Just out of college I had a job painting the front doors of 400 apartments in a huge complex. You have to have the door open to paint it, so I got to peer inside 400 families lives. From the outside, all those apartments looked cookie-cutter-same. But when you looked inside they were…

In branding and design you have to understand what people do in order to fulfill their desires. The challenge is getting the truth. What people say they do and what they actually do is often very different. That’s why direct observation is the best way to uncover a consumer need. Seeing is always more accurate than hearing.

Today, people are photographing and posting every waking moment online, essentially opening their apartment doors for anyone to peer in. The Selfie Era. Some call it narcissistic folly. But those of us who leverage consumer insights for a living are having a field day.

photo credit: Hernán Piñera @ flickr.com

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