How we do what we do. “Power to the imagination”
Blanca Innovation has a methodology that has been developed and refined over the years.
The principle common to all methods is the use of PROJECTIVE TESTS tailored to each project.
Games, drawings, collages and dramatizations in which the consumer gives his opinion in a projective manner, without being biased by the desire to look good and match the expected response.
This technique works with the unconscious creative projective and stimulates people’s deepest desire in a playful and spontaneous manner.
Avoiding stereotyped response, it offers wonderful help interpreting the semantics of the consumer and their more authentic insight.
We explain some of the many implements to see the dark side of the moon:
It is a brief first dive into the starting brief, applying different techniques of semiotics and symbology.
Three of the many instances of this dive in depth, are:
Going back in order to move forward
It means exactly that, if I want to move forward five years, trying to imagine the future scenario of my product, I should return twenty. In a situational psycho-historic framework we try to find the outline in which we haven’t thought of. Those questions we have not asked. Make the simulation that we know nothing. Return to a virgin view.
With this “new pupil” we look at what those things in which the past have been floating in the field of desire. That which was always desirable and not possible. Not technologically possible, or not possible because of the consumer ideology present at that time.
The goal of this step is to recover those original insights before the advertising of the possible biased our view and to start seeing those sense variables that allow the consumer to project how far this is willing to elasticize their motivations, and inhibitions when he is projected as a future consumer in changing.
This can lead to extensive analysis for at least the past two years of commercials until the trained eye start discriminating form and content. The explicit and the implicit message. The visible and the invisible. Guidelines of execution. Levels of discourse. Communication platforms and structures. Recurring symbols. Imaginary category.
In this analysis of pieces of advertising we kind of make a sonogram of the present time, we see the territories where the category has been building on and the leading brands platforms.
For this analysis, this present time then is confronted with some aspect of the culture in which these advertisements have coexisted. We submit what the category was building to another ideological variable to which the consumer has been exposed.
This can lead to …
Go to the opposites and expert interviews
Ask the ones we had never thought of asking. It is seeking for the Lewis Carroll, the Jules Verne, or the Da Vinci of today, those who from a different discipline, a different thought, can contribute to see the strengths and weaknesses of where we stand.
So our consulting with experts, comes from the notion that expertise is built for each case in a particular manner. If asking housewives about innovating in dishwashers always leaves us running in circles, the expert could be both a transvestite, a child who has not washed a dish, or an employee of a grill that washes 200 per day.
Having that concept in mind, our choice of experts always includes contrasting points of view. If we interview an allopathic doctor, we also interview a homeopathic doctor and a homotoxicologist, or any unexpected expert that sets the trend of the new paradigm that is being constructed.
With this analysis we make a report with various stimuli. Books, videos, testimonies … helping us trace the curve of our next step and the strategic points to further deepen during the interview ahead in the field with new consumers and experts.
We establish and share with the clients the hypotheses that could restructure the problem to solve.
We separate false problems detecting real problems and UNFORESEEN OPPORTUNITIES related to what we have achieved when making that sonography of the present in advertising communication and we put this into the scene of the complexity of variables with which the
consumer received it, by the mere fact of being immersed in the placenta of a culture in motion.
We do not avoid the contradictions, we look for them, so that from that collision will born, creatively … a new sense that leads us out of the way that is tainted with the problems and solutions of the beginning.
It is when the client, the agency and we go out to life itself, to make real contact with our issues and dive experientially with consumer insights.
We do so with humility, enjoying not knowing. Taking this not knowing as a starting point, an achievement in itself and not as something frustrating. It is the happy passage of saying: “I don’t know … but I can know!”
It can be visiting homes, talking with vendors, be in the girl’s bathroom of a nightclub, intervene in a cinema queue, or being in the display racks when doing a blind tasting with projective tests ….
It is being there, after the pre-enriched reading of the first stage, what makes the team view be trained and open arising comments, questions, ideas, concepts, insights in situ, those which by only observing a PPT possibly final report would not arisen.
The map is different for each journey. For example, investigating a milk market, we joined the consumer at various stages of life, since being in the belly of the mother until the old age.
We went to a pre-birth gym class, then to a daycare center, then to a kids drama class of second childhood, then to a family cafe, after an adolescent ice cream shop, then to a yoga class … we were witnessing and observing how milk participates in the consumer life over time.
Concurrently to these early field trips, we visited experts emerged from the semiotic analysis. If we find out that in milk commercials, nutrition- brain is an important axis, we go to a specialist neonatologist at that point but we will also go for a confrontation with the vegan world of that country and that culture, which will mobilize the ideal of milk and subject it to a trial end that allows us to LIVE in one day, the complexity of the dairy world.
For each of the experts an open inquiry guide is prepared, and each one can be enriched by the team with their participation.
The idea is NOT GOING AROUND IN CIRCLES. But going beyond the world tainted with the analysis that offers advertising and the companies, to make a laboratory of creative innovation out of these outings and share the outcome with the client and the agency.
“When desire doesn’t for ask permission and makes possible what is highly improbable”
This is the magic moment when the consumer teaches us to innovate. Crowning an insight from the street, we set creative groups where we want the consumer himself “to create”, the communication strategy of what we’re looking for and creatively embodies that into new proposals, new formula, new packaging, new ads …
These consumers are chosen within the hard variable that convene us, tough with a soft creative profile. Sensitive people, with vital concerns, who will project a trend sector of that country. Sometimes, when appropriate, we have two very opposite monadic groups. Conventional moms and traditional housewives, vs. active, innovative and trendy ones.
We never use market companies recruiters. We seek for our recruiters within the environment of the sample. Real people summoning real people. We avoid consumer samples typical focus group.
The places where we do these groups are sought especially according to the profile and the investigation topic. The testing room might be an alternative theater … if we are working with a group of kid-adults in such vibe , or a capoeira training room if we are with another profile, or the kitchen of a massive room, or a hairdresser saloon … These are places that inspire the target without causing inhibition, nor implying any intentionality of the marketing study.
Again, here it is essential that this workshop 4-6 extreme hours, the consumer is embedded in the games and creative stimuli which let him create without being biased by a conventional format survey.
They are fragments of films, games recalling childhood idols, beverages, perfumes, amulets and powers … There are costumes, playful objects … all ingredients for a sensory laboratory experiences … A planned and motivational tour that gradually lands in our issues, questions, ideas and paths emerged in the previous instances.
The aim of these groups in their creativity stage presentation, that is, in its own brand proposition, their imaginary, product, concept, and communication style …. We get a parameter of how far, with a group that we have chosen as cutting edge, we can draw a SKYLINE innovation in what we are looking for. It gives us the frontiers.
This whole stage is filmed so that we can recreate and analyze it. It serves as stimulus material for the marketing and research team of the company, its internal development department and the advertising agency. Especially when the creativity of these consumer groups is not taken literally, but as a stimulus, a powerful tickling to the creatives of the agency.
“The hand looks before the eye”
In the specific case of testing actual gondola packages, we do so under the Gestalt concept that the hand is a unconscious scanner before the eye can actually see. Before the consumer know he is being filmed, we surprised them choosing from the shelf hanger.
We see how his or her hand leads the final decision and then is the eye, in his role as interpreter which decodes a reason. When the consumer perceives that is being filmed, he or she is invited to participate in a series of games and projective dramatizations plenty of humor, which are not explained in detail for confidentiality reasons, but which has given us excellent results. This way it will appear, as the consumer imaginary responses that the pack suggests at SENSORY, and RATIONAL EMOTIONAL levels. This will then we crossed with the creative group responses, before an imaginary gondola.
These, we call so because they are almost performative. We previously choose the places we’re going to, but everything is done spontaneously like a poetic intervention of reality.
People do NOT know they are going to be interviewed. These are people who are buying, walking down the street, waiting for a subway, coming out of a supermarket, or a pub, or changing clothes to start a yoga class …
To approach the interview the first question is vital. For this, we make trials until reaching the projective mark and we open the hearts of the people who doesn’t suspect what we are seeking for.
In a study we did several years ago on an emerging trend of spirituality in young men, we saw that if we came savagely to their usual places, with questions like: “Do you believe in God, or believe in something …?” It was taking us to a biased axis of religiosity. We tested several impressions until we got to the question that opened the door in all cases: “What makes you angry?” Leading to other questions like: “What would you do to fix what angers you, if you had all the power, for example, if you were god, how would you be as God? …
Usually is the project manager who makes the interview, unless someone of the same target group is methodologically needed, and previously trained and supervised. A methodology which worked very well for teenagers was ” Teenager investigates teenager” See team
It is the final desk work where the great warp assemble what we have collected and with patience and passion we weave the final warp that allows us to interpret and to land without losing flight. Wires are assembled with what we have seen and we look at the common points, the links and meaning that still are possible territories of opportunity.
Cartography of desire
Is the instance on which the coincidences field are reflected in a map of links between THE IMAGINARIES OF THE CATEGORY AND THE CONSUMER PROFILES inhabiting these imaginaries in respect of certain major lines of motivation. It put all the variables involved with a logic of correspondence that becomes visible, often for the first time.
When visiting homes for one or two hours, or instances of cohabitation of one or two days, we usually film, with “anthropological spirit” … The closets, the drawers … we observe the clothes, perfumes … inside the bathroom we look at their shampoos, in the kitchen we look at the condiments, in the living room, we look at their records their books, or open the fridge and look at their fruits, beverages, the cupboard, to the drawer of the remedies, the pictures… Whatever that can put the issue we want to deepen in a dynamic context.
We see then how two profiles appear in a linear reading as opposed socially, before certain imaginary, are in fact united in depth. The way to display the targets and insigths change. From then on, the floodgates open and …
“The thistle emerges!”
It is the time when the ideas begin to stand on macro platforms that usually emerged from a major paradigm shift. From this level the convergence work flows naturally “opening and closing the zoom” on a range of ideas with different implementation times. It builds a hopscotch of possible paths, some more in the sky of medium or long term and others in the land of now. This box of ideas is attached to the creative toolkit that came up during the process: insights, tones, atmospheres, symbols, language, guidelines of all kinds. Write to the contact page