See Things



Do you see things the way Millennials see them?

It Takes a Community, not a Village.

First of all, did you see the optical illusion on the front of the card? Not everyone catches it. If you didn’t, take a look and see which direction the background goes. Does it go up or down? Hm.

It’s all a matter of perspective, right?

Millennials seem to have a different perspective from other generations. That’s not to say it’s so unusual. After all, Boomers had a different perspective than their parents. Generation X saw things differently than Boomers.  That’s part of what makes one generation different from another.  

For some reason though, Millennials seem to embody differences more extreme than we have seen before.

So how do you tap into the Millennial mind, especially if you are not a Millennial?

Traditional research methods can only get you so far. Standard surveys need to not just be online, but preferably in a format that can be taken on a smart phone.  (Millennials are far more likely to use their smartphones for online activities--like shopping, Facebooking and, of course, filling out surveys.)

The 76 million Millennials do love a good social network. They live on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other networks.

Some stats to prove it:

  • 50% have used social media to decide on a purchase (1)
  • 49% have complained about a brand or service on social media (1)
  • 63% stay updated on brands through social networks (2)
  • 48% say word-of-mouth informs their purchases--all from social media (3)
 1 SocialMedia Today
2 Ipsos
3  Intrepid

Traditional surveys and focus groups are a tough way to get to Millennials. But communities, which are basically the social media equivalent of research methods, fit the Millennial personna perfectly. Our experience supports this. We have included Millennials in communities for a few years now. (It’s funny because we didn’t know really that we were leading out on either trend--the importance of Millennials or the use of communities; we just knew we were doing the type of research with the type of people that our clients needed.) 

Good Research Communities

A community is a nice, soft fuzzy name for a consumer advisory group or proprietary panel.  We did our first community when Ted was still on the client-side--a community of 10 subscribers to the cable-modem product of MediaOne that were connected via email. It worked. These folks were on email and enjoyed the back and forth banter and getting to contribute to making a difference. That was back in 1997 and since then we have done all sorts of communities for a variety of clients including TV Guide, Kraft Foods, Cattleman’s Beef Association, Tahitian Noni, SC Johnson and American Express.

Communities can take many shapes and sizes. We have done qualitative communities and quantitative communities, ranging in size from 24 to 1,200.  It all depends on what you need.

Regardless of format, a well run community will provide these great benefits:

  • Quick turnaround from your question to market-driven answers
  • More effective costs compared to ad hoc surveys and/or focus groups
  • Much more flexibility to adjust to learnings as you go
  • Collaboration with your customers or prospects for product development, marketing program development, and in other areas
  • Get market-driven input into even the small decisions that wouldn't otherwise be worth researching
  •  Iterative development approaches
  • Stay on top of developing marketplace trends
  • Learn cumulatively

A community engages Millennials so that they willingly and effectively become part of your team.  A community with Millennials provides you with a dynamic, interactive insight delivery system--so much more than a simple survey or focus group.

Ultimately, that’s what a good research community can be--a dynamic approach that lets you see things the way Millennials see them. And that will provide you with the relevant insights you need.

Millennial Mondays

Get the inside scoop on Millennials from our Millennials. Monday, March 24th is the first episode of Millennial Mondays -- our new YouTube series all about Millennials - -the myths, the facts, and the insights. Subscribe to get weekly updates on when we post our new episodes!


UPDATE: Season 2 has officially launched, and with that come a few changes. We're posting a monthly video now, which you can still subscribe to and still get really great insights from! Visit to read the weekly blog and get updates on our videos.

Contact Us

Need to learn more about communities or need one for your organization?  Contact us.


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