Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Market Researchers Learn from the Honey Badger

(ATTENTION: This honey badger video has been cleaned up for safe and clean viewing)

http://youtu.be/W05VFxtVetI

The Badass Honey Badger has been a YouTube sensation for a while now.  It's even gone mainstream now as a commercial.  I first heard of the honey badger video when I was having "one of those days" and a friend said to me -- you need to watch the honey badger video, you'll laugh and it will get you inspired to go out there and get the job done.

It worked.

So I thought I'd try to see what we can learn from the honey badger in the area of market research .  So here are a few attributes of the honey badger with some thoughts on how we can apply them in market research.

  • Crazy -- It's easy to get into a rut and just do the same old thing.  Why not get crazy.  Take a second look at the questions you're asking on your survey and start brainstorming other more fun questions that might give you the information you're looking for.  You can try using the graphic question types and include images instead of just words.




  • Fearless:  The honey badger isn't afraid of a doggone thing.  He goes into a nest of swarming bees to get larvae and honey.  He attacks cobras.  He's unstoppable in the face of danger.   He doesn't sit back and ask for permission and he doesn't wait for approval from management -- he goes and gets the job done.  As researchers we can be fearless by either taking on something new, by taking a stand or by introducing our organizations to ideas or technologies they may not have considered.

  • Takes what it wants:  A recurring phrase in the video is that the honey badger takes what it wants.  To take what you want, you have to know what you want.  I wonder if we don't take the time to really figure out what it is that we want either out of the research that we're doing or out of the research function.  What we deliver might have changed as has the way we delivered it -- but the expectations are still the same -- help business make better and more profitable decisions through data.

  • Eats snakes: What's the one thing you've been running away from or avoiding?  Make like the honey badger and just go after it.  Resolve it one way or the other.  Letting it hang out there clutters your mind and keeps you from going after what matters.

  • Digs:  This is something researchers are great at -- digging.  While others just look at the top line, we dig deeper to get to the heart of what the research means.  There's nothing quite like the thrill of watching the numbers tell a story - so keep digging.

  • Gets up like nothing happened - What did you think about that honey badger fighting the cobra, getting bit, napping and getting up again?  BRILLIANT.  When was the last time you went after something with gusto, attacked it, got knocked down and then went right back to it?  It's this kind of behavior that builds experience and strength.


There's a reason that this video has gone viral.  It speaks to something that's inside all of us at one point or another.  Too many times we see people shy away from what they know in their hearts is right or necessary.

The honey badger doesn't do what he does because he's brave or smart -- he's hungry.  Why not add a little of that hungry honey badger energy to your day today.
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