Lean Research: A Powerful Tool | The Garage Group

Lean Research: A Powerful Tool

Hello Stretched Brand & Innovation Leader – 

We know you. As a leader, you’re being pulled in many directions. You barely have enough time in the day to eat. New meetings and tasks constantly arise. This forces you to focus on short-term issues. You wish there was more time to think, to strategize. 

You know keeping consumers’ needs front and center is critical. But lately, you’ve deprioritized consumer touchpoints, or at least considered doing so. Doing research takes time you don’t always have. 

“Research”: Is The Juice Worth the Squeeze? 

Do you feel like research is a nice to have sometimes? It can feel like too big of a lift. Oftentimes, it takes too long. It can be costly. It relies too much on what consumers say rather than how they’ll act. So, you consider going without. Or, you have little budget left after you put most of it to work driving today’s sales. 

But, leaving the consumer out doesn’t work either. They have so many options today. You must connect with them to make sure you are relevant. You just need to find a better way – an efficient approach that delivers insights you can action, but without the heavy lift of traditional research. In fact, in today’s rapidly changing market, connecting more often becomes even more important. 

Embrace Lean Research – 

Lean Research is a streamlined more entrepreneurial approach that focuses on building a body of evidence. It uses pulses of learning, rather than one big batch all at once. By embracing lighter learning lifts, still with strong research rigor and discipline, Lean Research helps you keep consumer-input integral to driving your business.  Lean Research offers a number of benefits to your team. 

  1. Manages risk. Traditional research can be expensive and time consuming. You canvas the org and define an exhaustive list of focus areas. Often, you get stuck internally, in data analysis-paralysis mode. Your agile competitors have already launched five new products before you action the study. Lean Research identifies the key questions you are uncertain about and then stages them in a way to get answers more quickly. In weeks, you can already answer or deprioritize specific avenues. This allows you to explore spaces without as much investment. 
  2. Helps pressure test and refine with agility. With traditional research you feel pressure to know all the answers you will need at the end from the outset, when you are designing the learning plan. The problem: traditional research tends to be fixed. New information leads to new and different questions. Lean Research allows you to meter your investment dollars against learning objectives and fuel the next pulse of learning based on what you just learned. It’s more nimble and flexes dollars to where they are needed. 
  3. Fuels Impact. Lean Research helps action your insights and show measured progress. Since it’s focused on testing assumptions, you’re able to bring back accomplishments to the team continuously. Lean Research doesn’t focus on learning for learning sake. It’s focused on illuminating the pivot, perish, or persevere moments for core business questions. 

Use Lean Research In A Variety of Challenges 

The Garage Group’s proprietary Lean Growth Playbook is built on Lean Research. In every engagement we do with F1000 brand leaders we map the best way to define the problem, explore potential strategic paths, and build / test / learn on the solutions. Here are a few examples for when it can be used: 

  1. Identifying Brand Hunting Grounds – Determining the best places to hunt for whitespace for your brand is tough. We’ve used Lean Research to quickly define the most opportune spaces for a brand to focus innovation efforts.  
  2. Innovation Concepts – Have a number of “winning ideas” and can’t take all of them to full concepts? Lean Research helps brand leaders quickly assess consumer interest before building too far. Then, you can build out full concepts. It provides confidence that effort is being maximized. 
  3. Iteratively De-Risking Ideas – Trying to learn too much on critical innovation all at once?  Lean Research helps you scientifically address the biggest questions one by one. It makes actioning easier. 

Lean Research Builds the Body of Evidence 

Lean Research is all about actioning insights and catalyzing your business. It’s a mindset. It’s always on, searching for the answers to big consumer questions. It brings insights to life and keeps brand leaders focused continuously. Plus, it develops a large body of evidence that’s just as meaningful as traditional research methods. 

The Garage Groups Lean Research Director Denise Nelson says…. 

Why TGG 

The Garage Group helps brand leaders action strategy and innovation plans with Lean Research. For nearly two decades, we’ve helped more than 70% of Fortune 500 Food & Bev companies with it. We’ve partnered with over 400 brands, many owned by F1000 companies, to action their business with an entrepreneurial approach. 

Need help identifying strategic hunting grounds or big innovation ideas for your brand? Want to learn how to flex your Lean Research muscles? We’re here to help! Send us a note at marketing@thegaragegroup.com. 

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