Peer to Peer Immersion

March 03, 2016

When it comes to immersion in the inspiration phase of design, the deeper your research the more accurate and surprising the results. Sometimes by asking the questions ourselves or walking in someone else’s shoes for a day the results may be skewed, biased or your audience may limit their responses. A good way to uncover the real truths about your audience is to find someone within your target group and give them the opportunity to do the research for you. By partnering with these target people to capture the mindsets of their peers, you will learn more then you ever could on your own.

An ongoing client of ours is a womens cycling brand - and when we say cycling we don’t mean a leisurely cycle down St Kilda beach front, these girls are hard out. We’re talking lean, mean triathletes. Something we most definitely are not a part of, so finding our way into their routine just wasn’t something we could keep up with - both mentally and physically. So we approached an insider to do the research for us.

After deciding how we wanted our insider to gather the right information (this could be through questions, observations, photos etc), we then armed her with the right equipment. We gave our insider some pens, paper, a camera and even stuck a GoPro to the front of her helmet.

Before setting her on her journey (a casual Sunday morning 150kms) we explained the observation and reporting process. It’s really important your insider knows there are no right or wrong answers, we just want to find out honest opinions, desires and fears of her peers. Arm her with some questions and ideas that will spark conversation.

When she has finished the process, collect her research but also ask her how the process went. Sometimes the most valuable responses need some further digging. If she was surprised by anything, learnt anything new or changed opinions on anything - these are the answers that will help your research the most. From our insiders research we got a clear view what motivates our target market. We learned a lot of athletes are older than we originally thought and most surprisingly - none were overweight. They are the kind of people who’s priorities in life have changed. They now value fitness and a work/life balance and now addicted to the endorphins and the rush of competition and challenge. Defining our audience has helped us build a compelling story, an relevantly exciting brand and product that performed the way they needed.

Illustration by the talented Daan Botlek.