Nontraditional Research for a Nontraditional World

Let’s face it – we no longer live in a 9-to-5 world where work schedules are predictable and family roles are cut and dry. Many people wear multiple hats, work at all hours of the day, shop in the comfort of their pajamas, and more. Life simply looks different than it did 30, 20, or even 10 years ago.

This means consumers are interacting with brands in new places, at new times, and in new ways. And with so many choices in every setting, humans often go into autopilot mode to preserve their limited reservoir of brain power. As a result, people don’t always have conscious awareness  of why they do what they do, making it more critical than ever for businesses to study their target audiences in order to know how to best serve them.

At Chirp, we’ve learned to adapt to this shifting reality. Our research advocates don’t have 9-to-5 jobs, but instead know they will be asked to study life the way consumers live it – at various hours of the day and night and in all kinds of settings. This requires our qualitative and quantitative teams to come up with creative ways to observe and interact with people. Our approaches are fun and meaningful because we often are taking people’s own understanding of their behaviors from “I don’t know” to uncovering their true motivations.

Take a project one of our team members was involved in with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of fishermen. After identifying segments within this enthusiast group, she knew the only way to bring the personas to life was to meet these anglers where they engage in the sport firsthand. She did everything from climbing into a fresh water canoe on a lake to joining a group on a yacht off the coast of Miami. She went to the fishermen’s houses, woke up before dawn, learned about bait and tackle, and warded off sea sickness with Dramamine. The result –  she was able to identify and clearly articulate the unique factors driving each segment. In this engagement, quantitative analysis helped identify dimensions within this consumer group, while the nontraditional qualitative methodology helped frame them in a new light.

Or there’s a project we worked on to test different types of food truck cuisines in various small cities. In addition to recruiting participants to engage with the truck, we posted a text-to-survey opportunity. While customers were waiting for their food, they could give feedback, and even submit related photos, on their mobile phone to be rewarded with a coupon.The quantitative analysis was able to truly explore how these customers were experiencing the food in the moment.

This is part of the Chirp difference. Our business model allows us to gain a much more holistic picture of the customer because we can be flexible and nimble, and we don’t place limits on what we’re willing to do to study human behavior (within reason), from waking up at 4 am to watch someone pack a suitcase to going on a horseback riding adventure.

Additionally, creativity is a key part of our culture where everyone is encouraged to throw out the craziest of ideas without fear of getting side-eye. We’ve built a team who is not only up for the challenge, but has specific strengths and personality traits to be able to thrive in this environment. We know our methodologies have to be ever-evolving to study people’s ever evolving lives. We can’t wait to see what creative solutions our team comes up with in the next 5 years!