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Empathy or Evidence?

Recently, I’ve been in an ongoing conversation with a CEO of a mid-sized company about marketing research, consumer insights, and innovation. This CEO is an engineer by training, and he started his company with a great idea. This year, sales for his company will exceed $500 million.  Not bad. While the company has a product development and marketing function, they’ve never invested in formal consumer...

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Overhead View Of Designers Having Meeting Around Table

Cuddle Up to Focus Groups Again

Neuroscience proves that most decisions are filtered through emotions, and the holy grail in qualitative research is understanding these emotions. Decades of behavioral research is fairly conclusive: in order for a giver of feedback to convey emotions there must be a high level of trust with the receiver of feedback. To date, our industry has focused on technological solutions to measure emotional response.  That is,...

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Are Study Participants Brain Dead?

Are Study Participants Brain Dead?

We recently moved our office and during packing I stumbled across a collection of articles dating back 15+ years related to where market research failed to predict the ultimate success of a new-to-world innovation. I was under some pressure to declutter, but after thumbing through the folder I decided these articles would make the trek across town. It struck me that there was a common...

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Ignorance is Not Bliss!

Ignorance is Not Bliss!

In dealing with VOC, many feign ignorance to the “wider lens” of people that have VOC needs. Previously, we introduced you to Dr. Ron Adner’s book, The Wide Lens: What Successful Innovators See that Others Miss. Adner builds the case that our execution focused strategies have led to innovation failures because we have intentionally narrowed our vision to see only those factors we can manage:...

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What You Don’t See Can Kill You

What You Don’t See Can Kill You

Blind spots are everywhere.  The most familiar are those related to your car such as that zone you can’t see in the rearview mirrors when driving.  (Personally, I still can’t see that zone even after unnaturally turning my head over my shoulder.) We also have mental blind spots.  There are aspects of our personalities of which we simply are not aware but probably drive others...

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