Monday, July 20, 2009
Here is an interesting read all about service (as opposed to product) innovation. I think I happened upon it on Twitter a few weeks ago but have only just read the article which stimulated this article. It's interesting because the researchers seem to have actually hung out with and watched people in real world settings over time. Something that doesn't happen that often because it is so labour intensive and therefore expensive.
I also liked the openness of the question/brief: How to get boomer-age women with kids to open checking accounts. If the client had any hypotheses, they would have kept them back from the researchers. And this is where researchers need to be extremely wary. On three occasions in the past 14 years we have been commissioned to explore a segment and develop a new offer where the client already HAD a new offer or strong hypotheses about an idea they we not willing to budge on. And all they were looking for was confirmation from our findings that their idea was the answer.
In one case, the idea, unknown to us, was already in production and they had already sacked their first agency for not giving them the right answers. Anyway, it's a long story but the point I am trying to make is that ethnographic researchers must have the courage to sit down with clients and rework the briefs to ensure, a) they are ethnographic briefs, b) the client does not have a pet idea they are trying to push and c) to push against point b, the client does have some ideas or hypotheses to make sense out of the data with.
Posted by Siamack Salari at 11:18 AM
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