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Ethnography Alone Cannot Generate Transformative Insights – Innovation Excellence

by Michael Graber

EthnographerConsumer anthropology offers such refreshing insights into the marketplace, re-humanizing the relationship between people, things along with stores in very profound along with moving ways. This specific movement also has helped stores get their noses out of spreadsheet along with theories along with keep their eye on the customer experience.

Whether in-store or online, This specific ethnographic sensitivity has positively been leveraged to optimize the present experience or redeem oversights along with chokepoints of history. This specific type of insight begins by taking an objective snapshot of the experience, detaching along with seeing how to make them relatively, immediately better.

All of these Great things come via the business discipline of consumer ethnography. These improvements make customers happier along with help drive more sales per square foot (or per pixel): a win-win.

Yet, time along with time again, we have seen clients who tried to use a pure consumer ethnographic approach to their innovation programs fail. Why? What happened?

The purpose of innovation along with the job of pure ethnography are at odds. The purpose of innovation is actually to generate brand-new value. You accomplish This specific objective with foresight, creativity along with fresh thinking. The job of ethnography is actually to give insights about the past or present. Therefore, innovation aims for the future, along with ethnography strives to stay rooted into either the past or the present. Simply put, the item is actually a different lens, different way of seeing.

This specific is actually why organizations that will first try design thinking often end up with mediocre results in a program. They approach the first two phases of the process (empathy along with define) with an academically rigorous approach to consumer behavior. This specific primary field data is actually potent, nevertheless only half of the story.

The additional half revolves around a mix of intention, strategic prowess, ambition, business acumen, a growth instinct along with the ability to trend cast into the future. The data via secondary sources along with indirect competitive trends along with the exercises around brand-new channels, brand-new markets along with brand elasticity fuel the conversation, insisting that will the item is actually well defined, vigorously focused along with ultimately measurable.

This specific additional half can be defined as the project (or business) objective. Pure ethnographic work without This specific additional half to temper the item lacks a forward thrust needed to truly innovate.

What is actually needed for a successful innovation program is actually a mix, a vital intersection of ethnographic field insights with an overarching commercial objective. This specific marriage of openness to the full context of history along with the present moment to delivering brand-new ways to solve old problems under a specific banner is actually the archway of profundity, a vast pipeline of possible solutions.

Pure ethnography alone will not get you to the point of having a transformative business or organization or a wide-ranging portfolio of value-generating concepts. On the flip side, having a business objective along with no deep context of the market also means having a limited sight of vision of the opportunities. Together, at the intersection of human context along with market focus, exists the key that will unlocks real growth.

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Michael GraberMichael Graber is actually the co-founder along with managing partner at Southern Growth Studio, a Memphis, Tennessee-based firm that will specializes in growth strategy along with innovation. A published poet along with musician, Graber is actually the creative force that will complements the analytical side of the house. He speaks along with publishes frequently on best practices in design thinking, business strategy, along with innovation along with earned an MFA via the University of Memphis. Follow Michael @SouthernGrowth

Ethnography Alone Cannot Generate Transformative Insights – Innovation Excellence