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The Customer Isn't Always Right

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What Research Can't Tell You

Published in: Business, Technology
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The Customer Isn't Always Right

  1. 06.02.07 jason oke leo burnett worldwide the customer isn’t always right the problem with research
  2. some stories some advice
  3.  
  4. “ Let the consumer decide.”
  5. what if people don’t actually know what they want ?
  6.  you don’t really know what you like
  7. <ul><li>“ I have never been more sure of a decision in my life” </li></ul><ul><li>Roberto Goizueta </li></ul><ul><li>Coca-Cola CEO </li></ul><ul><li>New Coke Launch, 1985 </li></ul>
  8. <ul><li>“ It is clear that consumers are not particularly good at judging taste… </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer ability to discriminate and make consistent preferences is low, and lower than they believe it is.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Sense and Nonsense of Consumer Product Testing” </li></ul><ul><li>Priya Raghubir </li></ul><ul><li>UC Berkeley </li></ul>
  9. <ul><li>“ In spite of this lack of discrimination ability and preference consistency, consumers have a very high level of confidence in the evaluations and judgments that they make about product experience. ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Sense and Nonsense of Consumer Product Testing” </li></ul><ul><li>Priya Raghubir </li></ul><ul><li>UC Berkeley </li></ul>
  10. our preferences are easily changed (and we don’t realize it)
  11. the laugh track effect
  12. what we like/want is not fixed it is often context-dependent
  13.  you don’t know why you do things
  14.  
  15. <ul><li>we’re not good at </li></ul><ul><li>explaining our behaviour </li></ul>
  16.   making you think changes your answers
  17.  
  18.  
  19. <ul><li>“ Too much analysis can confuse people about how they really feel . There are severe limits to what we can discover through self-reflection.” </li></ul><ul><li>Timothy Wilson </li></ul><ul><li>UVA </li></ul>New York Times, Dec 29 2005
  20. <ul><li>making you think about a choice unconsciously changes </li></ul><ul><li>your answer </li></ul>
  21. <ul><li>towards </li></ul><ul><li>cautious </li></ul><ul><li>safe </li></ul><ul><li>familiar choices </li></ul><ul><li>because they are easier to explain </li></ul>
  22. <ul><li>so we are often </li></ul><ul><li>highly skeptical of new ideas the first time we see them </li></ul>
  23. <ul><li>“ I still can’t believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player? Why oh why would they do this?! It’s so wrong! It’s so stupid!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ $400 for an Mp3 Player? It won’t sell, and be killed off in a short time… it’s not really functional. ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device? Steve Job’s mind is starting to warp if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ There are already two products similar to this on the market, which can come with a bigger HD. It is far from revolutionary. I am disappointed and think that apple is making a mistake by trying to get into this market.” </li></ul>“ ” Macrumors web forum, October 2001
  24.  
  25. <ul><li>“ Overcoming the desire to test everything under the sun is probably the greatest hurdle for any company seeking brand reinvention. You simply can't research your way to everything and here's why: Consumers prefer the familiar and can have a hard time accepting the unexpected… but consumers are not always right. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Scott Bedbury </li></ul><ul><li>ex-CMO Nike & Starbucks </li></ul>Advertising Age, May 1 2006
  26. <ul><li>some thoughts on </li></ul><ul><li>how to avoid all that </li></ul>
  27. <ul><li> figure out what research is actually being used for </li></ul>
  28. <ul><li>fear of failure </li></ul><ul><li>fear of blame </li></ul><ul><li>inability to make decisions </li></ul><ul><li>habit </li></ul><ul><li>history </li></ul><ul><li>support </li></ul>
  29. <ul><li>no one ever got fired </li></ul><ul><li>for doing what their customers </li></ul><ul><li>told them to do </li></ul>
  30. <ul><li>ask yourself what the research limitations are </li></ul>
  31. <ul><li> accept that our brains are </li></ul><ul><li>good at some things </li></ul><ul><li>and bad at others </li></ul>
  32. <ul><li>we are good at </li></ul><ul><li>associating </li></ul><ul><li>understanding </li></ul>
  33. we are bad at describing what we like and why we do things
  34. get beyond self-reported descriptions & explanations
  35. observe people analyse usage data get people to tell stories
  36. a taxonomy of explanations <ul><li>conventions </li></ul><ul><li>codes </li></ul><ul><li>technical accounts </li></ul><ul><li>stories </li></ul>
  37. <ul><li>“ One should never simplify or pretend to be sure of such simplicity where there is none. If things were simple, word would have gotten around .” </li></ul><ul><li>Jacques Derrida </li></ul>
  38. <ul><li>so, to sum up </li></ul>
  39. <ul><li>i’m not saying people lie </li></ul><ul><li>i’m not saying don’t talk to people who use your product/service/site </li></ul><ul><li>getting people involved is a good thing </li></ul>
  40. <ul><li>but first understand </li></ul><ul><li>what you’re asking </li></ul><ul><li>how to ask it </li></ul><ul><li>why you’re asking it </li></ul>
  41. and hang in there, baby
  42. thanks. [email_address] http://lbtoronto.typepad.com

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