Getting to know Wonder Woman: What mobile ethnography can add to how we understand consumers

Chris Jones
BrainJuicer Group, UK


This is the story of taking an abstracted, impossible stereotype from traditional quant research and humanising it using potentially revolutionary new approaches to consumer understanding. By allowing consumers to set the agenda for the research, we provided a context in which consumers were able to let the brand team behind the façade they presented not only to the outside world, but also to traditional market research methods and, crucially, to themselves.

Traditional market research operates on the notion that in order to get the answers to our questions, research must pre-frame the context for the consumer – often in the form of surveys or focus groups. However, these techniques provide an inaccurate picture of consumer behaviour, one coloured by consumers' post-rationalised answers and our preconceptions as researchers and brand managers. As a consequence they can be woefully limited in scope.