General Merchandise/HBC

IRI Orchestrates Name Change

Will now be called SymphonyIRI Group

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Building on its deep information assets with an increased focus on predictive analytics, consulting and technology capabilities to provide a new level of shopper centric capabilities, market research specialists Information Resources Inc., better known for its acronym IRI, is rebranding itself as SymphonyIRI Group Inc.

Senior executives at the group, which tracks sales of consumer packaged goods across multiple retail channels including thousands of convenience stores, hailed the move at its annual "Summit 2010: Reinventing CPG & Retail Conference" [image-nocss] held this year at the J.W. Marriott San Antonio Hill Country.

The name reflects SymphonyIRI's combination of its heritage in market measurement with the expanded ability to secure the highest quality, most granular information with forward-looking analytical solutions. This evolution converts SymphonyIRI's information into stronger insights that enable operators to not only leverage scanner data, but also provide an intense focus on the shopper versus what's in their basket or the objective of their trip mission, maximizing opportunities and sales.

"The company has rapidly grown into the worldwide leader for creating innovative solutions to the continuously evolving needs of CPG, retail and healthcare companies," said SymphonyIRI chairman, Dr. Romesh Wadhwani. "A unified SymphonyIRI Group enables our blue-chip clients to translate deep, highly-nuanced business insights into transformational strategies and actions for a markedly elevated level of impact across their entire organizations, including sales, marketing, merchandising, category/brand management and shopper marketing.

"This approach represents an entirely new plane of value creation and engagement with our clients to fundamentally help them achieve breakthrough performance and dramatically improved ROI."

President and CEO John Freeland shared how today's name change punctuates major investments, including the latest Advantage Solutions suite, which is built off of the Liquid Data platform.

"SymphonyIRI Group is more than a new name," Freeland said. "We are revitalizing our core business, strengthening our emerging businesses and evolving our fundamental value proposition to more accurately reflect our broader, higher value orientation and focusa transformation that both embraces and extends beyond the traditional market research space."

In related news:
SymphonyIRI unveiled Target Advantage, a partnership involving Acxiom Corp. and SRC that offers software solutions centered around consumer segmentation. "CPG leaders are reconnecting with shoppers directly and can no longer rely on mass media and standardized products that are not customized to the needs of discrete shopper groups," said SymphonyIRI Consumer & Shopper Insights president Bob Tomei. "Marketers that can successfully re-establish that connection with shoppers down to the household level will win. Target Advantage is the first of a new generation of solutions to help manufacturers and retailers get there." SymphonyIRI rolled out a next-generation initiative that leverages new shopper-centric programs by facilitating collaboration between manufacturers and retailers. Said Tomei: "The integration of SymphonyIRI analytical expertise, predictive modeling with both new and existing information about shoppers, and technologies creates unparalleled opportunities to identify shopper preferences down to the household level."

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