3Distill insights

In stage two, you and your team immersed yourselves in the world of the customer to explore your broad opportunity area through their lens. During stage three you’ll share your experiences and start distilling and connecting observations to craft multiple specific customer-centric opportunities within your broader opportunity area.

This is possibly the hardest phase of design and innovation. You’ve got to take all that you know about the customer — what you’ve seen, heard, read and experienced — and somehow turn that into opportunities to redesign or innovate a new product, service, experience or way of working. It requires critical and intuitive thinking, interpretation, empathy, experimentation and often some incubation and time away from the challenge. It is something that many qualitative researchers (and some others) are good at, be it through genetics or experience, and the rest of us have to practise to get better. So how do you master it and come up with insights like the one that helped BBC and Top Gear reverse declining viewership and ratings to become the top car program on TV?

The insight was that ‘blokey males who are into cars need to be entertained because they actually like the camaraderie and banter that goes with cars more than the car tech itself’. Prior to this insight, Top Gear had all the tech, gadgets and technical car talk, but viewership was declining. It wasn’t until they realised that the need they should really be satisfying ...

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