In simplest terms, I like talking with people and have been doing so in the service of growing businesses since 1998. It began with my role as a design anthropologist, followed by work in strategic planning and design. Over the years my curiosity about what makes people tick has been the cornerstone of my work. The point of this blog is to talk about using anthropology in a business setting. It isn’t for anthropologists alone and isn’t meant to be an academic space so much as it is a space for the anthropologically minded, be it a designer, an ethnographer or a business strategist.
I’ve conducted research and strategic development projects for a broad range of clients including Kellogg’s, Chase, Chrysler, Bayer, GSK, Kimberly-Clark, MillerCoors Brewing, H&R Block, and Sprint to name a few. I deeply believe that anthropology, and the social sciences more broadly, can help brands connect with consumers in deeply moving ways.
- Participant observation: An interview isn’t enough when doing good ethnographically informed research because people are more than what they tell you. We become involved in whatever our participants are doing, allowing the context to guide the conversation. By participating, we experience the objects, movements, interactions, and behaviors that shape what people believe, say, and do.
- Brand Itinerary: Understanding a product’s or brand’s itinerary means getting to know its “life story” and how it changes over time. From first encounter, through use and abandonment, the goal is to understand how a product or brand changes meaning over time.
- Tribe I.D.: We live in a complex network of relationships and communities that shape our worldview, behavior and influence our daily behavior. We are all part of tribes. They are connected by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as profession, title, subculture, common interest, dislike, etc. Our process focuses on identifying how being part of a tribe shapes our perceptions, interpretations, and decisions.
- Story Mapping: Everyone has a story to tell. Storytelling is not simply narrative. It is an opportunity to communicate values in resonant and memorable ways. Our process involves exploring stories with participants through co-creation and narrative analysis to get at the most relevant triggers and beliefs.
- Customer Profiles: A simple, emotionally compelling, behavioral and cultural overview of key targets and their motivations, barriers, and loves. Alignment of consumer beliefs, practices, and needs with business and brand objectives
- Contextual Journeys: Motivational patterns and contexts shaping the patterns of the target’s brand journey. Articulation of how the consumer could/will interact with the brand based on emerging technologies, behavioral, emotional state, and needs
- Context Maps: Context mapping is a process where we collect relevant artifacts and map out the spaces where relevant action happens. This might involve drawing maps of a retail space, mapping the interior of a house, capturing the layout of a landscape, or plotting how people move through a bank.
- Insight Workshop: We don’t just present findings, w conduct a half-day collaborative deep-dive into research with your team and develop draft strategic solutions. We identify behavior changes and lay out key experiences along the customer journey that align best with your long-term plans.