5 Amazing things I learned from SPRINT: London relating to biscuits

(Mark Baldwin) #1

Apologies for the clickbait, but if you are reading this it means I did learn something yesterday. :slight_smile:

For those who were not at the event, I had a little joke in the app about how we were being analysed by the choice of biscuits on offer, but after a few drinks at the after-party, I realised that I could apply some very good principles from the day to biscuits and in particular the lack of chocolate biscuits for the 2nd break.

So, let’s not get carried away with my personal biscuit obsession, but use this as a light-hearted way to look at some important ideas from the conference…

Let’s imagine that you were asked to cater for a large crowd of people in 2 refreshment breaks. Assuming the audience is 50/50 split between men and women. Tea, Coffee and Cold drinks would be served along with a selection of biscuits. You may make some broad assumptions based on pre conceived ideas and stereotypes.

  1. Women love chocolate
  2. British people drink a lot of tea

From this, you decide to get a variety of biscuits. You get a lot of plain biscuits suitable for dunking, some chocolate biscuits and throw in some jammy dodgers for the heck of it. What is wrong with this assumption?

By the 2nd break, everyone needed more coffee to keep alert and here’s a shocker, men like chocolate biscuits too. Especially when there is a national shortage of chocolate bourbon biscuits.

Biscuit Shortage

Even people who prefer a custard cream, were tempted by a chocolate bourbon, just because they’ve not been seen in the wild recently.

So we had this situation where we had run out of chocolate biscuits early. :frowning: How could this have been avoided?

Here are the amazing things I learned from SPRINT:London

  1. Assume nothing about your audience.

  2. Do a survey. I’ve always held back from doing this, but I see now how effective this is, especially when done in a manner that comes across as wanting to help your audience instead of what else can I sell to you. Just saying a biscuit survey would have worked wonders.

  3. Be aware of external influences. Even after working out what your audience wants, we need to be aware of things happening in the world that can change behaviour, even if those changes are temporary. It’s obvious that the great british bourbon shortage played a part yesterday.

  4. Build personas and then use them all the time. What type of person dunks biscuits? for example.

  5. Don’t be afraid to experiment with AB testing and re targeting. The Jammy Dodger experiment didn’t work btw, as that persona is clearly not a community manager, they only got eaten because we ran out of chocolate biscuits.

Of course, this post was just a bit of fun, but I wanted to say a big thanks to everyone involved with the conference and this was not intended to have a go at the catering, which I thought was excellent. The tagine in particular was fantastic.
Made some new connections too, which is always a bonus and learned some valuable insights.

(Sarah Hawk) #2

I’m a kiwi and I have never heard of a jammy dodger, but I love this post.
Thanks for distilling something as mundane as a break into something so valuable @Mjbill

Who else learned something from SPRINT and what biscuits did you prefer?
For the record, I love chocolate and hate tea.

(Mark Baldwin) #3

Jammy Dodgers are very strange biscuits. Basically 2 bits of shortbread with jam in-between, which doesn’t sound too bad apart from the fact that the jam is solid and stretchy and gets in-between your teeth. Horrible things really imho. Not a patch on the chocolate bourbon. :slight_smile:

(Sarah Hawk) #4

Oh! Like a Monte Carlo?

(I’ve also never heard of a chocolate bourbon!)

(Mark Baldwin) #5

[quote=“HAWK, post:4, topic:2155”]
Oh! Like a Monte Carlo?
[/quote] near enough, but those actually look really nice.

Bourbons we even put the name on the actual biscuit in case you forget what you are eating. :slight_smile:

(Gear Buzz) #6

Sprint London has finally redeemed itself after the glaring omission of mushroom risotto for the last few years.

The saviour? Lamb tagine and couscous

The lack of pastries at breakfast and the prospect of a hot breakfast instead was at first shocking but a sinful pleasure

My main take away from Sprint was


A look behind the scenes at GamePoint
(Margaret Bost) #7

May I politely suggest that you also take into consideration cultural factors? My British colleague said she really wanted a Jammy Dodger; I thought she was referring to a baseball player with hygiene problems. She’s married, but you know, live and let live and all that. Then I saw a cookie with the word “Bourbon” on it and went straight for it. I was outraged to find it was just a chocolate biscuit. I did not dunk it, nor did I drink tea.

(Sarah Hawk) #8

Best. post. ever.

As an aside, I am also perplexed by the use of the word Bourbon. Talk about the old bait and switch.