Qual Street

Dedication to the answer





In the spirit of stealing ideas…

I’ve been reading about using storyboards as part of ‘Design Thinking’ (detailed in Tim Brown’s Change by Design).

I think storyboards could be another technique to use in NPD research… either as a visual technique – getting respondents to draw, or react to drawings, or by using a storytelling approach technqiue to explore how new ideas could fit into respondent’s lives.

Here’s how I think telling stories can help NPD research…

Ask a respondent to ‘tell the story’ of how this new product or idea would fit into their life. The rules: the story must be based on an event that happened recently in their life, but now the new product is integrated into the story.

What’s the benefit of making up a story about a new product?

We can see how respondents can imagine the product fitting into behaviour they have already experienced. So we’re looking backwards and forwards at the same time. Imagine we are looking at a new idea for a breakfast product. The respondent ‘fits’ the product into a story about the breakfast they had on Wednesday, and we can start to see what benefits it could bring (vs what they had on Wednesday), how they would talk about the new idea – which bits of the concept are sticky, or worth talking about, and which bits need modifying or changing in order to fit into the story…

Ideas which struggle probably won’t make good stories, so we will get some sense of how ‘adoptable’ the NPD is too…

Tim Brown and Ideo use storytelling and storyboards as tool to help them make new ideas more real, more imaginable. I think we can use storytelling too in research to think about new product ideas in context.

Go on, get them to tell you a story!


Kath Rhodes, Qual Street Owner

I love love learning and so I invest time and resources with Ambreen and Claire into exploring social psychology, neuro science, creativity and new techniques in research. Read all about it and help yourself to the ideas that will deliver your business the insight it needs

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