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Product Management Library of Knowledge

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Business Anthropology and the Culture of Product Managers

The first section of this paper explores the history and evolution of the three domains in the field of business anthropology. The second part utilizes a business anthropology lens to examine the field of product and brand management.

Business and industry, according to Marietta Baba (2006) noted business anthropologist and professor, are fundamental ways of organizing and categorizing economic activity to meet basic human needs in modern market societies. Baba defines business, commerce and trade as the buying and selling of goods and services in the marketplace. She defines industry as the organized production of goods and services on a large scale.

A Brush With Fame - Consumers Are Eager to Participate in Brand & Market Research

By Doug J. McIntyre

It's no secret that some of the biggest and most profitable brands owe much of their success to market research teams. This is to say, they owe much of their success to the consumers. After all, the chief goal of market research companies is to establish a connection with the consumer on the most basic levels: how a particular product affects their daily life. The results that can come from this type of ethnography research can be invaluable to the planning and execution of any branding strategy.

Ethnography: Your Guide to Doing it Right

Ethnography: Your Guide to Doing it Right

Introduction

Over the past decade, ethnography has been embraced by the business community. But the term "ethnography" has been used fairly loosely and expectations about the work and final outcomes vary as much as the people calling themselves ethnographers. Many researchers who feel at ease interviewing people in a "natural" setting claim to be doing ethnography but this is often not the case. Trained ethnographers do more than talk with people--they rely on a set of analytical tools that take experience and specialized training. Before deciding to use an ethnographic approach to answer your research question, it is imperative to know what to expect from a provider.

What Can Marketers Borrow From the Anthropologist's Toolbox?

What Can Marketers Borrow From the Anthropologist's Toolbox?
by Paula Gray, AIPMM

Anthropology's toolbox can offer much to assist business practices, especially marketing. Anthropology answers the question of what it means to be human. It is the scientific study of humankind, human origins and human variation, wherever and whenever humans have been found. This can include humans in shopping malls, boardrooms and offices. What marketers can do is to use anthropological methodologies to help inform business activities, tasks, and decisions because customers are humans, too.

What is Ethnography?


What is Ethnography?
by Paula Gray, AIPMM

In order to properly define ethnography we must look at what it is not. It is not the process of one person armed with a video camera and a microphone, interviewing customers as they shop. Nor is it a group of observers watching a sampling of individuals use a piece of equipment in a focus group setting. While these methods of gaining information are valuable, they do not constitute the whole of ethnography. Ethnography is the research process by which anthropologists observe and study human behavior in context. It is gaining more popularity as companies use the process to learn about their customers, inform their design of products and marketing programs.
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