Harnessing Generative AI to shape the brands of tomorrow

Generative AI has transformed the consumer insights industry seemingly overnight, and responding to this challenge requires new ways of thinking and innovating.
27 September 2023

EVP Global Thought Leadership, Kantar


iLab Director, Kantar

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Kantar is partnering with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on a Generative AI Project to identify use cases for automated insight generation and summarization, so that we can scale quickly to have an immediate transformative impact on our business. We are asking ourselves which adoption challenges we need to overcome to unlock the full potential of Generative AI, empowering our experts to work in new ways.

This is only the beginning - we are working on several use cases of AI that will inform a continuous, disruptive pipeline of enhanced and new solutions that will deepen our clients’ understanding of people everywhere.

Kantar’s AI expertise

Generative AI has captured the popular imagination in a way that few previous technologies have, and businesses all over the world are scrambling to create Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategies that match the pace of advances.

But AI is not a new concept; these advances are building on previous approaches that have been around for 50+ years in various forms. At Kantar, we have a rich history of innovation in this space, with AI and machine learning deeply embedded across our entire product suite and ways of working. For example, Link AI helps clients and marketers to test more of their advertising faster powered by 35 million human responses from more than 250,000 ads tested over 30 years. UMMO enables more precision in optimizing marketing budgets, Needscope AI ensures that all brand assets deliver consistently across touchpoints, and BrandDynamics allows them to monitor brand equity in real-time and predict future performance. 

The high-quality content of our survey solutions powers and trains our AI models, and the history of our adaptive and agile innovation allows time to respond quickly to changing client needs as well as technological disruptions like Generative AI, which has already shown its potential to transform the consumer insights industry.

Unlocking the full potential of Generative AI

“Through our industry-leading AI expertise, and working with great partners like BCG, we are unlocking the tremendous business value of AI by enabling new scales of efficiency, being better at solving old problems, and imagining inspiring new solutions as the indispensable brand partner to our clients.” Ted Prince, Chief Product Officer, Kantar

We have partnered with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to identify, built and test Generative AI applications that we can scale quickly to have an immediate transformative impact on our business and our clients. By collaborating with BCG X, the tech build and design division of BCG, we have proved that Generative AI can significantly further Kantar’s long-standing goal of leveraging technology to free our human brand experts from manual tasks, allowing them to flourish and spend more time thinking about how to solve our clients’ most pressing challenges. 

We are implementing two priority applications of Generative AI, fueled by Microsoft Azure’s Open AI service combined with Kantar's own proprietary processes:

  • Generating relevant, nuanced, and actionable summaries from the quantitative brand performance metrics we collect per project, capturing key insights, differences, and benchmarks for the analysts working with the data.
  • Automated text summarization of open-ended data collected from consumers, identifying topics and themes, creating summaries to describe them, greatly reducing time for coding, and analyzing complex unstructured text data.

Such natural language AI-generated insights, powered by Kantar’s large-scale survey datasets and our unique IP, enable us to automate repeatable activities and free up our experts to be indispensable brand partners to our clients.

By having AI-powered insights at their fingertips, Kantar experts are now empowered to focus even more on the most meaningful recommendations, and clients can act on those recommendations with greater speed and impact.

“We're convinced that companies with unique intellectual property can harness Generative AI to realize value and strengthen their competitive edge. Our recent collaboration with Kantar underscores this potential. We stand on the threshold of a transformation that's set to revolutionize the speed at which critical brand decisions are made.” Sylvain Duranton, Global leader of BCG X 

Lessons from our Generative AI project with BCG

Through this discovery process, we identified several critical learnings for success with AI:

  1. High quality data and proprietary knowledge remain paramount. To be a valuable tool in consumer insights, AI needs to be underpinned by the right data and people. Kantar’s comprehensive access to high-quality and meaningful proprietary datasets, resulting from our large-scale survey solutions coupled with our brand expertise, deep knowledge of the consumer, and our years of experience with AI and machine learning means that we are ideally placed to apply AI to shape the brands of tomorrow.
  2. Generative AI today is a complement, not a replacement, for human experts. These AI models are immensely powerful when fused with the right input and expertise, but they still need to be framed within the right human governance and feedback structures, ensuring that there is no compromise on quality and accuracy.
  3. Change management is critical. Realizing the benefits of AI isn’t just about clever math or accurate algorithms. We need to prepare the organization for rapid change, which includes potentially a redefinition of roles and responsibilities, adjustments to operating models, and mitigation of risks around inaccuracy, security, and regulatory compliance.

The road ahead

Through these two use-cases we are optimizing process efficiency so that our clients can make critical business decisions faster and this is only the beginning, our vision is much broader. We are working on several workstreams of AI that will inform a continuous, disruptive pipeline of enhanced and new Kantar products that will deepen our clients' understanding of people everywhere. For example, we are:

These and other initiatives all form part of Kantar’s longer-term journey towards embedding AI and technology in everything we do, bringing humans and machines together from project inception all the way to meaningful and rapid strategic decision-making.

For more information please visit Kantar’s AI hub and the BCG website to find product information, articles, perspectives and research to help you navigate the ever-changing world of AI and discover opportunities for your brand.

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