Crowd Interpretation by Niels Schillewaert, InSites Consulting #MRA_National #MRX

… Live blogging from Disney Orlando, any errors are my own…

Crowd Interpretation: What Happens to Consumer Insights When Consumers Take Over Analysis

Niels Schillewaert, Ph.D, Managing Partner and Co-founder, InSites Consulting


  • Creative destruction – old value gets replaced by new value by ways of doing new things, e.g., his kids kept building taller and taller towers getting more and more fun of knocking them down
  • 80% of all innovations are incremental innovations and these are important too
  •  Do things quicker, better, or new – transformational
  • Consumers today are social everything, flawsome, dealerchic, screenculture, informationconsumer, professional amateurs
  • Fans want to have a say in the future of “their” brands, 8 of 10 want to be in the boardroom too
  • Research that took a week used to be considered fast
  • The customer is to be at the heart of all our innovation, branding, and communication
  • People are on facebook not because they like facebook, but because they want to be with their friends
  • Consumers often don’t know what they think – if you ask people how to drive a car, they can’t really explain it unless they are in the car
  • Observing changes behaviour, whether you think it does or doesn’t, you can’t control it
  • One study had people taking pictures in their shower – yes people participated and no it wasn’t pornography but it was very unnatural
  • There are different perspectives on everything – what is belgium beer? a belgium person has no idea
  • Soccer vs football?  a 1 and a 7 look the same depending on where you’re from. Kids wear hats and adults don’t. Steak Tartar is the national dish. [Seems Belgium people have very different ideas 🙂 ]
  • Crowd interpretation – show consumers a story/video and ask them to interpret it, like a laddering technique. What do you see, what do you recognize, how do you deal with this?
  • What you see depends on what you look for. There are no facts, only interpretations. No two people ever read the same book. [love these quotes]
  • Show people a fridge – we all notice it’s messy and empty and there are a few kiddy products. but if you worked at a beer company, you’d notice there’s no beer. Maybe no beer means no man in the house or maybe there’s a beer fridge in the garage. [pretty neat to listen to crowd shout out what the fridge means]
  • We are bounded by our rationality – it’s hard to see outside our own interpretations
  • How do we make this happen?
  • Customer Consulting Board (like an MROC) – It’s not about technology, it’s about engagement.
  • Need a social corner where members can go yack about anything at all. They’ll do it anyways so give them a place to do it.
  • It’s mostly branded so that it is a positive brand touch. [You could argue this one many ways]
  • Include the extremes of your distribution, get people who love and hate your product.
  • Give them games and tasks to complete to make it fun. Gamified/task based research generates 7X more engagement.
  • Participants challenged the analysis, explained findings they didn’t truly understand, illustrated the findings with personal examples, went beyond first impression. For the Chinese people, they could say things about other people that wasn’t appropriate to say about themselves, things related to doing well in life.
  • The Crowd generates 20% to 40% more insights than traditional methods
  • Detecting rules of cool – generated 1300 pictures over 3 days.
  • Insight has to have an aha!
  • Used techniques like deprivation (you can no longer use ketchup)  and activation (you have to start using ketchup)
  • Air France / KLM wanted to improve the transfer experience – Imagine a very long trip, with lots of activities in between – change terminals, change planes, and it’s stressful
  • Validated 4 of the 26 developed concepts
  • Connect the dots workshop – created a boardgame with dice, game gave you kids, made you a frequent flyer, etc
  • Community observed passengers on their journey, lots of pictures, had the crowd interpret the pictures, then probe on the discussions
  • Went from 26 to 68 insights as a result, 20 uniquely came from the crowd interpretation
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