This is the first interview of the Insight Association’s CEO Summit 2019. Recorded live in Miami, Jamin Brazil interviews Michael J. Vigeant, CEO of GreatBlue Research. We hope you enjoy this mini series taking you into the minds of some of the most influential CEOs in Market Research.
This is episode 202 of the Happy Market Research Podcast, and I’m your host Jamin Brazil, bringing you a special episode straight from the Insights Association’s CEO Summit in Miami. We hope you enjoy these interviews. They’re conducted by some of the speakers as well as fellow CEOs.
This is Jamin Brazil. You’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. We are live today. Well, not really live I guess when you hear this, but a few days afterwards at CEO Summit in beautiful Miami. GreatBlueResearch is here with me. Michael, welcome.
Jamin, great to see you again, buddy.
Yeah, we met each other last year at this CEO conference. Maybe you can tell me a little bit about your business.
So, GreatBlue is a full-service market research firm. Our goal is to help you solve business problems, identify market opportunities, test product services, and figure how you can make your business better.
So, give me an example of a customer… kind of how they engage with you guys. What does that look like?
So, it’s everything. We work a lot in the utilities marketplace: so, everything from identifying whether solar or investing in solar cultures or electric vehicle services or programs make sense for a particular utility. We work with some major product developers across the US, taking products from concept to store shelf and everything in between: so, testing prototypes within users; Identifying where there is feature benefit improvements that could made, but also designing packaging and store-shelf looks and feels, and quick startup guides and making sure they’re logical and doing what they’re intended to do. So, lots of different things.
Yeah, so, sounds like quite a few different things, which is good. So in other words, you really adapt the overall solution to match – it’s the right shoe for the right foot.
Yeah, typically, it has everything to do with making sure that the product or services is meeting the needs of that end-user. Sometimes, that end-user, we’re measuring engagement and satisfaction; sometimes, we’re measuring the need, and how well they like a product or service, and what they might spend for it, or what would prevent them from purchasing or utilizing a particular service or product. So, it can be any number of things, which is what keeps it interesting and fun for our team.
So, predominantly, primary research, right?
Yeah, awesome. You have been at this conference at least one other time.
This is actually my fourth.
Fourth time. So, tell me a little bit about what’s the benefit of the CEO Summit for you as a CEO.
Yeah, so, you know when I think about my evolution, I’ve now owned the business for going on ten years. And, when I start to think about my growth as a CEO, as an owner, it is this group of people specifically that I really rely on for information, not just professionally, but personally. We share. Last year was a big growth year for us not only for the business, but how I was transforming my business internally, how I wanted to be off the road more, spending more time with my family, giving that ownership and that authority and that push to my team to go out and own the space that I had for so many years – and what I say internally – is getting out their way. It was the people here that helped me learn how to do that. And so, the insight that’s had here and the conversation that are had here, not just during the sessions, but at the bar or sitting by pool or having a coffee over breakfast – it’s all those things where folks can open up the vest and they let you in. There’s a lot of transparency, a lot of honesty, not necessarily trading client secrets but we’re trading industry secrets. And what happens there is that the industry remains strong and gets stronger and gets better, and, as a result, we all win.
So, give me… You’re a successful CEO with a decade of experience under your belt. Give me one CEO hack, or tip, or trick that you would like to share our fellow CEOs that are listening to the podcast.
For me, it is really asking my staff this question: when do I get in your way and how can I get out of way? That is probably the biggest piece of advice that I can give. I think it shows them that I’m vulnerable to them. I want to help them; I want to be there for them, but I also want them to stand on their own two feet and fail, and own their failures. But that I have their back to do it. So that’s been a big transformation because my predecessor, the gentleman that I start working for when I first entered this industry 20 years ago, said the business will only grow when you’re doing things that I don’t know about. So part of that was his way of getting out of my way. So, I have to pay that forward. So that is probably my biggest piece of advice, and all big decisions I make over a Dairy Queen blizzard.
I love it. [laughs] So, if people want to get in contact with you, what is the best… what’s the website or the best way for them to contact you?
Sure. My email address is Michael@GreatBlueResearch, and our website is GreatBlueResearch.com. Happy to have a conversation; see if there’s something that we can do. If we can’t, we’ll point you in the right direction of someone that we know who probably can.
Michael, GreatBlueResearch. Thanks so much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.
Jamin, appreciate it. Thank you so much, buddy.
Everybody else, more interviews to come.