I’m working on an assignment that has me reading a child development text by a PhD and clinician who also happen to be parents. The text delves into brain function. Fellow brand planner and friend Megan Kent has built up a great practice mapping the brain to preference and emotional attachments to brands. Check her out.
When I look at my discovery process, I realize the success of my practice owes a great deal to they way I interact with my interviewees. I listen, parry, enthuse (to join in) and redirect in ways that show interest in the interviewee, in their smarts and experiences. I do it to gain trust of the person — and for the subject. By jumping in as a nonjudgmental listener, they open up and tell me things they might not even tell a spouse. I show them a little of mine, they show me theirs. What I’ve been learning from my brain book, however, is this omniscient friend approach may leave some things on the table. I may not be truly listening.
I am going to work on that but must admit to loving the connection my approach allows me with interviewees. We laugh, we cry, we share intimacies and bond in ways that often creates brand planning magic. When the barriers are down in an un-clinical (listening) way, sharing happens. Some of it deeply cognitive.