Market Research


Be a Housekeeper for a Day

Be a Housekeeper for a Day

Numerous studies tout the effectiveness of ethnography as a way to understand customer needs and as a springboard for new product (or service) ideas.  The advantage of ethnography is that you can observe customer behavior in context.  Oftentimes, there is a disconnect between what people say vs. what people do.  Supplementing attitudinal research (focus groups, interviewing) with a behavioral component is a superior approach. The...

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We’re on a NEED to Know Basis

We’re on a NEED to Know Basis

Many firms rely on quantitative testing to prioritize which new product (or service) concepts advance in the development pipeline.  Without question, survey results can be used to align innovation teams around which projects to resource.  Concept testing is a common way to pick the winners and losers. A dirty secret is that many concepts pass testing with flying colors only to eventually fail (or not...

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Great Minds Do NOT Think Alike

Great Minds Do NOT Think Alike

Cross-functional teams are essential to product and service innovation.  Any time there are people involved, the “Fuzzy Front End” will remain fuzzy.  One of our clients calls this place, “a simmering pot of ideas, opportunities, opinions, politics, and fear.” In the front-end of innovation (FEI), significant dollars are usually spent on understanding customer needs and “filling the funnel” with product concepts.  The client team is...

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Avoid Asking Why

Avoid Asking Why

In many respects, we are in the business of understanding why customers do the things they do. Asking someone a “why” question suggests that you want them to describe a behavior or the rationale behind a behavior. Customers are generally poor at self-reflection; stated behavior (and rationale) is often at odds with reality. I’m still baffled at the number of times qualitative research is used to understand behaviors. It’s not designed for...

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Scrapbooking with Farmers

Scrapbooking with Farmers

Engaging B2B Study Participants I’ll be the first to admit that business-to-business research is hard. Finding and scheduling study participants is always a challenge. Engaging them is even tougher. Building a dialogue around brand perceptions and unmet needs is always challenging, but it is particularly acute in professional markets. Business-to-business participants are prone to only focus on product features. Good research requires a deeper dive. We recently completed...

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