Many people in my industry seem to assume that because people can't always give researchers answers to their direct questions ('Why do you ...?"), they have to resort to a machine to gain the insight for them.

In my view, this ignores how much researchers can learn from observing how people behave.  I don't just mean observing someone navigating an app (though that can be useful). I mean observing people do things that they had not realised they were doing and then interpreting that in the light of social science theory such as the theories of the late anthropologist Victor Turner who continues to inspire me. 

This new blog series 'Everyday rituals' is a catalogue of my thoughts about the everyday rituals that are so closely entwined into our ordinary lives and how they affect behaviour.

I will add to this sub-blog on an ad hoc basis featuring them here on my blog, on my Twitter and LinkedIn pages as well as my quarterly newsletter which you can subscribe to here.

Tags: Rituals

Everyday Rituals: Halloween

Not an everyday ritual, but an annual one

I recently came across a shrewd article from Forbes contributor and marketer Michael R. Solomon that explores the meaning of Halloween as an anti-festival...an event that provides antagonistic contrast to symbols we associate with other holidays. It very nicely shows how (as I often say) 'rituals create meaning.' The insight for me: the meaning of Halloween comes in part from its contrast to Thanksgiving. From this you would predict that the meaning of the Halloween ritual in countries like Australia and the UK that don't celebrate Thanksgiving is (obviously) different from its meaning in countries that do. 

Continue Reading

What cookbooks and magazines can tell us about Christmas in Australia

What cookbooks and magazines can tell us about Christmas in Australia

I have been looking at cookbooks and magazines which feature Christmas recipes.  All were published in 2018.  I have come to the conclusion that Christmas as a cultural (rather than religious) festival in Australia has become very muddled. In research terms, I could say that the ‘narrative is incoherent’, but I think I will stick with muddled.

Continue Reading

Have you ever hugged Christmas? How to get more out of qualitative research

Have you ever hugged Christmas? How to get more out of qualitative research 

Does it really matter how you conduct qualitative research, as long as you do it right?  No not really. There are all sorts of good reasons to use all the current qual methods including ethnography and social media analysis.

The real insight comes at the analysis stage by using the right kind of analysis. Though this varies a little from country to country, from an Australian perspective there are five different types of qual analysis we can do, each one giving a different insight.

Continue Reading

Symbolism and ritual

Understanding cultural rituals and symbols

People do not buy and use services simply for functional reasons, or even just for emotional reasons. There is more to people than that. Much of human behaviour comes about because people want to make their daily lives meaningful. So, they look for products and services that give them the sense of meaning they are looking for. 

Continue Reading

  • 1
  • 2

G-C16ZYH669B