Hammering the need for closeness

By: Dominique Peters

It is Christmas 2013 and I am browsing the shops looking for a gift for my new-ish boyfriend’s father. I have met him precisely once before (for dinner) but I am spending the holidays with them. Based on this meeting, I know he is affable, vegetarian and likes gardening. But really, deep-down, I know nothing about him. Trying to buy a present is torturous – I don’t know what he already has, I don’t know anything about his aesthetic tastes, I have no idea what he is into. My boyfriend is not much use either. He suggests I buy him wine gums. After weeks of looking, I give up and buy him some expensive biscuits in a nice tin. He opens them on Christmas morning and is happy enough.

Fast forward to November 2017 and I am passing through a hardware store when I see it: the most perfect lump hammer. It is much smaller than a typical lump hammer but it is well-made and weighty. It is exactly what I have been looking for, and I buy it immediately. You see Ken, my now father in law, has been wanting one just like this for ages. He is a man who believes in having the right tool for the job and he has a job that needs doing that needs a very small lump hammer. We wrap it up (image) and on Christmas day, we give Ken the hammer. He is absolutely thrilled. He mentions how perfect it is multiple times that day. On Boxing Day, Ken leaves the rest of us to finish breakfast, takes that hammer and spends the rest of the morning knocking out some outdated decorative brick work in a very tight corner.

When we only understand consumers through the lens of tactical research; it is a bit like having that first dinner with Ken over and over again but never getting beyond it. The more we know about someone, or a group of people, the easier it is to act decisively. We don’t have to guess what they want. We know what they want. We don’t have to try and figure things out based on superficial understanding. We can act quickly and confidently because we actually ‘get’ them.

Consumer Closeness at Decidedly

At Decidedly, we make this our mission. We believe that clients develop better products and can make more confident business critical decisions that take them further, faster when they truly understand consumers and their lives. We believe the confidence stems from understanding what people really do, in the moment, behind closed doors. It comes from a fluent understanding of who your customers really are and what makes them tick.

We have developed a consumer closeness toolkit that is designed to help uncover life as it really lived. We combine more traditional ethnographic and tech enabled approaches to go deeper. These include (among others):

  • Lifelogging is a tool for exploring people’s daily lives as a full project or as a pre-immersion to build closeness ahead of more tactical or traditional research. Through a mix of video, audio and image-based content, you’ll see how people engage with your category, brand and products – and the role they play in their lives. You’ll get to know consumers better than ever before and access deep insights
  • Passive observation is new technology that helps us observe people in their home environment. Using tools like live feed cameras within people’s homes we can get an in-depth picture of what really goes on behind closed doors and capture the micro-moments and dynamics people probably don’t even register themselves.

But at Decidedly, closeness doesn’t stop with the insight itself. We believe in providing clients with deliverables that provide inspiration and input (rather than just outputs) to ensure you are living and breathing the world of your consumers and that stakeholders at every level of your business can make confident, people-centred decisions.