Unlike many players in the innovation consulting arena, I•86 customizes all of its innovation services for each project and client. This "one size doesn't fit all" commitment is based on perspectives gained through many years of client side marketing experience where partnering suppliers were expected to tailor their solutions, as well as custom marketing research supplier experience, where all studies are designed to fit client's specific objectives and needs.
I•86 offers the following menu of services:
Momentum Sessions – Optimizing Strategic Research ROI
Customized Ideation Sessions
Trending Workshops
Customized Concept Prioritization & Optimization
IQ – 360° Market Immersion

Momentum Sessions – Optimizing Strategic Research ROI

Fig. 1

Too often, expensive and time-consuming marketing research is not actively used to drive new strategies or tactics (see figure 1). This is typically the case because project focus is on the upfront planning, fielding and reporting phases, with minimal focus on designing and facilitating company engagement and active use of the completed work. The result is minimal ongoing key stakeholder engagement in the research after completion (see figure 2).

Fig. 2

Momentum Sessions were created as a unique and highly engaging way to help clients optimize research ROI. While most clients implement The Momentum approach just following study completion to stimulate immediate utility, Momentum can also be conducted at a later point in time to "dust" off expensive work that is still relevant and needs to be leveraged.

The Momentum Session is divided into two parts, each having its own specific purpose:

Part One

A series of group exercises and a two-to-three hour presentation are combined to help bring to life the many and varied aspects of the research findings in a highly memorable fashion.

Part Two

A half-day, high-energy, creative ideation session built around the completed research encourages stakeholders to generate new ideas that specifically relates back to the research findings and the company's strategic priorities.

Customized Ideation Sessions

Ideation Sessions are customized to accommodate:

  • Your specific set of objectives
  • Your positive and negative experiences with past innovation attempts
  • Your goal scope of innovation (from marginal build outs to category breakthrough)
  • Your participants' backgrounds, perspectives and skill sets
  • Your particular business category, niche and the dynamics associated with it
  • Your budget and timeline

Some of the ideation variables that I•86 typically customizes include:


The productivity of any ideation session depends largely on how the ideation participants are prepped. I•86 customizes the preparation to include briefing materials, a homework assignment and on occasion, night before ideation stimulus focus groups, where the target audience creates materials that are actively used in the following day ideation. All designed to give the participants enough background so that they will be able to generate innovative, yet viable concepts.


In an effort to include a divergent cross-section of perspectives, I•86 usually brings in participants from outside your company (from a network of "creative catalysts" that I•86 maintains), to lend the necessary balance and infusion of fresh thinking to the session. I•86 also works closely with clients to identify the optimal internal mix of participants.


Typically, I•86 recommends an offsite, unexpected location for the Session that inspires innovative thinking and idea generation. Locations have ranged from children's museums and concert halls to bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels.

Existing Research

I•86 will determine how previously conducted research should be included for use as idea stimulus, or whether new research might be conducted for this purpose.

Time and Frequency

An Ideation Session can range anywhere from two hours to four days, and may be implemented on a quarterly or bi-annual basis to maintain "freshness" within the organization, or simply invoked for ad-hoc projects.
Trending Workshops

Trend tracking has become a popular corporate marketing function. For many companies, this is an arms-length activity that primarily involves reading reports and giving presentations.

I•86 has designed a highly immersive and experiential trend outing approach that enables key stakeholders to viscerally appreciate and fully engage in new trends, resulting in a deeper understanding and emotionally-centric integration into key company initiatives.

Insights from the trend experience are actively used as stimulus for actionable and accountable idea generation around key strategic initiatives and marketing mix areas.

Customized Concept Prioritization & Optimization

When the problem isn't generating a pipeline of fresh ideas, but prioritizing and shaping existing ideas, I•86 can provide a custom blend of concept analysis and concept shaping approaches.

  • Using what works—Target feedback is a valuable resource. I•86 has found that typical consumers are adept at reacting to ideas with their likes and dislikes—but are not usually skilled at coming up with new product or service ideas. I•86 is able to use these reactions in order to create significantly more powerful concepts.
  • Synthesizing the information—I•86 employs a number of techniques proven to optimize both the front and back room of focus groups to obtain valuable target feedback vital to the shaping and refining of concepts.
  • A "real-time" approach to marketing and research—The cultivation and synthesis of targeted feedback is highly effective not only for refining concepts, but in delivering the re-shaped concepts in a time-efficient manner.
IQ – 360° Market Immersion

IQ was developed in response to marketers expressing a desire for a more meaningful understanding of consumer behavior and new trends – along with an ability to translate those learnings into actionable new ideas and marketing innovations.

Whereas traditional methodologies are, for the most part, merely observational, IQ is decidedly experiential – enabling colleagues to become fully immersed in the catalytic drivers of the ideas, thereby producing an outcome that is not only more credible, but which results in a deeper understanding and emotionally-centric integration into key company initiatives.

IQ embraces four qualities that enable clients to viscerally appreciate and fully engage in the strategic direction for the project.





IQ is a multi-day, comprehensively orchestrated event, moving participants throughout different venues and involving them in a process that appears to focus on a single deliverable, but in fact uses that deliverable as a foil to help justify and appreciate the process. In addition to becoming engaged in observational exercises, IQ teams (client colleagues, team leaders and catalysts) actually experience the exercise in a visceral fashion, becoming a very real participant in the activity. This results in not only rational understanding, but also emotional comprehension – and a much deeper level of involvement. Every IQ project involves cross-functional members of the team – from operations to marketing, from development to execution. This results in participatory ownership from the entire team and seeds disciples throughout the organization, enabling clients to gain greater traction toward implementing the ideas. In addition to focused discovery, sensorial involvement, and exposure to divergent stimuli, IQ utilizes ideation exercises to identify catalytic analogues and provide an accountable goal-focus. The process is collaborative, but still competitive, enabling participants to take pride in developing new ideas while working closely with colleagues.

Typical Market Understanding Approaches vs. IQ

Typical Approaches

Observational Experiential

Superficial Deep

Third person First person

Predictable Stimulating

One-dimensional Multi-dimensional

Rational Emotional

Supplier report Participants create deliverables

Formulaic Highly customized

Category-limited Catalytic through analogues
Chapter 2 Services I•86