Creative Research

Creative research is about taking a more creative approach to innovation research in order to address some of the limitations of traditional qualitative research techniques. The limitations include the following points:-

  • Historically, market researchers tried to talk to customers with a direct and rational approach.
  • Market researchers were encouraged to remain detached from the process - in effect, to be a ‘neutral intermediary’.
  • Standard methodologies gave few opportunities to access ‘consumer creativity.’

However, consumer motivations are rarely rational. Consumers are people and they often react emotionally first, and only then think about things. Asking rational questions and looking for rational answers is not a reliable way to uncover customers’ ‘hidden needs’.

It is uncovering the ‘hidden needs’ that is key to the innovation process and ultimately innovation success.

Many purchasing decisions are made through a mixture of thoughts and feelings - or sometimes just feelings. Consumers are complex and are influenced by many different factors at different times. This means that there can be contradictions in what they say and what they do. It also means it can be hard to understand what customers want. However, instead of rejecting this confusion, as innovators, we should embrace it and view it as an opportunity. Confusion can have value for innovation projects.

Bearing this in mind, we suggest that different techniques from standard research methodologies are required to enable the researcher to connect at a deeper level with respondents and to access the deeper level of understanding we need to innovate.

Ultimately, consumers often don’t know in their rational minds what is causing them problems and what kind of new product or new service would solve that problem for them.

The researcher does not know in advance either – so it is not possible to draw up ‘the right’ list of questions before the interview or group. Even the loosest ‘discussion guide’ may be built on a ‘flawed premise’.

We have found that the best research process for product innovation and service innovation is when both the researcher and the respondents ‘go exploring’ together.

Creative techniques are key to doing this.

Why Choose Anatellô For Creative Research?

Our approach to ‘creative research’ means designing research methodologies that provide opportunities for consumers to explore their thoughts and feelings without wholly relying on language.

Our methodologies also move the researcher away from straightforward question and answer formats. This creative approach increases the chance of uncovering customers’ ‘hidden needs.’

Creative Research: Problem Definition.

In creative research, ‘problem definition’ is important. We need to spend our time on the right problem.

We will work with you to explore different ways to express your research problem, this will ensure that you get high quality information for your research budget.

Creative Research: Methodology.

We will design a research methodology that suits your research problem. This is true for recruitment of respondents as much as it is for the research dialogue.

We may include NLP techniques, ethnographic market research, projective techniques, and techniques including analogy and metaphor. Furthermore, within these general approaches there are a wide range of specific creative research techniques that we are continually developing to help us and the respondents understand their thoughts, feelings and actions more cogently.

In this way, by choosing Anatellô you will benefit from a research methodology that provides the best chance of getting high quality information about your market.

Creative Research: Reporting.

When we report our findings back to you we also take a creative approach.

We prefer to hold a creative research workshop session rather than give a formal presentation. Such sessions can be likened to a team session on a jigsaw puzzle.

We prefer not to present a report from the ‘journey of exploration’ that the respondents and the researcher have taken. Rather, we see reporting as an opportunity to bring the new knowledge back to our client’s organisation and see how it fits together with what different people in the client team already know. It’s about making new connections and starting the process to develop customer insight.