Monday, August 04, 2008

Anthroprological mindset needed

Oskar Korkman writes about how companies need to ensure that they are more relevant and valuable parts in the life of their customers - in order to grow in Vectia's autumn newsletter. The reasoning is that the everyday life - trivial to some - is the area where the largest business potential is and is to be found also in the future.

How does anthroprology relate to this? Interesting to note how methods in this "cultural research" was earlier about foreign tribes and people ("the others") now is being used in our own culture - ie on "us".

"The anthroprological mindset implies that we should go to the places where customers live their everyday life and seek opportunities". Not to ask questions but to observe and participate.

My take: Surely corresponds to my experience:

1. Money spent on customer questionaires produce "more of the same - but cheaper" - not much incentives for change = innovations

2. Customers also frequently give answers that they believe they should give or that feel sophisticated - shunning away from the trivial (which often is the most interesting from the growth angle)

3. When going physically to the customers context (be he a consumer or an employee - Mr Same Guy anyway) also is more likely to reveal nearfield needs that can be solved in one go - opportunity for growth

4. Understanding the customer context and his strong preference for incremental improvements instead of something totally new also leads away from blind technology driven solutions towards much better user friendlyness through economy of repetition and much better business case through economy of reuse. All this evident in 3rd generation e-banking success stories outlined earlier in this blog.

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