How do you drink your vodka?
That’s a question Absolut Vodka wanted to answer when they hired a research firm that was tasked with figuring out how people drink vodka and other liquors.
But researchers didn’t simply poll people about their alcohol consumption to find the answers. Instead, the researchers decided to focus on the emotional nuances of the social setting where people share alcoholic drinks.
So, they went to a party.
What they discovered from watching party-goers is this: what matters most to the attendees and their hosts were the stories that went along with the drinks. Researchers listened as people began sharing personal stories about certain brands of liquor playing a memorable role in their lives, such as during a vacation.
Based on the information gathered from those observations, researchers were able to suggest innovative ways that Absolut Vodka could become more memorable to consumers.
Using such observational methods are part of corporate anthropology, an extension of traditional anthropology that is used in non-traditional settings, explains Andrea Simon, who has a PhD in anthropology and now serves as a corporate anthropologist.
“The reason I love anthropology is because it teaches you to see, feel and think in new ways,” she says. “It’s no longer the strongest and smartest who will survive – it’s who is the most adaptive.”
Simon explains the Absolut story is a good example of how companies can use new perspectives to be more competitive.
“We (corporate anthropologists) see the things (read more here)