A different approach to consumer research

What people say they do and what they actually do are often two very different things.

That’s the premise behind the Hartman Group, a consumer research firm based in Bellevue, Washington. Their CEO, Harvey Hartman, addressed the annual meeting of the Agricultural Adaptation Council in Guelph today and described some of the processes they use to get more accurate consumer data.

Hartman’s organization uses sociologists and anthropologists to carry out qualitative research – studying consumers in their natural habitats, so to speak, as they carry out the activities of their daily lives…at home, in the store and in their free time.

This, says Hartman, results in a more complete and complex picture of today’s consumers – which are as varied in their needs and interests as the multitude of products and brands vying for their attention and their wallets.

“There is no one consumer segment or a single set lifestyle when it comes to consumers – more a collection of individual lifestyles,” says Hartman, adding that this means marketers have to think differently when developing or promoting their products. This includes focusing on personalization and empowerment, and evaluating how people shop, live and use products.

More information on Hartman and his firm’s research can be found at www.hartman-group.com.

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