Brodeur Partners releases consumer survey findings on ‘relevance’


Brodeur Partners today unveiled results of a new survey on “relevance” and the consumer, shedding new light on the way consumers connect with companies, brands, government organizations and nonprofits.

The findings, along with forthcoming research, will inform Brodeur’s new Relevance Model, which blends communications and behavioral science.

The study, based on a survey of 2,022 American consumers, found that:

  • Many companies appear to have specific “leading relevance indicators.” Companies such as Apple, Target and Red Bull are distinctively “interesting and exciting.” Ford scores high on values. Google and Wal-Mart are distinctive in their ubiquity and would be missed most if they were gone.
  • Several companies that are much smaller in size and scale appear to be more “relevant” to consumers than much larger competitors. Among the automotive, retail and telecommunications companies tested, smaller companies scored higher than industry leaders across five relevance dimensions tested.
  • Companies with high relevance scores appear to correlate with superior growth and performance despite being much smaller than their competitors. It is unclear whether the high relevance scores lead to superior growth or whether superior growth and performance lead to greater relevance.

What is relevance?

Relevance ModelAccording to Andy Coville, Brodeur CEO, relevance is an individual’s full experience of a product, brand, idea or cause. A relevance experience changes not only minds but, more importantly, supports behavioral change. The new behavior could be buying a product, supporting a candidate, donating to a charity or adopting a healthy habit.

To create this behavior-changing experience, says Coville, organizations “must go beyond merely making a rational case for their cause. They must also connect with a customer’s senses, values and affinity for community.

“An organization needs to identify exactly what motivates the consumer, business customer, donor or voter, and work with these drivers to support the desired behavior change,” said Coville. “As we’ve developed this concept over the past few years, we’ve discovered more documented connections between communications and behavioral science.”

She added that “companies and brands utilizing this foundation will understand and potentially change their relationships with the people they care about – the people they want to care about them.”


To provide a relevance foundation for clients, Brodeur Partners has developed methodologies that uncover relevance insights through diagnostic services, research and structured planning. The goal is to help clients make behavioral discoveries that traditional approaches fail to elicit.

“Brodeur is putting substance behind its relevance methodology,” said Mary Modahl, chief communications officer at Quantia Communications and former research director of Forrester Research. “In today’s media climate, as organizations grow increasingly leery of the improvisational approach to communications, a new framework like this resonates.”

The Team and Process

Brodeur Partners staff includes people who are especially equipped to develop relevance: behavioral scientists, economists, branding experts and political pioneers. The new Brodeur methodologies are designed to determine how relevant you are (or aren’t) in four areas – sensory, community, thinking and values.

“Organizations need to systematically investigate how to achieve and sustain relevance in a flat, permission-based world,” said Jerry Johnson, Brodeur’s head of strategic planning. “Instead of starting with the brand, we need to start with people – their needs, values, communities and sensory experiences.”

For a whitepaper and detailed report on the new Relevance research, visit

About Brodeur Partners

Brodeur Partners is a strategic communications company that helps organizations become and remain relevant in a complicated world. Headquartered in Boston, the company has five U.S. offices and operates in 33 countries globally. It is differentiated by its focus on Relevance, behavioral change and ability to bring a discipline-agnostic approach to its non-profit, consumer and business-to-business clients. Visit the new website at