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We love this quote and its one of the reasons that clients get immense value from our closeness sessions, it helps our client act like entrepreneurs to get out from behind their desks and recognise that if you value your customers you need to understand them and your role in their life. Well run closeness sessions reveal insights that are always important, if not always comfortable, but they help our clients understand what they need to do to succeed. And when they do succeed, things become more comfortable.

However, it’s not enough to get up from your desk you need to do it in the right way. We are very aware that consumers especially when faced with something ‘new’ are very poor at articulating what they want or like.

I was reminded this week of a story about Diageo's Innovation Team, they found that in classic consumer research groups, consumers were very poor at articulating what they wanted (Baileys was crucified in its first research groups). To overcome this issue the team mocked up new drinks in bars which were consumed in-situ. These often got very different reactions. I remember talking to consumers in bars about Cachaça (the 3rd biggest spirit in global sales) which in principle everyone loved but no one wanted to order because they couldn’t get their head around how to pronounce it.

That’s why its important to mix your interactions with consumers each play a valuable role, we are massive fans of quantitative research and qualitative groups but we are always looking for other ways to get closer to customers.

Even if its just standing at a bar and listening to what they say and how they interact with the products you are offering.

FUN FACT: there are hundreds of stories and tutorials on how to pronounce Cachaça on the internet…. (kah-SHAH-sah) for those of you who fancy taking the ordering challenge.

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