The biggest Deprivation Study

Reflections on doing market research in time of COVID19

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge

Daniel J. Boorstin

Deprivation Studies are a research methodology initially developed among psychologists at an academic level, which aims to “prevent” an organism or a subject from benefiting from something it wants or needs: sleeping, a good, a service…

Many years ago, these studies were also carried out in the world of market research. For example, taking some people, asking them to refrain from watching television and at the same time keeping a diary of their daily lives. More recently, studies have been carried out to deprive a group of teenagers from using smartphones and social media.


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Tecniques: it’s not a matter of “which”…

Sometimes I meet research customers (or prospect customers) who ask me: “Which kind of techniques do you employ at your institute?“. Usually I answer  “Just a bit of everyone “. I understand the meaning of the question: MR is a whole made by empirical experience, so if you “use, know,employ” certain techniques, you are supposed to be “skilled enough“.

But I prefer to talk about another matter: which kind of techniques would fit with your purpose. Let’s take an example: new concept or new products. They deal with the notorious newcomer’s dilemma: if you propose a new sentence (concept, thesis, product, …), mainstream could not to listen to you;  if you propose a mere variation of a known sentence (concept, thesis, product, …), you wouldn’t be new and probably outsmart by your competitors who have a more well-established position.

Choose the right research mix is surely the right option. In the past years unwarranted researches drove to several dramatic flop (do you remember when gurus told us that no one would have chosen a mobile phone to take a photo and that the “real business” was in “multimedia content streamed by phone services”?).

Follow the video and laugh with me…

A bright new product… ancient times focus group