People, Places and Practices.


I was watching an Archaeological Institute of America webinar given by Dr. Sara Gonzalez last week on less intrusive ways to conduct archeological fieldwork on Native Americans.  (For one, she suggested calling artifacts, belongings. Further, after belongings are found, charted, provenanced and catalogued, they should be returned to the ground from which they came; called catch and release.)  Smart, smart stuff.  Anyway, one other idea that struck a chord was her framework — People, Places and Practices. My brand discovery rigor deals with all three but doesn’t categorize them as such.  And in doing so, I might discover more deeply.  

First, a deep dive into the people who use our brands and the people we want to use our brands. That’s an obvious no-brainer. Some might call it targeting.  But target and person can be two different thing contextually.  In my brand brief, I refer to this as the “living, breathing target.”

Next, let us look into the places people use and consider brands. Not just consume brands.  The locations, the dayparts, the consuming behaviors. Current and potential.  A neat tool I leaned from media people at McCann was the DILO, day in the life of.  A mapping of people’s media use, especially as it relates to times they might intersect with media and brand consideration.

And lastly, we need to study the practices. Practices touch upon DILO but actually refer to the behavioral role of the product in the life of the person. This points to ethnographic study. And that goes beyond digging up belongings/artifacts and into cultural study.  How does the brand intersect culturally and behaviorally with the person? Tons of great learning in this bucket.