The consumer-facing approach that drives our consumer ethnography projects is to get as close as the project will allow to a consumer’s actual experience.
The Value of Customer Co-Creation
There’s a lot of hype around the emerging marketing trend of co-creation. Co-creation is the practice of developing product and service ideas with the users you hope will buy them. While the concept of co-creation may be new in many industries, it has long been a guiding principle of ethnographic research.
As ethnographic researchers, we maintain that co-creation is not possible without the in-depth understanding of your customers that only ethnographic research can provide. Co-creation cannot be achieved through one-dimensional and thin resources such as online user communities, Twitter followers, survey feedback and the likes.
For example, when it comes to online applications, understanding how customers use your website or application is vital to continued innovation and recurrent adoption. Similarly, understanding why some customers reject your website or application is vital to mitigating customer attrition and improving the likelihood of adoption and increased loyalty. These understandings can only be reached through the rich and open dialog enabled by ethnography.
The same can be said of the products your customers use. By studying how customers engage with your product, how they adapt it to their unique needs, and soliciting their expert user opinions, ethnography allows clients unprecedented insights into the lived experiences of their customers, thereby helping them find their “next big thing.”