Research project

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Ever since I first worked with Digital Eskimo (while I was working on the Future is man made site re-launch for WWF) I’ve really admired their approach to using qualitative research methods to underpin their work.

The research we did for the FiMM site was really valuable and useful – giving us a much clearer picture of where sustainability fits in people’s lives and what sort of site/support people would find most benefit in.

So, in starting down the path of launching a new business, I felt strongly about embarking on a research project to underpin the brand and product development.

Keep reading over the jump for more information about the research process.

Update: I was remiss in not mentioning that I was first introduced to the idea of ethnographic style research for business and the web by Stephen Cox, who is now doing great work at News Limited.

Although I can’t afford some of the more innovative approaches (like “Mobile Diaries”) that Digital Eskimo employ, I have begun working with Natalie from Red Rollers about carrying out a (smaller scale) research project incorporating what Natalie calls “in context interviews and the use of cultural probes”.

The research involves 6 participants sharing their thoughts on a few different themes, including:

  • Men’s attitudes and behaviours relating to fashion and clothing purchases
  • Exploring men’s fashion brands in terms of appeal, loyalty and personal experiences with different clothing brands
  • Investigating attitudes towards ethical brands generally, and clothing more specifically
  • The key influencers in men’s lives when it comes to fashion and clothing – who or what influences the brands on their radar and in their wardrobes – and how
  • Understanding the role of the retail experience and the media when it comes to influencing men’s brand preferences and their role in the shopping process.

The picture at the top of this article shows the packs that are going out to participants in advance of the first interviews commencing next week. They outline a few exercises that our participants will undertake to help inform the interview process and to provide some more in-depth information for our research. It’s a very exciting step for me – the first really solid investment in the new business.

If my previous experience is anything to go by we’ll get some really interesting insights that will help to develop a successful label – I’m really looking forward to what we can learn…

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