5 people standing on a stage with their arms linked

Brandstage in Action

Audience Favorites

Brandstage interacts with brands at three crucial junctures.

  1. FINDING. Before the actors ever take the stage or the consumers enter the room, the Second City/Kantar team does studious pre-planning, taking a deep dive into a brand’s current situation, future goals, nagging tensions and important areas of focus.
  2. REFLECTION & DISCOVERY. When you drill down, it’s remarkably simple: Consumers tell us their experiences, our Second City actors then reflect those experiences on stage to find the boundaries of the truth. The humor and insights generated on stage help those consumers feel much more comfortable in sharing their honest feelings. Next, the thoughtful questions posited by our facilitators encourage the consumers to dive deep and explore not just what they like/dislike, but why and under what circumstances. These substantial insights help pressure test a brand’s preconceived notions around a topic and help provide a clear path forward.
  3. DELIVERY. After the Brandstage is concluded, the Second City writing team, along with Kantar’s expert moderators, craft a detailed deliverable document outlining the boldest and most provocative consumer insights from the day, the topline quotes and the details/discoveries that mattered most. We don’t just tell you what you want to hear, we tell you what your brand needs to hear.
I was impressed with the speed and efficiency of it – how quickly you got to better ideas.

Consumer Insights Director

Snacking + Sports

One popular, playful snack wanted to understand how they could connect with sports fans. Brandstage helped the brand to understand the kinds of messaging and situations that felt authentic for sports fans, as well as what didn’t ring true and why. Together with consumers, the team was able to to deliver a rich creative brief that helped the agency go further, faster.

Financial Services + Small Business Owners

A financial brand wanted to get into the lives of small business owners and fuel new creative territories to break through in a cluttered market. As the performers played back the highs and lows of owning one’s own business, they touched a nerve in the consumer audience that led to unprecedented honesty, laughter, and even tears. The brand was reenergized by a newfound empathy for the consumer target, as well as a deeper understanding of the emotions involved in taking the risk to start – and pour your heart into – your own business.

We got to an awesome piece of creative coming straight out of this session! And even better, we just got the copy test results in, and it is OFF THE CHARTS.

Associate Director, Insights & Planning

Gen X Men + Breakfast

This healthy breakfast brand was missing the mark with their 40+ male consumers. The brand was aware that these guys were thinking about health & longevity, but talking about ‘healthy breakfasts’ made them feel, well, old. Brandstage uncovered unexpected ways into the conversation to keep it playfully young, responsibly adult, and right on brand.

The ideas have the opportunity to develop. It was brilliant how you could get people beyond the functional benefit into more emotive territories.

Account Planning Director

CPG + Future-Proofing

A beloved brand was looking to the future. New product innovations would fundamentally change the product experience in a few years, and the brand needed to understand how to talk about the big changes without frightening their core customers. Brandstage provided the unique opportunity for the team to see their value propositions personified as stimulus for consumer reactions. The brand gained strategic insight that helped them focus more on the good stuff, uncover new opportunities to brag, and redline the promises that were too disruptive for loyal fans.