Consumer Insights—Especially When it Gets Uncomfortable

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received came from my boxing coach. After a particularly challenging sparring session, he gently leaned in and said, “If someone keeps hitting you in the head, you should think about moving it.” Sounds pretty straight-forward, right? Like not even something a person would need to be told. The problem is, I was exclusively focused on what other parts of my body were doing in response to all the cross—jab combos whizzing at me. I was using my energy to react and mitigate potential damage from the impact, instead of strategically avoiding them. In reality, most of the effort I invested during those three minutes was dumped directly into "don’t freak ou

Where’s My Stuff? The Power of Speaking in Your Customers’ Words

A company’s biggest differentiator is often their ability to predict the needs of customers. This concept is typically associated with the purchasing experience, or developing personalized services. What’s missing from these strategies are the opportunities in communicating to customers how things go wrong. More specifically – how to get out of the customer’s way when they need help.Sounds counter-intuitive, I know. Stick with me here. When your customer has a garden variety question, they want an answer. It’s already a hassle that they have to ask. Your job in cultivating brand loyalty is to make it easy for them to get that answer. One of the most informative projects I ever worked on was

Supporting Your Queer Kids During the Holidays

Being a parent is definitely not for the faint of heart. Juggling priorities and family obligations during the holidays are no exception. While commercials and social media show happy, snow-flaked humans running out to help carry things from the car, reality can be quite different. Instead of the cinnamon-infused joy of holiday perfection, parents more likely find themselves employing negotiation tactics that are the envy of UN Peacekeepers—and that’s just getting everyone in the car with shoes on. Bonus if they have their own shoes on. Holiday gatherings can be exceptionally joyful; a time to connect and relive memories. They can also be littered with emotional hazards, such as politics and

Talking to Your Transgender Kids About Erasure

One of the biggest questions parents ask me is about keeping their trans kids safe. Bullies and physical or emotional safety are the topics we can most easily identify. Erasure and the negative impact of discriminatory policies are a bit more subtle; even while their influence can have farther reach. When talking about the LGBTQ community and their exhaustingly higher rates of negative outcomes, erasure needs to be brought to the forefront. Our understanding of gender is changing rapidly; erasure is an immune response from the dominant culture. When the body detects something new or foreign, it perceives the threat and dispatches a response to contain. Now flip that script to those in power,

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