Posted on June 1, 2011 by Carey
This is the time of year when we feel really ambitious and gear up for a season of activity, relaxation, and celebration of summertime.
It has been a challenging spring with rain, cold, tornadoes, and flooding. We’ll remember it and someday reminisce about Spring 2011.
Why did teachers always assign us this essay on the first day of the new school year? Stories are the way we connect to each other as friends, family, neighbors, as well as customers and consumers. We listen to our target population–the ones whose perspectives we strive to understand. We tell the story of our brand, our services, our products and hope they will listen and join the narrative.
The change of seasons reminds us to open to new experiences and most of all, new stories being continuously created and retold.
Posted on May 21, 2010 by Carey
I was in Orange County recently, and I had been traveling for weeks in a row. I was in the zone with my facilitation and consulting work, focused and productive, yet I had been to so many hotels in so many weeks that they began to blur as I transitioned from one project to another. Then I saw something that pulled me back into the uniqueness of the moment: a duck in a swimming pool…with no one else around.
Great care had been taken at this lovely hotel to create a relaxing, inviting outdoor space where people could seek rejuvenation in the perfectly-maintained pool or in one of the cabanas or chairs meticulously placed along the edges of the sky blue water. And yet here the only visitor was a duck—presumably with better prospects in ponds nearby with underbrush to provide cover and soil rather than cement, in which to build a nest. This lone duck, heading for the ladder looked so out of place.
It made me wonder why the intended audience never showed up and why the unexpected did. As product developers and marketers, a lot of thought goes into this aspect, of course. Yet, I wonder if we get in the narrowly focused zone too often and limit our possibilities for success by staying with slices of the population we already know well or have tried to please with our offerings in the past. As a market researcher, it seems as though every year the specifications for who we recruit to learn from and talk to become narrower and narrower, squeezing out other possibilities for learning and understanding. It might be refreshing to learn from the opposite or adjacent point of view in our research—the grandparents rather than the parents of targeted children, the male head of household rather than the primary grocery shopper. It might feel surprisingly cool when we dip a toe into a new pool of knowledge, but with summer around the corner, maybe we are ready for a new perspective.
Posted on March 23, 2010 by Dan
March Madness is here and as always there is a great deal of debate about which teams get in and which teams stay home. How does the selection committee decide? They follow set Principles and Procedures. Of particular interest is the mix qualitative and quantitative factors they use:
“The RPI is one of many resources/tools available to the committee in the selection, seeding and bracketing process. Several independent elements are combined to produce the RPI. These elements are a part of the statistical information that may or may not be utilized by each member in any manner they choose. Computer models cannot accurately evaluate qualitative factors such as games missed by key players or coaches, travel difficulties, the emotional effects of specific games, etc.”
Do you know the qualitative factors to accurately evaluate what the computer model might miss for your brand, product, packaging or advertising?