TraQline Is Now Open brand

We are proud to announce that OpenBrand, a market intelligence platform for brands and retailers to leverage AI-driven insights and data, has completed its acquisition of TraQline! Read more here.

Durable IQ™, Durables Digest Podcast

Durables Digest Podcast Episode 11: Expanding the Ability to Measure Share in Durables — Interviewing TraQline’s New CEO

July 10, 2024
Ashley Jefferson Author 23 mins read
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OpenBrand Acquires TraQline Expanding Market Insights for Durable Goods

In this episode of the Durables Digest podcast, Brian and Eric are joined by Greg Munves, CEO of OpenBrand, to discuss acquisition of TraQline — and what it means for the future of how we are delivering insights to Durables businesses. Listen in to hear our hosts discuss include challenges faced by getting data to customers, overcoming those challenges through advanced technology, and how marrying all the data solutions housed under the OpenBrand name will bring a more robust, AI-powered, and real-time solution to help TraQline (now OpenBrand) users win more.

Watch the episode below and read more about the acquisition of TraQline.

Episode 11 Transcript

Brian Lamar (00:02.293)

Welcome to Durables Digest. My name is Brian Lamar. As always, joining me, Eric Voyer. How are you, sir?

Eric Voyer (00:10.278)

I’m fantastic Brian, thanks for asking.

Brian Lamar (00:13.077)

Yeah, wonderful. We had a Fourth of July party. Did you have a Fourth of July party?

Eric Voyer (00:17.574)

I, you can’t tell I have all 10 fingers, but I did have a 4th of July party. It was great. I didn’t do it till Saturday though. So a little rainy here on Thursday, but Saturday was a fantastic day. So we enjoyed ourselves.

Brian Lamar (00:29.749)

Awesome. We have a special episode today. I think it’s a special episode. We’re going to be talking about some home appliances data and we’re going to have an interview with Greg Munves. He’s the OpenBrand CEO and welcome Greg Munves. Thanks for joining.

Eric Voyer (00:41.126)

Welcome, Greg Munves.

Greg Munves (00:42.766)

Thanks. Thanks for having me guys. Happy to be here.

Brian Lamar (00:46.709)

Yeah, we’re super excited. He’s going to be discussing the OpenBrand mission and TraQline. And I mean, we should probably just announce some news there. Do you want to announce it?

Eric Voyer (00:56.262)

Let’s do it. Yeah, let’s do it. So big news, you’ll be seeing this today if you haven’t already seen it. The OpenBrand has acquired TraQline. We’re very excited about the opportunity that it’s going to provide us in terms of resources and the fantastic set of data that OpenBrand brings to the table. And I know Greg Munves is going to talk a little bit more about that here in a little bit, but we are really, really excited about the future.

Brian Lamar (01:21.781)

Yeah, I’m excited about, I feel like there’s a lot of complimentary assets, which makes me excited to learn some new tools and learn some new data. That’s going to be really fun.

Eric Voyer (01:30.63)

Yeah, absolutely. So how about it, Greg Munves? You want to tell us a little bit about OpenBrand and who you are and what your background is? I know your background is really something to be something that’s really impressive. You want to tell us a little bit more about that?

Greg Munves (01:46.574)

Sure. Thanks for having me on the podcast guys. Really happy to be here. My background started at a company called Ten10 Data. We were one of the first big data analytics platforms and market intelligence as a service platforms out there. We served Wall Street firms. We served very large retailers and consumer brands as well. I did that for about 16 years.

led the company as president and CEO. And today I’m here as part of OpenBrand and bringing in TraQline to the OpenBrand family. And we’re really excited to talk to you guys about that today.

Eric Voyer (02:31.718)

Excellent, cool.

Brian Lamar (02:34.837)

Maybe tell us a little bit before we get into the tough questions. Maybe your personal background. Where are you from? Did you go to school? Hobbies? Anything interesting facts that we should know?

Greg Munves (02:46.894)

Yeah, I’m from New York originally, kind of grew up half in Manhattan, half in Long Island, live in Long Island now with my family. I have two young boys, spend most of my free time with them, hanging out, playing sports, anything to help them have a good time, take care of them. And when I’m not doing that, I like to ski, like to play golf, go to the beach, all the usual stuff.

Eric Voyer (03:17.382)

What’s the sport of choice with the boys right now?

Greg Munves (03:21.166)

Their sport of choice is basketball, which keeps me in shape, I guess.

Eric Voyer (03:29.254)

You got to keep up. You got to keep up. Brilliant. So, you know, one of the things that we’ve done and knowing that we’re going to work together is obviously we’ve started trying to learn a little bit more about OpenBrand. We’ve tried to learn a little bit more about your company and you yourself. And one of the things that I noticed, I’m going to use this as a transition into the data bytes, is that you recently posted something about Bosch’s bid for Whirlpool. And that’s kind of big news because Whirlpool is a

Greg Munves (03:31.15)

Yeah.

Eric Voyer (03:58.822)

the largest when you look at all their brands combined, the largest major appliance brand here in the US. And that’s slightly behind Samsung. Whirlpool is really the leading manufacturer. They’ve got 27.4 % unit share. And then their dollar share is about 25%, whereas Samsung’s 20 % on the dollar share side. So Samsung’s a huge manufacturer.

You posted about it. You said it would reshape the dynamics in home appliances. I’m just kind of wondering if you could tell us a little bit about what you mean by reshaping those dynamics.

Greg Munves (04:55.918)

Sure. Well, first off, it creates one very, very, very large home appliance company. Bosch is obviously very big in Europe. Whirlpool, as you just mentioned, is enormous in the US, especially when you bring all of their brands together. I think you can expect to see more Bosch if this happens in the US. In the US, predominantly, I think they’re mostly dishwasher -focused. I think you could end up seeing more of their portfolio come over here and potentially see some growth of the Whirlpool brands in Europe as well. In addition, just given their size, I expect them to kind of win more share of shelf, more share of voice and share of mind from the consumer as well. So I think there’ll be a lot of opportunity if they end up joining forces.

Eric Voyer (05:49.382)

give, they would really be able to leverage those relationships that Whirlpool has with the existing retailers right now and leverage those to get their products in the door. So that’s going to be interesting. And then, you know, the manufacturing and all of that, if it happens, it’ll be kind of cool to see. Your thoughts, Brian?

Brian Lamar (06:07.797)

Yeah, the same thing. It’s interesting to see what Bosch will bring to the US market and vice versa. What potentially Whirlpool Maytag brings to a European market. Just it’s pretty interesting to me to see what happens, how it plays out.

Eric Voyer (06:21.446)

Well, let’s do some more digging into the data here. So go ahead, Greg Munves.

Greg Munves (06:21.55)

Yeah, and Bosch also.

Greg Munves (06:26.286)

All right. I was just going to say Bosch also has some very high end brands like Thermador and Gaggenau. So kind of the combination kind of increases the range of brands across both companies.

Eric Voyer (06:40.166)

Yeah, and those are, as you guys probably know, those are higher end brands that compete with the monograms. I guess if you’re gagging out, you’re saying you’re probably not competing with the monograms. But yeah, those are the higher end brands and some really solid products. If you look overall at Bosch’s market share across total majors, I mean, it’s 2 % for Bosch. Now, obviously they make a lot of different appliances, most of them. Whirlpool’s brand itself is about 15%, and that’s dollars.

So, you know, the combination isn’t gonna build a huge of Whirlpool brand and Bosch brand, but again, it’s adding in those ancillary brands that are really gonna help propel them forward. So it’ll be interesting to see.

Greg Munves (07:22.99)

Yeah, they’re going to win a greater share of home.

Brian Lamar (07:23.893)

Yeah, so if you combine them, it looks like they’ll be…

Eric Voyer (07:29.062)

Yeah. So, Brian, Bosch’s dishwasher close rate, I’m going to give you three options. You might already know the answer. 11%, 33%, 62%. This is, yeah, this is the number of people who go in and consider a Bosch dishwasher, but they end up buying it.

Brian Lamar (07:44.117)

Bosch’s Clothes Right.

Brian Lamar (07:51.541)

I would assume it’s pretty high given that if you’re considering Bosch as a premium product, you’re probably going to buy it. So whatever the highest number was.

Eric Voyer (07:58.918)

All right, what was it 70 60 60 yeah 62 % yep and and Actually whirlpool has a higher close rated about 66 % so I was a little bit surprised to see that on dishwashers so Anyway, that’s kind of interesting for there, but I mean that’s kind of it for data bytes unless Brian you had some other thoughts you wanted to dump into there Let’s do it you want to go first

Brian Lamar (08:00.661)

16. Okay. Okay.

Brian Lamar (08:08.917)

wow.

Brian Lamar (08:20.469)

I don’t, let’s jump in and ask us some tough questions.

Sure. You came to the office last week. It was great to meet you and part of the team. Love to maybe talk more about what the OpenBrand mission is, which you talked about a little bit last week, but love it for our listeners as well.

Greg Munves (08:40.014)

Sure. Well, OpenBrand is a real -time market intelligence platform for brands to leverage data and AI -driven insights. So that’s kind of the OpenBrand mission. And I’d say, following that up, we envision a world where brands leverage timely data, AI -driven insights, and market research to beat the competition and win their market.

Eric Voyer (09:05.19)

And what about the name? So OpenBrand is an interesting name. What does that mean?

Greg Munves (09:10.414)

Yeah, so OpenBrand is a new name. And really, we wanted a name that helped kind of open up access to data and information and bringing lots of insights to our customers. And we thought that OpenBrand was a really fitting name for that.

Brian Lamar (09:37.941)

And we join a portfolio, which is interesting to me. Probably most of our listeners have heard of hopefully Gap Intelligence. And would you say this is a kind of a complimentary piece of a puzzle of these three companies that are now kind of becoming one?

Greg Munves (09:55.086)

Yeah. So, I mean, we’re here to help companies understand why they’re winning and losing market share. That’s how we started this thing. And we’re on a mission to collect all the information they’re going to need to do that. The opportunity with TraQline kind of expanded and kind of vertically integrated the ability to also help brands measure.

the, you know, how much share they’re winning and losing. And, and, and so if you bring together the ability to understand kind of why things are happening and then you let them understand what’s happening, you know, those two things together really are the, you know, golden keys to win more market share.

Eric Voyer (10:51.206)

Yeah. And I don’t want to jump the gun, but, you know, ultimately the next step in that is you’ve got what happened, right? Why did it happen? And then the third is more prescriptive, right? I think of the first two as descriptive and then that third would be prescriptive. What do I do about it? And that’s where I think some of these tools that are being added in are going to help create some predictive modeling, help be able to do some statistical analysis that’ll say, if you do this, then these specific things will happen. And we’ve

Greg Munves (11:05.678)

Mm -hmm.

Eric Voyer (11:20.23)

I didn’t want to say it until now, but we’ve been admiring Gap Intelligence for years and the work that they’re doing and the analysts that are at Gap. And so having Gap and TraQline together to me is really exciting because I really respect a lot of the work that the analysts do, but then also just the data that’s collected and the way that it’s presented to me is really a great way of going to market. When you think about how OpenBrand will serve its customers,

Greg Munves (11:43.694)

Yeah.

Eric Voyer (11:48.294)

Is that going to be a high touch model? Is that going to be a do it yourself model? What’s your thought on how customers are going to interact with OpenBrand?

Greg Munves (11:56.782)

Yeah, so OpenBrand has a really high touch model actually. So aside from spending the last eight months or so revamping all of our technology, all of our analytics, our platform to deliver insights to customers, we’ve also evolved the customer success model quite a bit. So we have a model where we have a team of market intelligence analysts that

work with all of the big data that we collect from all over the place every day, every week, every month. They write research, they record their research and videos and deliver them to customers. They present directly to customers about once a quarter and they’re there as category experts to work with customers to help them understand data on a day -to -day basis. And so it’s a pretty high touch model. It’s a very similar.

customer success model to what I built at Ten10 Data. And it seems to work really well for customers. And so all of our portfolio companies that come into the mix here will be adding kind of that flavor of customer success to that customer base as well.

Brian Lamar (13:16.661)

That’s awesome. By the way, I consider myself to be a market researcher. And when we look at OpenBrand, you described it as a real -time market intelligence platform to leverage data and AI -driven insights, which is exciting. That’s how I felt the industry was going to necessary to move to really rapidly once all this data was available. But that can’t be easy to combine all this data and with the research now.

Greg Munves (13:30.062)

Mm -hmm.

Brian Lamar (13:44.789)

Subscribe a couple of the biggest challenges that the industry faces or you’ve seen in the space.

Greg Munves (13:49.774)

Yeah, I mean, the hardest thing by far, I think you hit the nail on the head is like getting the data, making sure it’s accurate, making sure it’s consistent, and making sure it’s there like the dial tone is always there for those that remember, you know, regular telephones. And so the data comes from lots of disparate sources.

Some of it comes in monthly, some of it comes in weekly, some of it comes in daily, and some of it comes in same day. And so just having all the technology, all the collection processes to do that, we actually had to invent some new technology to improve our collection to kind of meet the standards that we were looking to meet. So now we have optical processing capabilities that leverage computer vision and OCR and AI.

to make sure that we can deliver that real -time information insight to our customers. So just getting all of that technology, all the analytics, all the process, all the QA, QC, and the delivery mechanisms set is quite a bit of work. I do feel like at this point we’ve put together a really impressive engine around that. And so as we acquire businesses, we can plug them into that engine.

to help drive improvement for the customers.

Eric Voyer (15:19.206)

So it sounds like there’s a lot in the pipeline. What would you say is kind of now, right? What can we do right now? And then what can we look forward to in the future?

Greg Munves (15:34.222)

I mean, well, for TraQline customers that are now OpenBrand customers, you can expect to see us implementing a lot of the technologies that we’ve worked hard on over the last eight months at OpenBrand with the data sets that TraQline brings to bear that you use every week, month, quarter and love. And as well as some of the reporting and data deliberately

delivery capabilities as well. So we’re going to bring all of that to the table right up front. After that, I do think, Eric, you hit on something earlier, which is what’s possible when you bring together the data that comes from some of the other companies that OpenBrand has acquired with the TraQline data. And I think if you bring all the data together that helps customers understand why they’re seeing share shifts.

and the measurement of those share shifts. I now think you can start to build and be a little bit more creative with some of the modeling that you’re going to do to help customers get a sense for how they should price things in the future, what types of promotions. I mean, we didn’t even talk about any of the media data that we have, but OpenBrand collects real time media data, both paid and earned from many, many media channels. So thinking, you know, and this is global data actually. So think TV channels and podcasts and social media and retail media and digital ad platforms. You know, our technology is watching these media channels all the time, listening for brands, listening for products being mentioned, using AI to take all of the unstructured information in those ads, structure it and put it in a database in a way that’s now what I would call analysis ready.

So by bringing all these things together with the market measurement data, with our real time pricing and promotion and product and placement information, you can now start to measure and predict what types of future promotions will have the biggest effects on the consumer base so that you can sell more products to more people more frequently.

Eric Voyer

I’m hearing marketing, merchandising, strategy, you know, everything from the interns using the data to the C -suite using the kind of information because it’s both broad and deep.

Greg Munves (18:30.894)

Mm -hmm.

Greg Munves (18:36.398)

Yeah. I mean, I’ve seen, just at OpenBrand so far, people using our data and consumer insights and product planning and marketing and sales. I think, you know, at TraQline, it seems like a lot of the use cases are in consumer insights, some merchandising teams. So I think we’ll just keep to keep, kind of raising the bar on the types of analytics and insights we provide to even broader set of the user base.

Brian Lamar (19:12.437)

I feel like this, from an expertise level, creates challenges. I know personally, I’m going to have to learn a lot new skills, which I’m happy to do. And I think to be really good at advising brands, you have to be looking at different forms of data, quantitative and qualitative, from very different places and different insights, which all are in different types of formats. And as someone that is advising brands, that’s a pretty cool thing.

But it’s also could be a little overwhelming to think through all of that. And at least in research, we don’t have those skills generally. I think more business consultants and analysts certainly have more. But maybe you can talk about that for a second.

Greg Munves (19:54.894)

Yeah. I mean, when people hear new technology, new platform, new athletics, sometimes they think, complicated. Actually, what I’d say is the technology has evolved over the last decade or so to make it really easy to do those things and to make it really digestible for customers. So we’ve got a strong perspective at OpenBrand. TraQline brings a new perspective, which is also strong on the right way to look at these types of data. And then our teams will work together to kind of create the right dashboards and views and overlays of the data to make sure that it’s really easy for customers to digest. And then, you know, of course, there’s always some of the more sophisticated customers that will choose to just take feeds of data and put it in their own systems.

And, you know, they’ll still have access to ours, you know, which they can use as sort of like their quote unquote recommendation engine of how to look at the data. So I think we’re going to through technology, through analytics, we’re going to give people a really good sense of the right way to view and digest this information together. And if that doesn’t work well enough, we still have our market intelligence analyst team there to support at all times. So I think there’s no doubt that we’ll be able to educate the market and people will be getting value out of the data joined together real soon.

Eric Voyer (21:25.702)

Things I get excited about is you have analysts that a lot of them actually we have analysts that are able to analyze this data and you can layer on these tools on top and so the tools aren’t necessarily for the analysts to do what they’ve always done it’s to give them that step so that they’re up to steps and they can focus on what really matters they can focus on really diving into the insights rather than going in and pulling data and extracting it and making these connections

And that’s when it becomes really powerful to use these tools that we’re building together. But, you know, it’s hard to not bring up AI in the conversation. I know that OpenBrand is heavily focused on AI. Can you tell us a little bit more about how AI factors into not only the present, but maybe the future at OpenBrand s?

Greg Munves (22:18.926)

Yeah, well we use AI pervasively across the business. So we’ve built tools that leverage AI and computer vision to help us structure all the unstructured paid and earned media data that we’re collecting. We use AI now to help our analysts deliver cutting edge research to our customers.

Before, it’s kind of like you just mentioned, they had to sift through all the data themselves and they had to write every market intelligence report and do all the analysis for any analyst spotlight video from scratch every single time.

We have all our data now connected to ChatGPT and other tools so that they can get first cuts of things written for them. They can get help coming up with kind of pithy subject lines that catch customer and prospect attention. And then we give them access, we give everyone in our company access to ChatGPT so that they can use it just as their own research tool.

The same way they may have done primary research themselves using Google and other things in the past, they can now use ChatGPT to just kind of accelerate their learning. And I use it all the time as well. Really been tremendous for me. I see that only accelerating as time goes on.

Brian Lamar (23:54.005)

You talk a lot about AI and innovation and efficiencies. It kind of appears that’s the cost of entry to be really good at serving our clients now in this modern age of digital and so much data. Where’s the future go with all of this? Is it just more data? Is it more expertise? Is it better dashboards like we’re building?

Greg Munves (24:17.582)

Well, I think, you know, AI is the ultimate aid in doing all of this. And so it makes everyone a lot more efficient. I haven’t really seen it replacing anyone yet, but it, it’s sort of, you know, five Xing people, which I think is fantastic. It’s just the rate at which we can keep developing stuff, for clients, keep delivering, you know, actionable insights for them so that they can win more. I see all of that stuff.

Just accelerating over time. You know, I’m not a futurist, so I don’t necessarily know where it’s all going. But certainly in the near and medium term, I see a lot more value coming to customers a lot faster because of AI.

Eric Voyer (25:08.13)

Yeah, it’s the investments, you know, the investments that are being made in that both here and, you know, in the global community really have helped to springboard so many people. And, you know, we’re on the cutting edge here. And as Brian mentioned, you know, super excited about it. We’re really, really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for us.

Greg Munves (25:30.99)

Me too.

Brian Lamar (25:31.765)

I have one final question. You from New York, Cap Intelligence is a, I think is a San Diego based company, although people work remote as well. But you’ve been to Louisville, Kentucky a couple of times over the past few months where TraQline was headquartered. What do you think of Kentucky? It’s probably a little bit different than Long Island and Manhattan. Do you enjoy Kentucky? What are your thoughts?

Greg Munves (25:56.81)

It’s exactly the same as Manhattan. No, I’m just kidding. You’re right. It’s very, very different, but it’s great. The people here are super nice, super sharp, very welcoming, and I can’t say enough nice things about Kentucky so far.

Eric Voyer (26:01.126)

It’s shorter buildings.

Brian Lamar (26:18.741)

As a Kentucky and I’m very happy that you said that. Thank you so much. It was good to meet you in Kentucky. Glad to be working with you. I’m excited for the future and we’ll see you soon. Hopefully, right?

Greg Munves (26:31.374)

Absolutely.

Eric Voyer (26:31.526)

Greg Munves, he’s right next to the Dragon office. He’s right next door, so yeah. Yeah, he’s here.

Brian Lamar (26:37.141)

well, already in town. Alright.

Greg Munves (26:37.87)

I’m live from Kentucky right now, Brian.

Eric Voyer (26:41.126)

That’s right. That’s going to be our new intro. We’re going to have to do the Saturday night.

Brian Lamar (26:44.628)

All right, and if you have any questions, Greg Munves is accessible. How can people reach out to you, Greg Munves, if they’d like to?

Greg Munves (26:51.31)

yeah, just send an email to info at OpenBrand.com and it’ll, it’ll get, make its way to me.

Brian Lamar (27:02.133)

All right. All right. Thanks for.

Eric Voyer (27:03.973)

Greg Munves, thanks for being on the podcast with us. We’ve really enjoyed it. We’re looking forward to the future. This was the official podcast introduction of the TraQline + OpenBrand deal. So that’s very exciting. That’s going to go live tomorrow. We’re actually recording this the day before. So thanks for coming in and thanks for your support on this stuff. And we’re looking forward to the next one.

Greg Munves (27:27.694)

Thanks for having me. This was great guys.

Brian Lamar (27:29.813)

Yeah, thank you.

Eric Voyer (27:31.686)

All right, bye.

Greg Munves (27:34.542)

Bye.