in*cite ~ (verb transitive): to move to action: stir up: spur on: urge on: PROVOKE
in*sights ~ (noun): 1:the power or act of seeing into a situation 2: the act or result of apprehending the inner nature of things or seeing intuitively

An ode to high-execution concepts and value-added focus groups.

By Patricia H. Chapman

Insight operates at the level of the imagination … where leaps and inspiration happen. And a good insight inspires imagination … thoughtfulness, and new ideas on the part of those who hear it.

Insights are in higher demand than ever because the pressure to come up with more and better ideas, faster, has increased with the availability of quick, efficient quantitative. Insight can be a whole new pair of eyes from which to view your category or your brand. If you're looking for new ideas and innovation (who isn't?)… one insight can be worth a thousand ideas (or, at least a dozen).

Pushing the button on everyone's imagination with more provocative, inciteful stimulus can be a shortcut to insights, feelings and motivations in a way that question/answer just is not. Plus it means you can create insights and screen/build concepts and new ideas, at the same time.

· High-execution concepts are better at triggering the imagination and full response from all types of respondents, whether they are (individually) visual types of learners, auditory types, literal types … or just have a pet peeve about items in glass jars or green boxes.

· High-execution, high context concepts elicit high communication and recall of even minor elements and claims that can help add value to an ultimate new product idea.

· High-execution, multi-dimensional concepts are going to be the price of entry to get any consumer's attention in the interactive world. (Just take a look at how many elements appear on a single web page!)

· The creation of high-execution, multi-dimensional concepts brings out the best in the marketer's mind, as it helps you cover more territory in a single focus group.

In the focus groups … Be open to the possibility that what consumers like about the concept, may be different than what is stated on the concept, and go with it their way to see where it leads.

Encourage consumers to share their first reactions -- the "off-the-top-of-the-head" response may be rich in the spontaneous illumination that is insight's turf.

Do some screening of concepts and ideas, in addition to building. When all is said and done, much insight comes from hearing which ones they'd like, most.

Many of these observations have a sound basis in classical theories of the human mind and imagination. (And happily put to the test by us in hundreds of focus groups and dozens of new products projects.) For more of our Stone Soup experiences and research findings … contact or peruse our examples in this web site.

For a quick test on your own, print out our two Cola Nut concepts and compare the quality of response for yourself.

Or, just try these questions on your spouse, children, or significant other on separate weekday evenings:

Version 1: "What do you want for dinner tonight?" ("I don't know." "I don't care." "You decide." "Whatever…")

Version 2: "How about chicken for dinner tonight?" ("Chicken, again?" We always have chicken." "I'm bored with chicken.")

Version 3: "I think I'll make Mexicali chicken with rice for dinner tonight!" ("Um, that sounds good! I'm in the mood for something different." "La cucaracha, la cucaracha "… song and dance time … "Gee, I didn't know you could cook!" (Come to think of it, that's a separate issue! Wishful thinking insight on my part!)

You probably found that Version 3 was more satisfying, inspiring, and apt to give you a world of insights to build on. And, maybe even gave you another idea (hmmm… maybe Chicken Italiano!) for tomorrow night??

And which really came first? The chicken or the insight? (In the long run, does it really matter?) Either way, the more you give, the more you get … and the idea that's hatched is gold!

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