News News

Awards Awards

In the news Press Releases
Press and Media Inquiries

Vision Critical Unveils Top Customer-Centric Organizations in its 2018 Visionary Awards

Winners span multiple industries and include Red Bull, Jam City, VMware, and more


Vancouver, BRITISH COLUMBIA – September 13, 2018 – Vision Critical today announced the details of its 2018 Visionary Award winners. The awards, which span five categories, celebrate organizations that exemplify customer-centric decision making and demonstrate excellence in utilizing intelligence to improve performance in product innovation, customer experience, and marketing. Winners will be recognized at Vision Critical’s annual Customer Intelligence Summit on September 12 – 14th in Washington, D.C.

“With this year’s Visionary Award winners, we’re excited to highlight companies that we believe embody what it truly means to be customer-led organizations,” said Kelly Hall, Chief Customer Officer, Vision Critical. “Their success is proof that access to communities of opted-in, highly engaged customers results in the ability to make better, more accurate decisions faster. We look forward to learning more from them and celebrating their continued success at our Customer Intelligence Summit.”


This year’s honorees include:


Red Bull: Marketing Visionary Award, North America

Global energy drink company Red Bull is this year’s Visionary Award winner for Marketing. Long-used ad-hoc research methods left Red Bull craving faster, more agile ways to connect with Energy Drink shoppers. Working with Vision Critical, it launched the Energy Drink Exchange, an insight community of consumers / shoppers who provide rapid and actionable insights to inform all aspects of the business. Through work with the community, Red Bull was able to challenge long standing institutional assumptions about its core consumers, gaining a more granular view of category shoppers and what drives them to purchase in store. Red Bull’s Shopper Insights now lead discussions on future sales and retail marketing plans at the company and many initiatives are a direct result of insights garnered from the community. The Energy Drink Exchange has helped Red Bull pinpoint areas to capitalize on strengths, driving significant sales growth for the company.

“The strategies we’re deploying in retail that are driving growth at Red Bull are grounded in the feedback we gather from our insight community,” said Laura-Lynn Freck, Director of Shopper Insights, Red Bull. “The Energy Drink Exchange has been paramount in helping the us expand the vision we have for our sales and marketing strategies by helping us understand more fully who our core consumers really are. These insights have enabled us to identify, diagnose, and close gaps in our sales and marketing initiatives to reach those core consumers.”


Jam City: New Community of the Year Award, North America

Jam City, a global leader in mobile entertainment, is this year’s Visionary Award winner for New Community of the Year. As mobile gaming continues to grow in popularity, Jam City knew it had to build relationships with its most valued players to learn more about their gameplay motivations, successfully create experiences that players’ want, and continue to innovate in the mobile gaming space. Partnering with Vision Critical, the company created Jam City Insiders, a community of VIP players eager to share opinions and be part of the game development process. Jam City Insiders helps the company accelerate and enhance creative processes, better allocate time and effort amongst internal teams, improve game performance, and develop more engaged relationships with its players.

“Because the mobile gaming landscape changes on a daily basis, the need for rapid insights with ‘real gamers’ is crucial in our competitive space,” said Lisa Spano, VP of Consumer Insights, Jam City. “By listening to our players throughout the entire development process, Jam City Insiders has helped us make better business decisions and has significantly improved player experiences, ultimately reflecting our player-first culture.”


VMware: Product Innovation Award, North America

VMware is this year’s Product Innovation Visionary Award winner. As a global leader in cloud infrastructure & digital workspace technology, VMware helps its customers accelerate their digital transformation through a software-defined approach to business and IT. Founded as a traditional software company, VMware is also embracing a SaaS model, an impact felt most notably by its product development teams. Using Vision Critical, VMware created Inner Circle, an online community of customers and partners, to facilitate rapid cycle research efforts to shape the transitioning company’s new strategies and direction. Inner Circle allows VMware to use customer-backed insight in lock-step with the product development process, allowing teams to dig deeper into the massive quantities of telemetry data they collect to provide the insight needed to continually iterate and improve the company’s products. The community has allowed VMware to create both a proactive and reactive support model that enables it to remain a leader in the global software industry.

“In order to build accurate solutions for our customers, we engage them early and often through our insight community, approaching them as a partner at every stage of the product development process,” said Scott Bajtos, Chief Customer Officer, VMware. “Our mission is to ignite business growth using direct feedback from our Inner Circle stakeholders, and we’re continuously using their ongoing engagement to drive momentum that translates into real business opportunities.”


Twitch: Business Transformation Award, North America

Twitch, the world’s leading live streaming video service and community for gamers, is the 2018 Visionary Award winner for Business Transformation. With a primary audience that is traditionally difficult to reach and adverse to sharing personal data, Twitch needed a way to engage and learn from them in an authentic way while maintaining its transparent, audience-first culture. Using Vision Critical’s platform, Twitch developed TwitchRPG, a community of gamers that offer the insight needed to continually enhance the gaming experience and create more impactful, effective, and profitable partnership programs. The community enables Twitch to better understand the type of gamers that make up their customer base, the amount of gaming content they watch, and important insights beyond their gaming habits to better create a more holistic offering. TwitchRPG rapidly evolved into a powerful sub-brand with deep, ongoing engagement that has helped Twitch grow, while re-enforcing core tenants.

“The TwitchRPG community has genuinely transformed our business, allowing us to become more customer-centric without compromising the integrity of our relationships,” said Colan Neese, Sr. Manager, Audience Insights, Twitch. “We’re passionate about translating feedback into actionable insight, and community members recognize and appreciate that the tangible changes in our products are a direct result of their participation. This inspires continuous participation in the community and results in a mutual exchange of value for all involved.”


Cleveland Clinic: Customer Experience Award, North America

Cleveland Clinic is this year’s Customer Experience Visionary Award winner. As a physician-led group practice with over seven million patient visits annually, Cleveland Clinic prides itself on being not only a pioneer in medical advancements, but also in customer experience. With a mission to put patients first, it developed the Patient Panel community to garner insight and feedback from customers in order to keep them top of mind throughout every touchpoint of the patient journey. The Patient Panel is a crucial and integral component of Cleveland Clinic’s business structure and allows the company to make steadfast and confident decisions about improvements to the patient and caregiver experiences.

“Cleveland Clinic prides itself on providing world-class care to its patients, and it’s imperative that we gather actionable insight to help us identify trends in patient feedback,” said Michelle Gandolf, Director of Market Research & Insights, Cleveland Clinic. “For over a decade, the Cleveland Clinic Patient Panel has been key in enabling us to make informed decisions that are felt by our patients and caregivers. In leveraging the voices from our stakeholders, we ensure that the patient experience is positive and constantly improving.”


To learn more about Vision Critical’s customers, visit


About Vision Critical

Vision Critical provides customer relationship intelligence software that enables large enterprises to be fast, responsive and customer-centric. With its unique, relationship-based approach, Vision Critical’s Sparq platform lets brands directly interact with communities of opted-in customers. Unlike traditional voice of customer methods, Vision Critical unlocks the real-time feedback that companies need to build better products, deliver better services and achieve better business outcomes hand in hand with their own highly-engaged, well-profiled customers.

Hundreds of high-performing organizations across multiple industries use Vision Critical’s technology, including BuzzFeed, Aurora Health Care, LinkedIn, and more. To learn more about Vision Critical, follow us on Twitter or visit us at