Archive for the ‘Projective Techniques’ Category


Focus Group Play Dates

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

In case you were wondering, no one wants his insurance agent to be a cow.

Recently I used toy animals as a projective technique to help uncover what consumers really want from insurance agents.  These are extremely detailed toy animals made of some polymer. They are the right size to fill your palm and watching consumers hold their “idealized” agent in the palm of their hand was incredibly illuminating. It is research and it is play: a technique recently written up by The New York Times for yielding surprisingly deep and fresh insights.

I have a plastic box that holds a couple dozen of these animals, which I dump on the table in front of my group.  Invariably, people’s faces light up.  The discussion about insurance, or any topic for that matter starts to look like fun.

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The Secrets Projective Techniques Reveal

Friday, June 10th, 2011

idiom_wolf_sheep_clothing_backgroundGenerally, a wolf in sheep’s clothing symbolizes a sneak. So I was surprised when a pregnant woman picked this image to exemplify her feelings.

“He’s wearing a costume,” she said. “And I’m kind of wearing one, too.”

Really? I wasn’t expecting that at all, but that’s what I love about Projective Techniques. They elicit a depth of insight that direct questions do not.

This helped us learn that in becoming mothers, women worried they would no longer recognize themselves, just like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  They worried they would be forever changed.

Armed with this learning, a major health care company had the insight to evolve its maternity program and appeal to women who did not feel sick, but felt personally transformed.

I’ve been doing this a long time, but I continue to be inspired by the discovery of fresh and surprising insights using Projective Techniques.

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