Want to know your consumer? Ask them to pack a travel bag

It’s common knowledge that every single company wants to know its consumer. This need accumulates up to $400 million market research industry in 2014 in Russia only and around $20 billion market worldwide. The number of research techniques is huge and prices range from a few thousands of dollars to ‘000000 figures depending on the business goal.

Let’s say, you’ve decided to create a Start-Up or you’re a small company with a tiny research budget – what would you do?

Sure, you can go with a low-cost data provider to understand the basics, can ‘google’ already available reports, have a few drinks with someone from your newly entered industry or some research analyst. While those indeed are good options, you still have a few more (excl. looking through your internal data).

I personally have a strong belief in DIY analysis for the basic needs. The core benefit – from the moment you conduct a research by yourself, trust me, your analytical mindset will change and for all the future reports which you review/purchase/make, you will receive much more benefits versus simply reviewing some figures or charts delivered by somebody else. Can you learn how to ride a bicycle without live practice?) Obviously not.

The worst case scenario is to purchase the data from a low-cost provider, get challenged by the quality and lose all hope for the research industry. I’ve seen it plenty of times with some local companies…though international ones can also fall in this trap.

Ever thought about the process of packing stuff before a vacation or a business trip? You’re always limited with your bag space, therefore your brain will choose the stuff which, it believes, is the most essential for the trip purpose and which it has personal emotional connection to. Why, among five pairs of jeans, you’re packing only one?

Below is the extract from my actual bag after my last week trip to Turkey. The stuff below is what I put first (my favorite things).

On the photo: Fitbit Flex (fitness tracker), Reebok Nano 4 shoes, “Never Eat Alone” book, a few t-shirts (Gap and a low-cost brand), 2 pairs of jeans (Gap and Chevignon), 2 pairs of shorts (Nike and UnderArmour), an iPad.


If you look through my stuff, whoa, sport freak with some orange addiction. It means that the color of a product will be one of my core decision drivers behind my purchasing decision and the rationale factor of product benefits won’t work with me. Even a more tricky part – if I ever participate in some Customer Research, I won’t even think to mention color, since I’m making my choice subconsciously.

By reviewing the bag you can observe the interconnections of products: their style, benefits, price, etc. This is your “target audience” image builder.

I recommend you to review this blog which was really came in handy during my Client Service years.

Best regards,


P.S. Be smart! No one goes to the gunfight with a knife – therefore while DIY is good for basics, any other advanced research should be done by professionals!

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