Does my bum look big in this ?

"How we experience ouselves is reflected in the way we can experience other people: we cannot know other people better than we know our own selves; we cannot trust other people more than we trust our own selves. When we avoid knowing how we feel or what we think, we cannot learn to empathise with other people and take their feelings and thoughts seriously."

Stephanie Dowrick - Intimacy and Solitude

I have learned so much from Stephanie Dowrick. Her work as a psychotherapist and author has been profoundly important to me. I find her thinking refreshing. Her writing is clear and engaging. The two combined make a difference.

There is something about market research, the opposite to Ms Dowrick's concept of humanity, that I find cold and disective. The only problem with dissection is that it is, usually, fatal or performed post mortem.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that marketing research is an utter waste of time. You can ask consumers in a focus group what their intention to buy your product is and they will tell you unanimously that they have every intention to give it a whirl. But do they?

Obviously not.

Intention to buy is all you can ask. Given a promising or even acceptible quotient , the risk quotient diminishes.

But the risk doesn't.

Most new products bomb regardless of the research (stop blaming your advertising). Even beautifully conceived and designed products bomb.

It is nothing to do with 'absolutes'. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, if your lover asks you "Does my bum look big in this?" what do you say? Be honest now...

Exactly. Most people are socialised to tell 'white lies' . They are like a tolerance factor that allows the moving parts of society to slide past each other without getting stuck.

Which brings me back to The One & Only Concept.

Until you figure yourself out - every disection of your audience is a pointless distraction, usually resulting in death.


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