Ethnographic research and great storytelling

Date of publication: October 8, 2006

Catalogue: Qualitative 2006


Due to the concentration process and increasing competition in saturated markets, automotive manufacturers are faced with the continuous challenge of developing innovative, consumer-compatible products. To better anticipate different consumer needs and expectations and to identify several clusters of consumer characteristics, Renault has conducted a segmentation survey that supports the evolution of its product range.In this context, Renault was faced with the challenge of how the results of such a complex segmentation survey can be communicated to internal clients and non-market research colleagues like developers, designers, etc. They considered that "telling a great story" can be an effective approach to solve this problem. An ideal way to accomplishing this is ethnography, and because it generates a lot of visual material, complex facts and circumstances can be communicated in a descriptive and vivid manner ("one picture tells more than thousand words"). Therefore, choosing an ethnographic approach can be a valuable contribution to generate overall insights and basic knowledge of markets and target groups as well as the specific needs, desires and requirements of these customers.

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