HfS Network
Bram Weerts
 
Chief Operating Officer 
Learn more about Bram Weerts
Yamazaki, Macallan and Redbreast lead the inaugural HfS Premium Whisky Blueprint
April 01, 2017 | Phil FershtBram Weerts

We've talked long and hard about the extent of digital disruption of traditional business models, so we decided to extend our research coverage into growth markets where the impact of digital is always positive.  When you look at the premium whisky, for example, our research shows its impact promotes new ideas, helps foster greater team collaboration and can even provoke new Design Thinking principles. Let's have a look at how the leaders in this space are positioned, based on our Blueprint Research Methodology:

At HfS we are expert analysts at peering into markets and evaluating the performances of the major players, so we thought "why not extend our coverage into adjacent markets where some of our analysts have years of practical, hands on experience?".  Personally, I have had more innovative client discussions comparing the various merits of single malt whiskies than which automation tools vendors have better control features.  

So let's talk to a few of our contributing analysts to understand how this market played out:

Bram Weerts, COO, HfS Research:

"I've tried each and every one of these buggers and you can't beat the old Yama 18.  I do love the Mac, but Yama hits the spot everytime"

Tom Reuner, SVP Intelligent Automation Research:

"I believe I've sampled all of these whiskies, especially when I am out at analyst conferences. I haven't a clue which is the best, but wanted my name on the report, so I endorse whatever Bram and Phil came up with."

Derk Erbé, VP Research:

"I believe the whisky market is ripe for digital transformation.  Emerging brands like the Walmart Fireball are poised to rip the bottom out of the market"

Jamie Snowdon, Chief Data Officer:

"There's no way I could get through our quarterly forecasts without sampling a few of these first.  And the way the industry's going, the old Walmart Fireball will only increase in popularity"

Phil Fersht, CEO:

"We may worry about robots stealing our jobs, but those bastards will never be able to drink our Scotch."

Bottom-Line:  This is only the beginning, HfS is going to extend into new markets everywhere as digital disruption takes hold

We believe we are qualified to become experts on any market where money changes hands and greats ideas emerge. Stay tuned for our forthcoming blueprints:

"Tequila Transformation - it can really change things"

"The least disgusting low-carb beers of 2017" and

"Organic wines that you really want to avoid As-a-Service" 

And of course... this was an:

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Interview: Meet Sunayana Hazarika; The passionate marketing voice from Bangalore
March 13, 2017 | Bram Weerts

At HfS Research, we’re growing fast in a very competitive and volatile market… and with growth comes change - but change is always good if you ask me! The most fun in jobs is when you have changes - you learn new things, get new ideas, and you meet new people to help accommodate the change.

HfS is always on the lookout for serious talent that can help our clients become even more successful. So happy days when I heard that some serious quality was on the lookout for some new chapter in her life. Sunayana Hazarika has joined per January, and today I wanted to give you a little more background about her.

Bram Weerts, Chief Commercial Officer, HfS:

Bram Weerts, Chief Operating Officer, HfS Research: Sunayana, can you share a little about your background and why you have chosen Marketing and Brand Reputation as your career path?

Sunayana Hazarika, Senior Brand Strategist at HfS Research: As the saying goes” Everything happens for a reason,” the economic recession in 2008 changed my career path. From an engineering graduate to a remote executive, my first job in TTK Services introduced me to the world of marketing. I was facing global clients- the who’s who of the business world from renowned bloggers to technology founders, and helping them in doing Digital marketing (web marketing is what it was called then). The varied requests from clients opened the door for understanding SEO, content marketing, social media promotions, brand messaging, to even executing fundraising events. This inspired me to pursue my MBA in marketing and soon after explored both services marketing and product marketing of software enterprise solutions. 

What draws me towards Marketing is the very nature of it – dynamic, fast paced and the fact that it is centered around the relationship between People’s awareness, product/service innovations and the value generation. I am intrigued by how brands impact the market. To me, Brand Management is like nurturing a sapling to grow and proliferate into a forest. The right and proper projection of the organization is the heart of Brand Reputation. A big and serious task, but with the passion and right intention, we can see the results. All this put together has compelled me to make marketing a career and more so in brand management.

Bram: Why did you choose to join HfS?

Sunayana: HfS Research is an industry leading research and data analytics firm, renowned as a trusted voice with edgy insights and disruptive viewpoints. They do not shy away from raising real issues even if it bruises some egos. I echo the same spirit. The organization has an impressive and matured outlook focusing on fostering an optimized business function, fully empowered team and delivers maximum value for the global community of clients. This provides me an opportunity to unearth optimum potentials to scale heights of success. Moreover, the fact that it analyzes cutting-edge technology and services like Digitization of business processes and Design Thinking, Intelligent Automation and Outsourcing makes it even more viable for a marketer to be on top of latest market trends. And to top it up is the pleasure of working with some of the most intelligent and good people on earth. Trust me; I have never been more content.     

Bram: What are the areas of focus for driving success in your current role?

Sunayana: The success of marketing in a Research, Data Analytics, and Strategy firm lies in enabling the “informed decision making” by providing the right information at the right time to the right set of people. For this, it is crucial for Marketing to merge into the organization’s core objective and culture. This enables outlining the appropriate value proposition to the audience. It is also equally important for marketing to connect with the audience to know their expectations and be abreast with the market. The focus on maintaining a symmetry between the two approach creates a two-way network for shared experiences and true value projection.

Bram: What trends and developments are capturing your attention today?

Sunayana: The world is moving towards digitalization and the marketing function of an organization, as a harbinger is expected to lead the way. Mobile, Social Media, Analytics, and cognitive automation are breaking the path for an individualistic approach towards interacting with the target audience. We as marketers should harness these technology enablers to increase market reach and have personalized engagement with the audience directly. These innovations can be used to evade distractions, garner relevance and bridge the gap between insights and actions.

Bram: And what would you like to see different in the research/services industries?

Sunayana: “Change is inevitable” and occurs sooner than ever. Information, opinions, trends, technology and processes have an expiry date, so it makes sense for the industry to keep ahead and have control of this transformation through continued innovation and research. Even if it requires challenging or superseding conventions, proven methodologies, tested services, recommended solutions, wealthy analysis or rich offerings.

Bram: And, what do you do with your spare time?

Sunayana: I love to explore nature and my husband partners with me, we go hiking in the forest and hills, trek to mountains, swim in natural water sources, to get out of comfort zone and appreciate the basics. I love to travel and go on backpacking trips to live life in a million different ways, with people from various regions and enjoy a variety of cuisines.

I also play racquet sports regularly and enjoy watching good movies and reading books.

Bram: If you could change one thing in Marketing what would that be?

Sunayana: Marketing has often been looked at as a function that projects the magnified and exaggerated image of the values provided by an organization. This need not be the truth anymore. Marketing is an integral part of an organization aligning to its goals and objective. Marketing enables organizations to stay in touch with their target audience, understand them and relate to their unique and different needs. Now in this new age with the availability of instant information in one’s fingertip, the audience is gravitating towards facts and authenticity of every promotion and do not get allured by the shine. Therefore, it is time marketing reflects the true image of the organization and value of the offerings to its clients.

Bram: Thank you for your time Sunayana, it’s a real delight to have you onboard and work with you in these fascinating times!

FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Successful
September 26, 2016 | Bram Weerts

How many of you go to a store without a list of what you need? Personally, I never go out to the store without a specific need. I guess I am not the type of clientele the retailers are looking for since I don't buy just because there’s a discount. And definitely, don’t go shopping randomly.

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Interview: Meet Sunjeet Ahluwalia, the sales elephant from India!
August 15, 2016 | Bram Weerts

At HfS, we’re growing fast in a very competitive and volatile market… and with growth comes change - but change is always good if you ask me! The most fun in jobs is when you have changes - you learn new things, get new ideas and you meet new people to help accommodate the change.

HfS is always on the lookout for serious talent that can help our clients become even more successful. So happy days when I heard that some serious quality was on the lookout for some new chapter in his life. Sunjeet Ahluwalia has joined per August, and today I wanted to give you a little more background about him.

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Five must-have traits for Leaders
July 19, 2016 | Bram Weerts

People love status; that's just the nature of the beast. But wanting something and then going out and getting it can be an insurmountable hurdle. So sometimes people need to clarify what they want and why they want it. If you see yourself as a leader, have a quick look at the "five questions mirror." If you can't get past this list honestly, save yourself some time. You’re not a leader. That’s not all bad—you can still do something cool and be popular some place.

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The Art of Deal Negotiation: 5 Simple Tips
July 08, 2016 | Bram Weerts

Doing business is all about making successful deals happen and negotiating them effectively. Getting deals done right says something about your own personal negotiating capabilities, but most importantly, it speaks volumes for your company’s brand.

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Interview: Meet Samyr Jriri, the Sales Guru from Brussels!
July 05, 2016 | Bram Weerts

At HfS, we’re growing fast in a very competitive and volatile market… and with growth comes change - but change is always good if you ask me! The most fun in jobs is when you have changed - you learn new things, get new ideas and you meet new people to help accommodate the change. Nine months ago, we needed to add more firepower to our sales function.

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Successful Strategic Partnerships must go beyond the press release
June 30, 2016 | Bram Weerts

Any organization can quickly come up with a list of the top 50 partners with which they would love to work… identifying these opportunities really isn’t hard.

The real trick is to identify what you can offer and align these incentives with a company that fills one of your needs. Look for companies that might be able to bring in valuable customers and give you added credibility. The key is finding a partner with a similar vision who wants to find mutual value, “beyond the press release.” Chances are you are going to be working closely with these companies for extended periods of time, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure the spirit, vision, and culture are all aligned.

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The dinosaur that is procurement: Get relevant to your business or become extinct
June 28, 2016 | Bram Weerts

Procurement’s very existence is in trouble. The function must be part of the whole negotiation process, not only to protect the company from making deals that do not benefit the firm but also ensure they are sensible, cordial and well-balanced - and both supplier and buyer realize the outcomes they both want to achieve. Sadly, this is so not the case with so many pivotal business deals today.

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