Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, but expect a different result… This is true in so many areas of our lives; exercise, dieting, saving and investing – to get results, we need to change something. If we want to make an impact, we need to do something, differently.

This is just as true when it comes to research. There are only so many times you can explore the same area, concept or stimulus and hold on to the hope of finding a different result. If you are getting the same reactions and not pushing things forward, it’s time to change things up!

At The Sound, we always strive to drive our clients to new learnings and to get something more than what they expect. We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t.

Research is an iterative process… change is good!

We are always learning and changing our perspectives. We need to be comfortable (and make the clients comfortable) with doing things differently and changing things to learn something new. Exploring a new angle, getting out of your comfort zone…it’s the only way you will get ground-breaking new insights. In short; embrace the unknown!

Trust your partners…there is a method to our madness!

Change isn’t easy…it requires trust, from both sides. Clients are often hesitant to make changes to their stimulus or guides. They’ve sold-in the project to upper management, vetted the materials with key stakeholders – so God forbid we change things on the fly! But if you are six focus groups or fifteen interviews into the work and you aren’t learning anything new, what value are you adding to your business? Don’t be precious!

Photo by Dee @ Copper and Wild on Unsplash


Take a step back, and ask where else we can push

At The Sound, we make sure we take a break in between project phases; time to take stock of what we’ve learned and what else we need to uncover. We might have answered the client’s key objective and can put together some brilliant thinking, but what more can we get out of it? This is the value-add that clients love and keep coming back for; going that step beyond to really help them land their strategy.

Take stock of what you’ve got, and how can you use it differently

While you may not have new materials, think about how you can utilize them in a new way. Don’t be afraid to change the concept language, or substitute in new imagery to hone in on a positioning territory. Re-evaluate the discussion guide and see if there are better, or new ways to get at the subject matter. The Sound strives to wring every last piece of learning out of every project – to make sure we’ve uncovered every element and can elevate our clients’ work that much higher.

Use your last bits of time in the field to flesh out your hypotheses

When you’re almost at the end of your research, you will have already formed hypotheses about what you’re learning. You should feel liberated at this point! Change things up and use the interview/time to understand these people, their real lives and how we can see better through their eyes. Go off script! Go down that rabbit hole that you still need to explore! Asking the same questions again and again isn’t going to get you a different result– so go out with a bang, be bold, and learn something new!

In short; flip the script!



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