Table: Home Is Where the Research Is

Here's how three big marketers are using ethnographic research

3COM

GOAL: Uncover hidden needs that might be served by an electronic home organizer

OUTCOME: After observing how 64 households juggle complicated schedules, 3Com went with an extremely compact size and simple design for its Audrey device

BEST WESTERN

GOAL: Learn how seniors decide when and where to stop for the night

OUTCOME: Videotapes of 25 older couples on three- to-seven-day long drives taught the chain not to expand discounts and to avoid using the tag "seniors"

MOEN

GOAL: Observe over an extended time how consumers really use their shower devices

OUTCOME: Watching customers cope with inconvenient design elements uncovered safety problems as well as opportunities for new products

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