lackluster ideas into the focus reacquaint themselves with the realize that assumptions that aregroup room so the best way to product or service through what I true for one region may not beprevent this from happening is to call a new set of radar. true for all.backward-integrate into the idea- Often as part of an ideation ses- One particular example comes togenerating phase. Several approach- sion, I’ll ask the client to use their mind. I was working on conceptes can be utilized to help a client product. For example, I’ll have the development for a North America-think a bit more creatively about client’s R&D team make a toilet or based household cleanser brand intheir own business: shower filthy and have the clients Brazil. As part of the session, I • Casual, client-led interviews. clean it. Many clients hire a clean- asked that the non-Brazilians watch Similar to asking a respondent ing person for these tasks in their some in-home cleaning with theirto make a collage prior to entering home - they haven’t cleaned a toi- products. Imagine the surpriseinto a qualitative experience, I let in 10 years! To really engage when they watched tapes of bare-often ask a client to conduct some their thinking I’ll typically divide footed women cleaning their bath-informal interviews with friends, the team up and add some con- room with a giant broom-like mopfamily or colleagues who don’t straints to the process. For example, and a hose! Clearly, this experiencework on their business. It doesn’t one team cleans the toilet using changed many incoming assump-matter whether the client follows only their right hand, one team tions and paradigms about the newall the appropriate guidelines for cleans only with their left hand, product concepts.asking unbiased or leading ques- and one team cleans while blind-tions. My goal is to ensure they are folded. Why the constraints? It Help with immersionhearing from a neutral source helps the client think about the Let’s now think about how actualsomething potentially new about experience in a fresh way.You’d be qualitative research can help withtheir product/service to prime the surprised at the output from an immersion. Triangulation of yourpump prior to the session. exercise such as the one described. qualitative research using a variety I always provide several specific The same outcome can be dupli- of approaches can create a morequestions that should engage the cated for a service business. Have complete picture for your clients.client and highlight some aspect of the client call his/her own or a Imagine research on a new healththeir business with plenty of blank competitor’s customer service line drink. Triangulation could mean alines for the answers. The rule of and evaluate the experience. Ask a combination of secondary researchthumb is to put more lines on the client to mystery-shop several on the topic (what’s on theresponse sheet than you think the competitors’ stores for a particular Internet), some focus groups withrespondent will need to answer - product or service or be a mystery the end consumer, in-depth inter-often they’ll fill the entire space. diner for a restaurant. They could views with subject experts (such asSuddenly you have lots of food for even Google key industry words doctors or fitness professionals),thought before you even start your and see what comes up and deter- and intercept interviews with thoseideation session. mine whether the information was purchasing drinks in a health club. A great example of using this confusing or straightforward. The While this will provide a rich con-approach was with a manufacturer possibilities are endless. However, text of understanding for theof watches. As pre-work for an they do require some creative pre- client, let’s think about how theideation session, I told the client thinking by the QRC to insure the clients can actually roll up theirparticipants to ask several questions experience is carefully incorporat- sleeves and get involved. Here arein an interview; however, one of ed into the ideation session. my three favorite research-relatedthe most engaging learnings prior • Watch in-context product usage approaches to get them engaged.to the session was a very simple videos. 1. Participate in in-context inter-and almost obvious question of Often clients have lost touch views.“What is time?” with what their consumers are One way to reconnect with the • Product/service experience. really doing with their product or consumer is through in-context The nature of the client’s busi- service. Occasionally, a refresher on interviews. Although I would neverness will determine whether real- what is happening is appropriate. suggest that the clients conduct thetime experience with the This is particularly helpful when a actual interviews, having a fewproduct/service must happen product may be used in a variety of come along for the experience isbefore or during the session. applications or across different very enlightening. Typically thisInterestingly, what often happens countries. If the marketing engine works best with two to threewith clients is that they might not for a product is based in one par- clients who are given a specificeven use the product or service ticular region, like the U.S. or role in the process (note-taker,they sell. As such, they need to Europe, it may be staggering to videographer, etc.). For this to be To purchase paper reprints of this article, contact Bryan Durham II of FosteReprints at 800.382.0808 x111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.