Retail as Religion

Loyalty is the focal point of many, if not most, brands. Understandably, getting repeat customers who will also serve as advocates is a smart move in a world where, due to the ease of online transactions, volume simply isn’t enough. But is loyalty enough or should we strive for something more? Should we strive for […]

Doing Rapid Ethnography

The hallmark of ethnographic research is field work done in natural settings, where it can yield a broad picture and provide a more complete context of activity. But, ethnography can, at times, scare our clients.  Because of this depth, it is often seen as slow, expensive and inclined to produce more information than can easily […]

When Geniuses Miss the Mark on Shopping

Paco Underhill is the subject of a new interview and it is interesting.  Somewhat reductionist at times, but interesting nonetheless.  There is much to be learned from Paco’s work and much a company can use. But there are also theoretical and observational gaps that could lead a company down a dangerous strategic path. While I […]

The Shopper Continuum

To the credit of marketing, advertising, and research people the days of talking about the consumer as the sole focus of shopping activity are essentially gone. We recognize that the shopper and the consumer are not always the same. Indeed, it is often the case that they are not. The focus has shifted to the […]

Politics and Culture: Growing Your Brand in India

Companies are scrambling to decode Indian consumers.  Granted, the same could be said for al the BRIC nations, but India in particular seems poised for transformational expansion over the coming decade. There is a young and energetic population, an abundance of resources and a growing population of highly-educated entrepreneurs with personal and professional experience abroad.  […]

Insights, Experts and the Family Dog

Things are not always what they seem and insights stem from looking at the world in unexpected ways.  Numbers can tell you a great deal, but I am of the opinion that they don’t help you to see unexpected patterns.  Take how we think about treating our pets for things like ticks an fleas, and […]

It’s the End of the World as We Know It.

The end of the world is at hand!  Again.  Harold Camping’s predictions for the end of the world were wrong back in May, but October 21st is now the official new date.  Brother Camping , having done some recalculation recently told his followers this: “Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the […]

Using Key Words to Build Better Insights

There is a essential link between the shared life of a society and the lexicon of the language spoken by it. Language is frequently understood by researchers in strings of utterances rather than individual lexical components.  There is, of course, nothing wrong with that, but it does limit how we analyze and interpret what people […]

Gov. Scott and the Usefulness of Anthropology

Governor Scott of Florida is an ignorant, far-right ass, no doubt.  As I just posted to the Huffington Post, I am a practicing anthropologist with four patents, working in the private sector, making a substantial living and responsible for the successful business and marketing strategies of a host of Fortune 500 companies. I am far […]