Our Thoughts

TLF Gems Newsletter March 2020

3rd March 2020
Your monthly CX and insight update from TLF Research


“We adore chaos because we love to produce order.”



How do we measure success? A lot of business people would say it comes down to money, but I think that's often not quite as useful or as clever as they think.


Leaving to one side whether or not making money should be your primary purpose, one thing that we've seen again and again is the importance of being clear on whether your focus is on short-term or long-term profit. We believe in an approach to business built around a loyalty strategy, in other words on finding the right kind of customers, meeting their needs better than anyone else, and therefore earning their loyalty. That strategy pays off handsomely, but it's a long-term game.


As Dave Trott points out in our first link, you can only evaluate success if you're clear on what you're trying to achieve. That principle applies as much to strategy and customer experience as it does to advertising. So what matters to you?

Thanks for reading,




Stephen Hampshire

Client Manager, TLF Research


Here's 7 things we think are worth your time this month...
The Sydney Opera House is iconic, but is it a good opera house? As Dave Trott explains, it depends on what the brief was. The acoustics aren't great, but "...the actual brief was for an Australian architectural icon, a logo to stay top-of-mind with the most famous half-a-dozen cities in the world, and on that brief Sydney wins."
Do you ever find yourself rebelling against all the Behavioural Economics theory about how irrational we are? You're not alone. Tom Stafford is a psychologist whose "Reasonable People" newsletter makes a passionate case for rationality. "The current fashion for a psychology preoccupied with our biases and limitations underestimates the common inheritance we all have as reasoning and moral beings. Worse, by promoting a view of human nature as irrational, it panders to the view that the only way to persuade people is through cheap tricks which trigger biases."

The Financial Times is marketing its "New Agenda", and a need to "reset" capitalism. This video helps to explain their thinking a little more. It's a widening of view, highlighting the importance of other stakeholders rather than just maximising the short term benefit of shareholders, and it's very much aligned with our preference for a long-term loyalty strategy. "If they can get ahead of the really important social and environmental changes right now...then often you can make more money in the long term anyway."


Uber recently laid off a huge number of its researchers, to be replaced by A/B testing. This article looks at some of the reasons, and suggests ways in which researchers will need to evolve if we're to meet the evolving needs of businesses. "If we cannot make the process quicker, what can we do to make user research more practical, and less blocking?"


I love a podcast, and MIT's Three Big Points is one I've just discovered. In this episode Nancy Duarte gives some thoughts about turning data into stories. I don't agree with everything she says (not all displays of data should be bar, pie, or line), but her takeaways about storytelling are important and useful. "Data doesn't speak for itself, it needs a storyteller to tell what it means.


An interesting post from Roger Dooley on his experiences with shopping for a new laptop, reflecting on lessons for user experience. Reducing friction is key, and too much focus on lead generation (particularly forms) can be frustrating. "Which is more important on your website? Helping potential customers, or turning them into leads?"


As someone who studied psychology, I've always looked for ways to apply what we know about human decision making to customer behaviour. This brilliant book summarises 25 biases, and explores their implications for marketing and customer insight. "People don't have the time or energy to laboriously and logically weigh up each decision. Instead, they rely on short-cuts to make decisions more quickly."

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