“Hang Out” and Go Exploring!
Anthropologists are social scientists who study culture and society—people’s values, beliefs, and behavior—through systematic observation called ethnographic research. This enables them to better “see, feel, and think” what people actually do (vs. what they say they do).
To understand real-life consumer or business behavior, consider using a corporate anthropologist to complement other research you might be using—focus groups or surveys, for example. You’ll have the opportunity to see your customers, non-users, and your organization in a fresh light.
Good anthropologists go beyond merely observing and interviewing
They watch how your product is being used…as well as when consumers choose solutions other than yours. They delve into cultural trends, habits, beliefs, and attitudes in ways that allow you to think about your business in new ways. They then help you turn those ideas into viable, testable alternatives that can introduce you to entirely new markets and new customers.
Henry Ford said, “If I asked people how to improve their transportation, they would have told me to make their horses go faster.” So don’t ask people. Go spend a day with them and see for yourself. Better yet, hire an anthropologist to be your eyes and ears.
Some of the Tools We Use
- Video can help you see what is really happening, such as in a retail space or physician’s office.
- Still photography and photo diaries capture what people see and feel (evidenced by researchers trying to understand how women used and felt about car safety seats).
- Subtle Interviews and Culture Probes help you learn a lot about non-users. After doing culture probes with its current customers, a B2B battery design client discovered many new ways they could be satisfying and capturing, potential customers.
- “Hanging out” is also very useful. Spend a “day in the life of a customer” or a non-customer and see how they really do what they have been telling you they do. The “aha” discoveries will astound you.
Whether you are a medical book publisher, a premium chocolate manufacturer, an owner of a small chain of upscale food retailers or a battery design company in the B2B world, our comprehensive, integrated approach will help you “see, feel, and think” about your business in totally new ways.
We provide you with a basic toolkit and you can turn into an amateur anthropologist and try them yourself!
Once we have gone exploring with you (or for you) and begun to capture new ideas about markets that could be awaiting you, we have a number of other methodologies to help you and your team better “see, feel and think” about your business. We are trained practitioners in Blue Ocean Strategy® and certified facilitators in Innovation Games®. Both methods offer us a number of ways to approach your business challenges.
We are also highly experienced branding and marketing experts, having won awards for our clients’ work as well as our own. Often we are asked to help our clients convert their new ideas into innovations, and re-brand their organizations to turn innovations into effective implementations.
In today’s complex and fast-changing business world, new opportunities are often right in front of you. SAMC helps you see them. For the health of your company, go exploring! Or, let us take you.