Like Bears To Honey

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In northern Turkey, the Trabzon-Sürmene province is known for their honey. People love their honey.

But İbrahim Sedef, an agricultural engineer and beekeeper had a problem. There are bears in Trabzon-Sürmene. Big bears. Bears that just happen to love honey too. And they were destroying his hives to get it.

The bears kept eluding all of Sedef’s methods of protecting his hives. He assumed he could lure them to relocation traps with tasty food scraps. But it wasn’t working.

He needed to learn more about what really motivated them.

So every night he set out trays of the full range of honeys he produces. Then he set up a night vision camera and videoed the bears for 4 months.

The bears consistently made a bee-line for the premium Anzer honey that sells for $171 a kilo. Then they moved on to the chestnut, then flower and finally pine-wood honey. They wouldn’t touch the cherry jam made with corn-syrup.

Who knew bears had such discerning palates?

As marketers and branding people, when we need actionable insights for our clients, user research helps us dispel assumptions that might be incorrect. It helps us understand true preference and motivation.

So we can help them attract customers. Like bears to honey.