Research Kills Creativity – Right?


There’s an ancient myth that market research is best used for eliminating negatives.

Find out what people don’t like and get rid of it! 

And just keep doing the same old of what they do like.  A classic case of “safety in numbers”.

In our radio work over the years, we’ve often see this in action – surprising for a creative business.

Creatives, often justifiably, view research as The Grinch That Stole Christmas. Any new ideas have to be tested first, and squashed at the first sign of adverse reaction.  Same with new songs.

Trouble is, human nature’s first reaction to something new is to reject it until it becomes familiar. Our brain dislikes change & disruption, and prefers a short-cut to habitual comfort.

But while it’s sensible to not persist with something that’s not going to fly long-term, it’s also possible to use research as a driver of innovation :-)After all, when stripped down to basics, research is about talking to people. Especially in focus groups, the conversations are about sharing feelings and opinions in your own words.

And if you listen carefully, those honest expressions will contain nuggets of innovation gold. What’s a problem they’re having in their life, or with your product or service? What’s missing? What connections can you make between their world and your brand, to solve that problem or fill that gap.

A simple creative technique is to take key words & phrases from a discussion and put them up on a whiteboard. Then try taking totally unrelated concepts and clashing them together.

The tension has an energy that can produce the next big thing. Most of the great innovations of our time started as weird hybrids that didn’t make sense until you actually used them. And they take time. 

Like the shopping trolley, invented in 1937 by taking a wooden folding chair, putting a basket on the seat, and wheels on the legs. At first nobody wanted to be seen with them. Guys said it was too feminine, women thought it was only for babies. The rest is history …

About the Author

Firstly, Eriks Celmins brings a wealth of global experience in talking to media, sport & entertainment audiences, as a long-time research & content consultant.

Eriks runs both in-depth quantitative & qualitative research, including his innovative techniques for participant engagement.

Above all, He passionately believes in the power of conversation to build customer relationships, and help marketers gather fast, real-time insights.

Which you can now access on his new social-style, private chat-platform cliizii …

Customer Led Insights? Easy cliizii!

He is also a full Member of AMSRS (Australian Market & Social Research Society).

“I’m always open to exploring creative solutions to research challenges. Reach out to me personally if you want to hash out some ideas, or connect with me on LinkedIn”.

Exclusive Insights into the Hearts & Minds of your Fans. That’s the cliizii Method!

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