Talking In-Person Events & Getting Brands Closer To Their Audiences

Jun 1, 2022

At the recent IIEX conference in Austin, Texas, GutCheck’s Jess Gaedeke sat down with The Happy Market Research Podcast’s Jamin Brazil to discuss the conference, GutCheck’s work, and how to keep up with the changing times. We captured that conversation for you below. If you’d like to listen to the original podcast, you can find it here.


Jamin: Hey everybody, Jessica Gaedeke here. Jessica is the CRO of a company I really like — GutCheck. How are you?

Jess: I’m doing well. And please call me Jess. Otherwise, I feel like I’m in trouble. 

Jamin: Jess, we are in the middle of day two at IIEX. Greenbook has done an interesting job putting this event together. What are your thoughts? 

Jess: I think it’s been a really collaborative event so far. I think people are ready to be back out there, number one, and are ready to learn new things and meet people. And I think it’s a really calm vibe, right? Clearly, it’s a tech-focused event. And you feel that throughout, whether it’s how people are interacting with the sessions or how we are seeing demos at booths. I think it’s been a really cool vibe. What about you? 

Jamin: Well, thank you for asking. Nobody’s actually asked. You know, I think it’s the most innovative conference that I’ve been to in our space by a wide margin. And I think it’s exciting to see. You know what I appreciate? When people were walking in, they were getting these new-fangled headphones. And I say new-fangled intentionally, because there’s a large part of the population that’s like eff that, this is different, I don’t like it…   

And I’m immediately drawn into the meta of we need to embrace new, not for new’s sake, but to have the experience to see what parts work and what don’t work. Right? It’s like learning. And I think, in a lot of ways, it’s a cultural framework that we have been resistant to in consumer insights and market research, but we’re now starting to move more into and become more adopted. And I’ll tell you what’s really exciting about the show is that the attendees are younger. 

Jess: I see that too. We’re either getting older or these people are younger. 

Jamin: Unfortunately, that is happening. 

Jess: No, I think it’s true. And to the point of “let’s experience this in a new way,” I think that the headphones are one example of how we can meet the attendees where they are because they don’t want to sit in a classroom-style session and be totally silent and raise their hand at the end. They want to interact with the app, and they want to walk around. I find that part to be really interesting. I found it interesting as a speaker though, because interacting with audio is very different. But hey, I’m up for new things. I’m up for new experiences. 

Jamin: Totally. That is the challenge with the headphones is that they hear you, but they can’t interact with each other. But I think it’s an addressable problem. I just haven’t quite nailed it down. I did do an experiment yesterday when I was speaking. I can’t believe they did it. But I had the whole audience laugh hysterically for three seconds. Just with the intent of drawing some kind of attention from them to see if I get more headphones on with the same color. Right? 

Jess: Yeah. Well, that’s a good idea. I should have stolen that. We had our attendees do jazz hands to make sure they could hear us. 

Jamin: I’ll do that when I’m on at three today.  

Jess: Take it. Take that idea.  

Jamin: I will. Tell me about GutCheck. 

Jess: Absolutely. GutCheck is the Agile Human Experience Intelligence company. Now, you might say, what does that mean? Agile HXI at its core is all about connecting brands with people. We’re really passionate about the fact that when brands want to connect meaningfully and innovate in a way that is empathetic to the people that are buying and using their products and services, they need to really understand the authentic human experience. We have a suite of tools—quantitative, qualitative, and behavioral. We leverage innovative technologies, such as hybrid natural language processing and emotion analytics to understand the different dimensions of the human experience that actually create that meaningful connection. We were lucky — yesterday, Nestlé joined us on stage to walk through the ways they have leveraged Agile HXI. I think the audience found it pretty compelling. 

Jamin: Can you elaborate on a specific example? 

Jess: Absolutely. Derron Wrubel, who used to be on the Modern Health team at Nestlé, he talked about Lean Cuisine and Life Cuisine brands. As they launched Life Cuisine as a sister brand to Lean, they really needed to understand the different personas that are interested in buying each of those brands. You don’t want to step on each other. But you also want to share as much branding as you can so you can maximize the effectiveness of your activation.   

Derron’s team used the Persona Connector solution with GutCheck, which is a process that leverages both implicit and explicit measurements to really uncover the underlying personality of these human beings that are buying these brands. Not just their personality, but how that intersects with the needs they have in the category. And they found some really interesting learnings.  

For example, both the Lean Cuisine and Life Cuisine users, they share some personality traits of being open and conscientious. But they have really unique needs. The Lean Cuisine user has more need for structure in their life. They’re a little bit more, “I need the status quo, the tried and true.” Whereas the Life Cuisine user has a lot more need for experimentation and liberty.  

They were able to take that learning — as well as the dozens of other things Derron talked about in terms of outcomes from that research — to really go deep and make sure that, as they launched their ad campaigns and looked at their product innovation pipeline, they were incorporating that important understanding of the personality and the needs of those personas. 

Jamin: Super cool stuff. If somebody wants to get in contact with you or learn more about GutCheck, how would they do that? 

Jess: You can go to And I am also really open to any conversation. Find me on LinkedIn, Jess Gaedeke with GutCheck. I’d be happy to connect. 

Jamin: Jess, thank you for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast. 

Jess: Thank you so much. 


About The Happy Market Research Podcast 

The Happy Market Research Podcast is the #1 market research podcast. Market research is the most powerful tool for modern businesses to deliver oversized returns. Why? Because insights are the rudder of action. HMRP is designed to help you: Have fun & learn at least one new thing so you can set the right course for your business and the clients it serves. 

Interested In Learning How Agile HXI Can Help Your Brand Connect More Deeply With The People You Serve? 

We’d love to chat and share more success stories like Derron’s at Nestlé. Drop us a note and we’ll be back in touch very quickly.  

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