It’s tempting to consider starting a market research project with a totally open mind. You find some customers and just listen to them.

In the 1990s, furniture company, Herman Miller, did something like this. They conducted focus groups to evaluate a prototype ergonomic chair. People said that the chair was comfortable but weird looking. So the researchers recommended killing the launch but the company made an even riskier bet and decided to launch the product anyway. And the Aeron chair becomes America’s best-selling chair. 

The story of the Aeron chair illustrates the importance of research objectives. Researchers failed to explore the long-term comfort of the chair. Consumers only responded to the questions they were asked. 

The good news is that is possible to design all of your qualitative projects, including Empathy Interviews so that you ask the right questions with the right people. 

In these videos, we explore the most important skills in research design and methodology.

Access the full series.

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