Insight is like a streetcar, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

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ET BrandEquity.com brings part eighteen of Strategygrams weekly series.

This week’s Strategygram titled “A Glimpse is Like a Streetcar” is part of a series created by Sattar Khan, a brand strategy consultant. Each Strategygram condenses a strategic thought into a single image. The collectible series is a visual tour of strategic thinking and offers handy image prompts for your branding sessions.

Three words sum up the process of conjuring up ideas and transforming them into ideas: Huh?, Aha! and wow!

Eh? represents productive uncertainty, our willingness to venture beyond our preconceptions.

Ah! marks the arrival of insight, a sudden shift in our understanding of cause and effect.

Wow! proclaim our joy at a dazzling idea.

Are you leaving from Hein? to Oh! is the role of ideas, and moving from Aha! to Wow! is the task of ideas. As part of the Strategygram series ideas and insights are examined from many angles and in this Strategygram we focus on the nature of ideas.

Information is essential in all areas of human experience, from science to the arts, but since we are interested in brands here, we will focus on consumer (or customer) information.

We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve asked ourselves, “Is this the best idea I can come up with?” Am I frustrated with a lack of new ideas when the real problem is the lack of new ideas? »

Well, what is a consumer insight? Consumer Insight is a sudden shift in your understanding of why people feel, think, or act the way they do in a certain situation, paving the way for a superior solution.

When you are an outsider to a situation, you can be more perceptive than those inside, and yet at some point you have to psychologically shift from outside to inside to outside, seeing the situation through the mental prism of the people in it. .

Here you become an empath, employing both cognitive empathy (which involves conscious reasoning) and affective empathy (which is spontaneously emotional). You decode the tension that pushes people to move from where they are (their Present Self) to where they want to go (their Future Self).

What specific progress do they want to make in these circumstances; what is the relative strength of the forces pushing them forward and those holding them back; what is the outcome they desire; and what do they consider as proof of a positive result?

You seek your insight.

A glimpse, like a streetcar, is two-way: it arrives either at a moment of revelation or at a moment of realization.

It enters a moment of revelation, where, in the presence of a new causal explanation, you find yourself exclaiming, “Oh, I never thought of it that way.

Or it appears in a moment of realization. Someone or something signals the implication of what you know, and you slap your forehead and say, “Oh, I now ‘get’ the meaning of what I was aware of.”

How does a preview appear? It can materialize instantaneously, as in the proverbial “Eureka!” epiphany – a sudden flash of understanding. Most people believe this is the only way to preview.

But it can also emerge gradually, as an incomplete impression that initially floats in and out of your mind, builds momentum in your subconscious mind as neurocognitive processes rearrange associations, and then finally surfaces in your consciousness like a whale taking flight. .

Writer Steven Johnson calls this last type of idea “slow intuition” in his book, Where Good Ideas Come From. In a fascinating portrait of how Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection emerged over a long period of time through slow intuition, Johnson notes, “That’s how slow intuitions often mature: stealthily, in small steps. They blend into the view.

He goes on to say, “Keeping the intuition slow is less about sweat and more about culture. You give the intuition enough nourishment to keep it growing, and you plant it in fertile soil, where its roots can make new connections. And then you give it time to bloom.

Whether a glimpse manifests in a moment of revelation or in a moment of realization, it represents a break in what you think, believe or expect – that’s why what is a glimpse for you may not be a glimpse for you. someone else. Two people can look at the same situation and, depending on their state of mind, arrive at different ideas.

That’s because insight doesn’t exist “out there” – in, say, a market research report. It exists “here”, in your mind. Ideas are stimulated by information, but do not exist in them. So, for example, there’s no point in insisting that a market research company give you insight – that’s not their job; this is yours. All they can give you are informed stimuli that can conjure up ideas in your mind.

Remember that optical illusion where an image can be a duck or a rabbit depending on how you look at it?

To the question ‘What do you see?’ the answer is a duck, if you see a duck. And it’s a rabbit, if you see a rabbit. What you see depends on your search image. Sometimes, instead of thinking about what we see, we see what we think about.

And that’s why, when looking for insight, you need to go beyond the first “right answer.” If you are convinced that your first correct answer – “it’s a duck” – is correct, you will never look for other answers that are simultaneously correct.

We are all programmed to see things a certain way and unless we decondition ourselves we will never achieve a gestalt reversal. In life, unlike high school math, there are multiple correct answers simultaneously and you pick the correct answer.

This means that by advocating your correct answer – your insight – to your colleagues, you are aware of both structure and configuration.

Structure matters. “Open Sesame” works; “Sesame, open” does not work. The content is the same, the impact is not.

The structure of your insight always contains an implicit ‘but’ and ‘therefore’: we thought the consumer valued ‘A’, but what they really want is ‘B’ because they feel ‘C’ and yet he can’t get it because of barrier ‘D’ and so that means doing something different like ‘E’ and using consumer logic to our advantage, like in mental judo , providing a new frame of reference which is “F”.

A new perspective threatens fossilized perspectives and “everyone knows” assumptions. All consumer information has a shelf life, but even that past its expiration date is protected by learned emotions and corporate egos.

Your insight has identified a pattern that is outside of your colleagues’ repertoire. Your insight therefore needs a setup that prevents it from being unintentionally distorted by your colleagues to fit their existing mental model.

You can’t be Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner tricking people into listening to things they don’t necessarily want. What are you doing? You turn your insight into the insight of your colleagues by making them experience insight. You’re not just showing new insight, you’re changing the way your colleagues see.

This is the nature of an insight: it marks the point before and after. As two-time Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel said, “Insight cannot be taken back. You can’t go back to when you were before. A glimpse welcomes you to another world.

Check out this week’s Strategygram below:

Strategygram: An overview is like a tram
Check out the first seventeen Strategygrams: “Speed ​​Kills”, “Half Bridges Don’t Work”, “No Contest”, “The Silent Clue”, “Who’s For Lunch?” “, “Competition Is A Monster”, “The Distinctive Sells The Difference”, “Strategy as History”, “Timing Beats Speed”, “Conquering Fort Customer”, “How Are You Different? ‘, ‘The Villain and The Hero Inside’ and ‘Galileo’s Discovery’, ‘The Strategic Logic Chain’, ‘The Brand Experience Trio’, ‘Deer in the Headlights’ and ‘Do the maths’.

This week’s Strategygram looks at a simple technique for deconstructing brand propositions and generating options for a winning proposition…

Marilyn J. Hernandez