch the new company sometime later this year.
By Feoshia H. Davis
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