Executive Briefings

Ethnographic Studies Lead to New-Product Successes

Many a company has a "customer first" approach, and improvement methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma start with the "voice of the customer". So what is the point in trying to solve modern-day business problems with ethnography methods that many people still exclusively associate with anthropology?

Ethnography, or focusing on human behavior and personal experiences, can help you discover unmet customer needs and gain a deeper understanding of your customer.  Thanks to ethnographic studies, the Indian company Godrej & Boyce was able to develop the Chotukool fridge, a highly successful device that responds to the specific needs of people in rural India.

Intel, Whirlpool and Citigroup have professional ethnographers on their payroll. Procter & Gamble developed the Swiffer home-cleaning solutions through ethnographic studies.

The computer mouse, and the windows it helps navigate through, were also developed this way. If one day the computer mouse is made obsolete, that development work also will likely be inspired by ethnographic research.

Your company is missing an opportunity if ethnography is not among your methodologies to gather insight.

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Keywords: enterprise innovation, consumer focus groups, retail supply chain, logistics & chain

Ethnography, or focusing on human behavior and personal experiences, can help you discover unmet customer needs and gain a deeper understanding of your customer.  Thanks to ethnographic studies, the Indian company Godrej & Boyce was able to develop the Chotukool fridge, a highly successful device that responds to the specific needs of people in rural India.

Intel, Whirlpool and Citigroup have professional ethnographers on their payroll. Procter & Gamble developed the Swiffer home-cleaning solutions through ethnographic studies.

The computer mouse, and the windows it helps navigate through, were also developed this way. If one day the computer mouse is made obsolete, that development work also will likely be inspired by ethnographic research.

Your company is missing an opportunity if ethnography is not among your methodologies to gather insight.

Read Full Article

 

Keywords: enterprise innovation, consumer focus groups, retail supply chain, logistics & chain