Brands with purpose. Sustainability as a business driver. Social innovation. It seems like marketers and consultants everywhere are starting to explore new ways to make business a force of progress. The days of destructive business practices may well soon be over.
But one aspect of business remains stuck in its ancient ways, which poses a critical risk for real progress and change, because it is very often the genesis of thinking behind brands.
Market research today largely operates in the same way as it did 20 years ago. Most of our research conversations are framed within the context of a category, and seek to understand why and how consumers make their choices. We ask the same questions, so we keep getting the same answers.
In reality, the whole world has changed. Our research processes have missed an essential point in human history. We are no longer mere consumers, but have evolved to become social identity shapers, and it transforms the way we look at everything.