KDASS owes its origin to a conglomerate of like-minded Anthropologists, with a willingness to explore people & behaviour, from a market’s point of view. An urge to extrapolate the academic domains of the discipline to a more corporate & action oriented framework. The inception of the organization dates back to the year 2007 when the directors of the organization started conceptualization of this idea.
As in most of its methodologies, it started off as an explorative piece of work. The guiding team worked with different organizations under different capacities working primarily with consumer behaviour identification & patterning, culminating in product design & marketing strategy creation. I call it explorative because it was more explorative in nature, with no intent/idea of the product that we were going to make out of it. But a product, for sure. Working through within the domain of consumer insights, we all realized one thing, rather to say it more clearly we all identified a problem with the domain of consumer insights especially in its qualitative structures. The insights were pleasing to ears of the stakeholders, most of the times they received applaud from them, but the bigger problem was their applicability & actionability. The clients had no idea what to do with it. Most of the times, the insights were used to back up, or cover for the products already developed. A justification that something that has been created has been created for the right audience for the right demography. I am not saying this was the case with all the organizations, but most for certain.
The biggest blowback to a researcher is when they see their efforts go in vain, and not actually in practise. This pain brought the building team together with a thought of pooling in our collective wisdom to creating an organization with consumer insights that drive solutions in the most actionable formats. Taking from the theories of structural functionalism, we started conceptualizing an idea that will bring the structure of analysis to the functionality of a product/service in its most realistic form. The idea was to build a haven for researchers & insights workers throughout the globe, and its inception gave us goose-bumps at that point of time.
The most important part of any research strategy is the demographics of the problem and getting the right respondents. Observation is key, but you also someone non-pretentious to talk to with the most honest revelations about his/her life, and that is not easy. Most times, researchers go back to a dedicated database of users. This list might be repetitive & being aware of a certain kind of inquiry makes a user more pretentious & unwillingly aware of what will happen next. This carries out the most unrealistic observations & responses from the user set. This is a problem that most of the research houses encounter on a daily basis without even knowing it because the answers/responses from the users are bang on to their hit list of queries.
Let me tell you something about responses from a subject. Responses should ideally not hit the mark you want them to hit, because if they are targeted to a particular point it suggests that they have been lead to the point. The idea is not to hit the bulls eye. The idea is to hit something. Let me put it this way. You go on a hunting mission, and you are aiming specifically at a target. Your chances of actually hitting that target are really low because of all the things available in your surroundings you want to hit just the one. BUT if you are going to a forest and hit an arrow randomly, your chances of hitting something are really bright, in fact more than your previous mission of hitting your target which you could have easily missed. But you are not going to miss this one, because of all the things available to get hit by you, you are willing to hit anyone. That’s the beauty of explorative research in its more raw format.
Most researchers fear that they will not get anything out from a respondent, but they forget the most important part of data. No data is indeed data. That’s something we realized and we were able to hit on the 2 most important things we needed in our assembly line
1. An Impeccable Recruitment Strategy
This is the most tough part of any research methodology. How do you get the people you want to talk to which are the closest to behave naturally. To accomplish the same, we devised a new form of recruitment criteria. We call it, The Snowball Sleeper Cell. Its works on a simple premise of never to interview a respondent more than twice unless and until a study asks for them specifically. The idea is simply that when a user has been a part of more than 2 interactions, they sort of get acclimatized to the idea of an interaction, and try to get pretentious, more aware & active in front of the camera. This takes away the innate naïve nature of the interaction & responses are skewed toward more and more leading. So we have a team of dedicated members for recruitment who activate our network of sleeper cells within various SECs of various regions once a study pours in. We usually recruit & keep back ups of every recruitment. Snowballing also allows us to explore the Socio-Cultural networks of our respondents as well. This increases our demographic reach with every study.
2. Researcher without the Usual News Reporting Format
During our experiences in various research projects being carried, both in terms of clients & researchers, we found out that the researchers usually in the field today are more of news reporters than researchers. They are more on an investigative spree than actually connecting with the respondent. And this creates a big divide between the researcher and the respondent. You don’t want to go with your guns blazing as to what, when, who, how, which, what sorts of queries. The idea of a researcher interaction is more conversational than an interview, and getting answers to a list of queries on a piece of paper. The answers have to come out in form of a conversation, and not in a direct format. This requires training over a period of time, and creating a list of researcher Do’s & Don’ts. The ability to observe, relate & emote is very important while in an interaction.
The reason why they are called Discussion guides is that because they are a discussion guidelines & not a list of questions to ask. The responses shouldn’t come out in form of answers but as part of conversation slices.
The Formative Stage
Achieving the above 2 was the most difficult of a task we have chosen, but once achieved they gave us a strong foundation for our organization. Working independently for many years, we finally registered ourselves as a Private Limited company in the May of 2013, and since then we haven’t looked back. We are constantly aspiring & enabling our clients understand their users and build the next generation products for them.