We don’t have a boilerplate, one-size-fits all approach. Each project is custom designed to fit the needs and objectives of the particular situation. Here is a sampling of case studies to illustrate the range of our services.
Case study (1):
One of the world’s largest food companies was about to launch a major marketing effort against one of its kids’ brands, and wanted to explore the way kids talk about and interact with the product. DI has a specially curated group of kids who are highly creative, outgoing, and influential among their peers, called the DI Leaders. We designed a free-form, immersive experience where the kids felt completely uninhibited and gave us an uncensored view into their thoughts, emotions, and vocabulary surrounding the product. The learnings were instrumental in helping the clients develop an approach that was engaging, relevant, and totally kid-centric.
Case study (2):
When a national eyewear chain decided to re-launch their brand, they hired DI to uncover a positioning that would give them a competitive advantage in a very price-driven category. After interacting with a number of eyeglass wearers in various natural settings and getting them to let down their guard and be open with us, we gleaned insights that led us to a positioning that represented a whole new way to talk, and think, about eyewear. Our recommendations focused on all aspects of the consumer experience, including the store and online experiences.
Case study (3):
In an effort to capture the trends and flavor of the rapidly evolving Lower East Side in New York City, we set up a portable photo studio in a storefront gallery on Orchard street. As people strolled by and looked in to see what was going on, we invited them in to pose for us, and captured pithy self-described background information. Over 200 people were photographed in 48 hours. The photos were totally unscripted – no hair, wardrobe or makeup modifications, no predetermined poses, no retouching – resulting in a fresh, authentic documentation of this hotbed of creativity and the people behind it.
Case study (4):
DI partnered with a major global advertising agency to explore the sensory appeal of a well-known kid’s cereal. We curated a very special group of kids from our Diverse Leaders panel, and collaborated with the lead planner on how to run the session to maximize the learning. We were instrumental in interpreting what the kids said and did, and we captured the insights in a fresh, provocative way via photography.
In the words of the agency Planning Director behind the project:
“DI is all about a fresh approach. They were able to access the trendsetter pre-teen segment, a lot more than just a really great recruit. They’re very connected. They captured the two events (sessions with the kids and the clients) with really great photojournalist style photography. They edited the photos to help tell the story of what was learned. They collaborated on the generation and refinement of learnings from the research. They get what we as marketers do, but since they’re outside of the inner circle they’re able to provide a more honest and real insight to the consumer.
When it comes to understanding, getting access to the right audience and capturing valuable insights, DI was truly an invaluable partner. They brought a much- needed outside perspective and really took us to another level to enhance, dimensionalize and add texture to what we were trying to capture. In the end, I think it will put us ahead of the curve with our target audience and ultimately pull the brand out of negative sales territory.”
Case study (5):
When a major ad agency learned it had a meeting with one of the big sneaker brands, they were challenged with coming up with something new and different about trends and youth that the sneaker company hadn’t heard a million times before. DI came up with a totally fresh approach, based on the idea of disenfranchised communities being the hotbed of creativity and innovation. We immersed ourselves into underprivileged communities, and captured the learning through conversations and provocative photographs. The photos were used to share the insights and implications with the clients, who said they were “very inspired” by what we told them.
Case study (6):
A leading global food manufacturer was going to be launching a new product, and the ad agency was hosting a brainstorming session where clients and agency would discuss the strategic direction for the new brand. DI was asked to provide inspiration for the brainstorming session.
Since the strategic direction was around the idea of sensory experiences and craving, DI decided to document the sights and sounds of New York City’s Chinatown during the Chinese New Year celebration. On the day of the brainstorming session, the room was dressed with the photos, bringing the rich, colorful, multi-sensorial experience of that neighborhood into the conference room and serving as stimulation for the discussion. The clients were so impressed with our ability to capture the essence of their new product, they requested all of the imagery for use in their internal communications.
Case study (7):
Global Discovery – We are firm believers in looking beyond our own backyards when it comes to mining insights. Travel to places unlike our own homes presents an excellent opportunity to test our perspective, because we typically are exposed to things we don’t normally see in our day-to-day existence. As travel writer Pico Iyer wrote, “…for me the first great joy of traveling is simply the luxury of leaving all my beliefs and certainties at home, and seeing everything I thought I knew in a different light, and from a crooked angle.”
To do this, you can’t interpret what you see through the lens of your existing beliefs and understanding. Instead, you must leave yourself open to new ways of seeing those same things. This requires a shift in mindset, away from being certain about what you are seeing to being inquisitive and open to learning something new.
It also requires a different approach toward the people you are trying to learn from. Rather than simply standing back and observing or grilling people incessantly, we take a much more integrated, organic approach to insight mining, where we insert ourselves into the community in a deeply engaging, yet non-intrusive manner. (We use this same approach even when we are mining insights locally, because it simply yields more honest results.)
Instead of lots of words, we take a visual approach, with each insight being captured by a photograph with a brief description. You can get a feel for this type of work by checking out the Archives section at this site. Many of the posts are from our global travels.
A Fresh Perspective On Inspiration™