Unilever's eight tips for "method innovation"

Ben DeJarnette

Marie Wolfe, Consumer & Markets Insights Director of Research Innovation at Unilever, says her job brief is simple: "Change the industry."

"We've been using Likert scales, focus groups, and many of the same methodologies for 40 years now," Wolfe told delegates at the 2016 New Face of Consumer Insights conference held by the Institute for International Research (IIR) in Marina del Rey, California. "If you use the same methods over and over – even if they're fantastic methods – you're going to get similar insights.

"For [Unilever], 'method innovation' is all about getting different insights that lead to breakthrough business ideas, so that we can win in the market."

Case in point: In 2014, Unilever launched a pitch-to-pilot Foundry program – often with a focus on consumer insights – to help foster partnerships between the global marketer and promising tech startups.