The Great Bridge Builder: Searching for Order out of Chaos
By Creenagh Lodge, Chairman, Corporate Edge
Although this article was written nearly 40 years ago, it remains a relevant and important way of looking at research on new products and their communication. It is also a model of how such an article should be written: lucid and beautifully argued, allowing the readers to draw their own conclusions.
The implicit premise is that research can constitute a valuable, probably essential, contribution to a new product’s success, by understanding how the intended target market approaches and adopts a new idea; and by discriminating between researching the intention behind the thinking, rather than solely judging the execution.
A Holistic Rather than Atomistic Approach
The core thought that influences the argument is that consumers think holistically, not atomistically. For them a new brand, in Stephen’s words, “is a totality . . . one thing, not an aggregate of bits”. They don’t separate the emotional from the rational, or the sensual from the functionality. Therefore, research which scalpels out each of these elements for isolated scrutiny is, by definition, unsatisfactory, because of the mutuality of influence exerted by all the elements.
The argument for a holistic approach is laid out so gently and clearly that the unbiased reader might be forgiven for wondering why this philosophy is not universally adopted.
The fact is that it is not.
Then, as now, there are those who ...