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  • Writer's pictureJani de Kock

How a mistake lead to an insight

Updated: Sep 10, 2021


We were working on a very challenging product. It was a success globally but it just didn’t work in our market. They tried everything. When client briefed us she said, whatever you find, I need you to assume we already know that.


We did solid old school qual: Placing the product for three days with a diary exercise and then groups to debrief.


On our way to some of these groups in a new region I realised I forgot to tell the recruiters to place the product!! 😳 Cancelling at that point would have meant at least a week lost in time and thousands in travel, venue, catering and recruitment fees wasted.


Lee Kotze - my boss and owner of the business - stayed very calm. We go ahead with the groups. We tell client we are going to do the placement afterwards.


The client said ok and it worked! 😅 it worked soo well actually that we got a breakthrough insight about first perceptions that we did not find up to that point with everyone trying the product at home. Turned out, it mattered a lot if you were alone or not with that product the first time.


It took my so long not to be afraid of my clients.


Thankful for wise mentors in my career and thankful for this little bit of luck that proved sometimes there is grace in business for mistakes. We can all make a plan together.


Have you ever made a mistake in research that turned out to be the key to an insight you couldn’t find any other way? Let me know.


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