“Archetypes are like riverbeds which dry up when the water deserts them, but which it can find again at any time. An archetype is like an old watercourse along which the water of life has flowed for centuries, digging a deep channel for itself.” – Carl Jung Read more »
In Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman provides a comprehensive and readable summary of how we all make decisions (probably the best overview you will ever read). In doing so he completely buries the already tarnished view of human behaviour as ‘homo economicus’ (rational decision maker) and demonstrates clearly and precisely that we are far from paragons of reason. Read more »
How successful are Asian brands?
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) published a report late last year on Asian branding full of insights and well worth reading. The report is based on interviews with a range of branding experts and Asian business leaders and you can download it (in English or Chinese) here. Read more »
A recent Accenture study of senior marketing executives highlights the growing need for smarter use of data, creation of unique value propositions and squeezing more business impact from less budget.
“The story – from Rumplestiltskin to War and Peace – is one of the basic tools invented by the human mind for the purpose of understanding. There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.” - Ursula K. Le Guin
Has market research dropped the (crystal) ball?
I came into the market research industry because I was curious about people. I love uncovering the motivations and behaviours of others, and enjoy exploring and connecting data to find new meanings and inspirations.
I recall on holiday last year reading Elliot Aronson’s sociology course text book, “The Social Animal”. Heavy reading perhaps for the beach in Bali, but I devoured it faster than any Stephen King pulp fiction. What amazed me at the time was how clearly it demonstrates the malleability of human beings to social influence. It left me feeling that we were all, well rather daft creatures, and that our sense of autonomy was probably often an illusion.
The debate over insight is becoming heated, particularly at Research-Live, although I think most of the differences are semantic. Nick Johnson first proclaimed that “insight is dead”, and I agree that the word is overused. However, his (very accurate) description of research outcomes with two hour and 80 page powerpoint decks, is about data and not insight, and his plea to look beyond the immediate data is absolutely on the mark. In his response to this, Anthony Tasgal defends “insight” as the currency of consumer understanding, and argues that insight is a process and not an object, and most importantly that insight always includes a creative element, and is always actionable (and actioned). He is right to argue that insight is about replacing the 80 page deck with an action oriented debrief process.
To change a business or brand we need to change behavior. To do this we must understand why people behave as they do now and in turn how we can influence them to change.
If I think about myself for a moment, the challenge becomes clear. I don’t always really know why I do the things I do. I misplace my keys, I get distracted, sometimes I am just on autopilot, thinking about something else. Half the time I struggle to explain things to myself, let alone to someone else. I am surprised how illogical I can be, and at times how downright emotional I can get.