Think like they think: Planners and Consumer


In my previous post, I mentioned the great research website UKTribes. It has all the information on teenagers.
And something I read recently triggered another tool planners are using to understand the target consumer. I was reading Huntington’s blog Adliterate, and his post on empathy is really great. In this post, he mentions a website Oxford Muse.

In planning, we often try to understand our target audience like a friend would, and tap into their everyday habits to find a way to incorporate a brand into their character/lifestyle/needs. However “empathy” with the target audience is different, and a lot harder. When feeling empathy, we get in to the other person’s character to feel what he/she’s feeling, and why. We don’t need to justify any conclusions when we feel empathy towards a person, we know and understand, from their point of view, their choices. Qualitative research is invaluable in this aspect.

Oxford Muse website gives a collection of self-portraits written by people in UK and around the world. We hear their stories, and therefore learn everything about their lives from their point of view. Empathy comes easy after that.

I guess, with social tools such as Twitter and Facebook, we are ready to understanding each other, not just on a basic level, but on a deeper level. As we know what they do every day, how they do it and why they choose to do it, we also get a chance for deeper discussions on ‘walls’ and ‘forums’. It is now so much easier to view the world from someone else’s point of view.

The flow of information between people is endless and limitless, so empathy is shifting in besides understanding. Empathy is now more of a part in our society. And I guess, therefore, planners are getting closer to empathy.

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~ by nessahinkaya on March 16, 2009.

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