In the world of consumer technology, brands face constant pressure to be a step (or five) ahead of the marketplace. To anticipate the future needs, desires and expectations of consumers, marketers must have a tight pulse on culture and society. Successful product development requires a deep understanding of human behavior that goes beyond self-reported opinions and rationale. Most of us feel we have a solid grasp on our own motivations and reasons for action, but self-evaluation lacks objectivity.
This is where ethnographers come in. Ethnography is consumer research conducted within the context of real-world experiences. It creates an interpretive framework for understanding the consumer by determining what internal (emotional, rational) and external (social, cultural, environmental) influences affect perception and motivate behavior. W5 ethnographers are skilled at uncovering the underlying motivations that yield meaningful insights. So, when the advertising agency for one of the world’s largest consumer technology companies needed to understand how early adopters were integrating technology into their lives, they turned to W5. The following case study is a glimpse into W5’s approach for capturing authentic behavior to help predict future mobile habits.