METROTOPICS

What Is Better Business?

In 2015, I set out with members of the research staff at the Council of Better Business Bureaus to find out what a “better business experience” meant to contemporary consumers. We sat down with 20 individuals of varying ages, genders, ethnicities, and occupations in four different U.S. cities to listen to their stories about everyday…

Consumer Trust

Why do consumers want to do business with some companies and not others? A 100-year-old non-profit brand with established niche in facilitating business reviews and business-consumer interactions wanted to know. The organization needed to modernize its brand in the face of new technologies that were encroaching on its niche and replacing it in the marketplace…

European Tech

Does national culture impact what and how we search? One of the world’s largest technology firms sought to improve its position in a key competitive sub-category. They wanted to understand if and how national cultures might impact how consumers use the Web and Internet-connected devices (apps) to get the information they need in daily life.…

Moms

How do new mom’s decide if they are “good moms?” A successful baby carrier brand knew it needed a meaningful segmentation of its market, despite years of promising growth. Several new competitors were entering the market, and the ability among new moms to distinguish between product designs, and brands, was narrowing. We were able to…

59 Minutes of Branding

So, Albert Einstein is famous for saying that if he were given one hour to save the world, he would spend 59 minutes framing the problem. Not for the faint of heart, but who am I to question Einstein. I’ve done some thinking about this lately though, and the more I think about it, the…

Whose Rules Are You Following?

In our daily lives, some of us like rules, others don’t.  Depends on your personality and world view. In our social and business lives however,  increasingly we are relying upon rule-based processes:  search engines, lending, investing, the computers that tell our cars, phones, and air conditioning what to do — these all operate on rule…
Metro Tribal Versions of Reality

Four Versions of Reality – Which Drives Your Business?

When you design your product or service, who are you designing for? When you market your product or service, whose world are you using as a reference for how useful the product or service will be? A) Yours? B) Some objective view of what your customers see and want? C) What you believe your customers’…

What. And So What.

If you’ve been to school, you’ve been socialized.  If you were raised in a family, you’ve been socialized. If you’ve watched TV for any period of time, you’ve been socialized. What does that mean?  It means that you’ve come to find certain assumptions, beliefs, “facts”  and perhaps values to be accepted, subconscious — true without…

Don’t Let Questions Get in the Way of Discovery

As a follow up to my last post, I feel it’s important to float the idea that often, very often, perhaps most often, the greatest learning comes when you ask no questions at all.  You simply observe and listen.  And possibly stimulate a conversation by making  a statement and seeing where that takes you. Ethnographers…

Value is Communicated Many to Many

This post is dedicated to association leaders, a segment of our client base we feel have been, and will continue to be, positioned to be effective tribal leaders if they maintain their focus on the original reason their organizations were formed. Associations, unlike manufacturers or service companies in the for-profit sector, were since their beginnings…