I was in a LinkedIn Group for brand planners recently and someone fairly new to the community suggested he was having a hard time with insights – identifying insights, that is. He asked for some help. It was a neat ask and there were a good deal of responses. My answer, which I’m not too proud of, was a watered down version of “Insights are everywhere. If you can’t find them you may want to reconsider your line of work.” Kind of dickish no? I didn’t mean to come off as mean-spirited, but probably did.
To make amends, I offer up a gift. I call it the “10 conundrums;” it’s a pretty nice brand planning tool. The number isn’t important, could be 5, could be 8 – it’s the conundrums that carry the water.
While working to develop a strategy for a web start-up in the art gallery space, I conducted a number of telephone interviews capped off with a dinner party at The Dutch in SOHO. When it was time to provide some insights at the first client-facing “share” – it def wasn’t brief time – I noted a pattern of contradictions between what people said and what people did. Contradictions, also, in what buyers wanted and what sellers provided. I arrayed these in a deck I called the 10 Conundrums…so named because it felt like the title of a piece of art.
Here’s one example “Art lovers agree that art is personal. Yet they also really want others to like their taste, like validation.”
It turns out I’ve used this conundrums approach in other insight work. When clients are presented with contradictory observations, it helps them “see more” about their market. It helps them take sides. It allows them to provide feedback, without pressure, before the heavy strategy work begins. A nice interim step. So go forth and conundrum. Peace.