Our new tool is titled Sense Categories. This is our way of adding order and consistency to the vast array of information, news, stories and trends out there. Through our work, we have whittled the topics down to ten categories. Each category opens with an article that offers an overview. These articles are intended to inform you, the reader, of the overarching themes and trends influencing that category. Each category is then supported by the day–to-day thought pieces we write. You can find these pieces at Sense Worldwide’s Cerebral Snacks and at PSFK, a trend reporting network loosely organised by Piers Fawkes and Simon King. Periodically we review each category to see what developments there have been. We then update the writing accordingly.
We hope you enjoy reading the articles and find them useful.
A Deeper understanding of the way we work:
Putting order to chaos
Business seeks to understand and to navigate the world of consumers. Yet, many fail to recognise the emotional relations that people form with organisations, products, services and each other. The last decade has been characterised by immense change. Society, technology and politics have dramatically altered. This change is reflected in consumer behaviour, yet translating the complex world of consumers often relies on methodologies built during the 1950’s that are becoming inadequate for reading the 21st century consumer. At Sense Worldwide, we believe that a new approach is necessary to translate the subtle nuances and ever-changing lives of the everyday consumer.
A personal framework in a fragmented world
As societies have become increasingly fragmented, there has been an explosion in the number of identities available to choose from. Being able to pick and choose amongst any number of social and cultural cues enables a person to construct, discard and create a personal framework that suits their world.
The switching of social identity has now been accepted across various age groups; men in their mid-30s refusing to abandon singledom and wanting to live the youth of irresponsibility and individual freedom, teens redefining tribal identities outside of family and school - the examples are myriad.
Business must visualise these frameworks in order to appreciate what social and cultural resources people have at their fingertips. In order to understand consumers, they must understand the lifestyle fragments people combine to create their identities.
Over the last decade, innumerable social, technological and political changes have altered the way consumers behave. In turn, this has levied a number of challenges at businesses, making it increasingly difficult to engage with consumers who enjoy a myriad number of choices in every decision they make. From lunch – is it a sandwich bar, supermarket or the Japanese noodle bar on the corner? Through to schools – shall we send little Johnny to the school on the corner or do we go further a field where education may be better? Choice has enabled people to create infinite ways of living. For business, understanding consumer behavior is now far more difficult than it was even five years ago. Relying on traditional research tools will uncover part, but not all of the new consumer reality. Unearthing the depth and colour of everyday lives needs modern tools that reflect the new modernity.
We recognise that this type of consumer behavior is experienced by a lot of people. Within business, the fractured, conflicting and complicated lives of the audiences we serve is a given. Therefore, what we’ve described is not necessarily a revelation.
At Sense Worldwide, we have developed a number of methods to understand consumer reality. We specialise in understanding people and the emotional relationships they form with products, services, brands and each other. Traditional research adopts a rear view mirror approach to understanding consumers. Delving backwards to understand what’s ahead. These methods are at odds with the business ethos of moving forward. We believe that rooting our methods in this type of approach will only yield a limited understanding. Using a variety of techniques, Sense Worldwide translates the breadth of consumer sentiment into information for businesses to utilise. Along the way, much of what we discover proves illuminating on many different levels. In acknowledgement of this, we have developed a new tool that stimulates thoughts and ideas amongst our audience within the business community.