6 March 2016

[Book] Small Data

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Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends Hardcover
by Martin Lindstrom
February 23, 2016
St. Martin’s Press, 256 pages

Martin Lindstrom, a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, harnesses the power of “small data” in his quest to discover the next big thing.

Hired by the world’s leading brands to find out what makes their customers tick, Martin Lindstrom spends 300 nights a year in strangers’ homes, carefully observing every detail in order to uncover their hidden desires, and, ultimately, the clues to a multi-million dollar product.

Lindstrom connects the dots in this globetrotting narrative that will enthrall enterprising marketers, as well as anyone with a curiosity about the endless variations of human behavior. You’ll learn…

  • How a noise reduction headset at 35,000 feet led to the creation of Pepsi’s new trademarked signature sound.
  • How a worn down sneaker discovered in the home of an 11-year-old German boy led to LEGO’s incredible turnaround.
  • How a magnet found on a fridge in Siberia resulted in a U.S. supermarket revolution.
  • How a toy stuffed bear in a girl’s bedroom helped revolutionize a fashion retailer’s 1,000 stores in 20 different countries.
  • How an ordinary bracelet helped Jenny Craig increase customer loyalty by 159% in less than a year.
  • How the ergonomic layout of a car dashboard led to the redesign of the Roomba vacuum.

 

Interview with Martin Lindstrom (Knowledge @ Wharton)

LEGO engineered a remarkable turnaround of its business. How’d that happen?
Based upon the book’s introduction
Published in Pulse, LinkedIn

Excerpt:

Every big data study LEGO commissioned drew the exact same conclusions: future generations would lose interest in LEGO. LEGOs would go the way of jackstraws, stickball, blindman’s bluff. So-called Digital Natives – men and women born after 1980, who’d come of age in the Information Era – lacked the time, and the patience, for LEGOs, and would quickly run out of ideas and storylines to build around. Digital Natives would lose their capacity for fantasy and creativity, if they hadn’t already, since computer games were doing most of the work for them. Each LEGO study showed that the generational need for instant gratification was more potent than any building block could ever hope to overcome. […]

Probably the biggest turnaround in LEGO’s thinking came as the result of an ethnographic visit LEGO marketers paid in early 2004 to the home of an 11-year-old boy in a midsized German city. Their mission? To figure out what really made LEGO stand out. What executives found out that day was that everything they thought they knew, or had been told, about late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century children and their new digital behaviors – including the need for time compression and instantaneous results – was wrong.

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