To find new answers, we need to create new questions; even more, we need to change the way we ask those questions. Qualitative methodologies are going through a stage where traditional strategies such as in depth interviews, focus groups and participant observation are not enough.
Today more than ever, we need to take advantage of the intelligence of consumers not only as subjects of study, but as creators of realities, uses and barriers for the products, brands and services, and not only as individuals, but as part of groups, collectives and culture.
Introduction: Mexican culture defining salty snack consumption
Mexico is a country where the collective is the rule, we can see this every time, everywhere, in every situation, from shopping, to decision making, to celebrations; it's hard for us to think only in terms of oneself. Geert Hofstede's individuality index scale marks 70 out of 100 points for Mexican culture, this means that far from individuals expecting to be worthy of themselves, Mexicans are used to working actively and together as part of a group. This cultural fact can be observed when talking about families, neighborhoods, students at school, or colleagues at work, solid groups who usually follow a common objective. They know each other well and are able to create solid relationships which allow them to solve problems together, trusting each other's skills and knowing their relevance inside that community, they actively accept their specific roles, especially when they are close. However, it seems that when strangers gather together the rules and dynamics of collective change, since there are no solid relationships.