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OPINION30 October 2009

Manage your creative equity

Research should also be about creating the future from the present

Great blog ‘Gunning for Market Research’ on creativity trumping insight.  I find it a shame that the two are in someways considered seperate entities by so much of business. Its almost like you either believe that “analysis ‘will definitively’ answer the question” or “forget ‘insight’ just create”.

Perhaps there is some middle ground.  Seeing the latest idea massacred in a welter of analysis-paralysis is as painful as sitting around a boardroom and just assuming you know it all.  The two need to go hand-in hand. As much effort put into managing your creative equity as analytical.

And that for me is ‘the rub.’ How to use the insight process to support the creative. Seeing the latest TV programme on Heston Blumenthal’s vision for Little Chef I was struck by the first comments made by the CEO – our customers wouldn’t like it! There is a risk if research is performed myopically, only assuming that what your current audience wants is all that there can ever be; even if you are losing money. Perhaps this a simple problem, consider your sample, but for me philosophically research should be about creating the future from the present not just predicting from the past (which is often an art in itself). After all, Little Chef might have just come up with the answer: cheaper and greasier food!