Chad Hinkle
Marketing Research

 Resilient Consumers​​​™: The Easiest Way To Create A Breakthough Brand

Breakthrough Brands Are Extremely Rare

Too Much Focus On The "How", Not On The "Who"

We have more information about how consumers feel and behave than at any other time in human history. Yet, 95% of new products fail and less than 1 out of every 100 products will become a breakout success. 
For decades, we have put our faith in the idea that large sample sizes and immersive interviews will unearth accurate information from our consumers. However, real world consumer behavior rarely matches modern consumer research findings. The problem isn't how research is done, it is who is being studied.
Easily Minimize Risk, Maximize Success

Your Hidden Consumer

Tiny Change, Big Result

Resilient Consumers are already your consumer. Every once in a while, you will see them as the "all-star" respondent in your focus group or as the small group of outliers in your survey who deliver new insights. These women and men are your richest source of information and they are hiding in plain sight. 
My approach is simple: keep doing the research you like to do, just include a small group of your Resilient Consumers in your research to help you get deeper, more accurate insights. It doesn't matter how you include them (ex. recruit three of them for your focus groups, recruit twenty of them as a separate segment for your quant study, etc.), the important thing is you have your "all-star" consumers in your research.  This is the easiest, most cost effective way to getting better information from your research and is the key to maximizing your brand's success.
Real Life Resilient Consumer Impact

Meeting A Spy

The Quiet Savant

I was doing new product research for a food company where we were recruited non-Resilient consumers. What we were hearing from consumers was all over the place with different consumers wanting totally different product features and benefits. We were struggling to figure out what to do until we met Harold* (name changed for privacy).

Harold walked in wearing a crazy colored Hawaiian shirt and was the lone male member of the group.  Almost immediately, the group started to report the same confusing information we had heard from the other consumers with whom we had previously spoken.

As an awkward silence descended, Harold looked at me, smiled, and said: "You know, here is what I think we need". He then talked about specific product benefits and packaging details that would communicate those benefits to him. 

BOOM! Just like that, Harold had tied together all of the information we had heard throughout the research.  

The group ended and I followed Howard so I can talk to him.

I said: "Harold, what do you do?"

He replied: "Oh, Chad, I'm long retired. I moved to the south because I like the climate better than where I used to live in DC." 

"Okay...what did you do while you lived in DC?"

"I worked for the government."

"What did you do for the government?"

"I worked for the CIA."

Based on what I had seen him do in the group and the way he was talking to me now, I felt very strongly that what he was telling me was the truth.

I said: "I get the feeling that I could go anywhere in the world with you and be okay."

He looked at me very seriously and said: "Chad, no matter where you would go with me in the world, I would make sure you got home safely to your family."

Chills ran through my body as he said this as I could tell that he was absolutely serious.

He smiled warmly, shook my hand, and said: "It was a pleasure meeting you, Chad. This was fun!"


I was hired to do research to help an older pharmaceutical drug create new advertising. They requested we use their "creative consumer" algorithm which they felt would get novel ideas for their advertising. 

We traveled to both coasts and the "creative consumers" with whom we were speaking were giving us ideas that were of little help. In the last group on the last day of the research, Bethany* (name changed for privacy) sat down across from me.

The first thing I noticed about Bethany was her height - she was easily 6'3" and walked into the room using a cane. Her physical presence and the way she held herself were striking. 

Bethany said she was a minister. She told us she had been an extremely tall child and eventually was diagnosed with Marfan's Syndrome leading her to have pain and other difficulties (none of which was related to the drug we were discussing in the research). 

For most of the group, Bethany was quiet. She sat and listened as the group of respondents riffed off of eachother. 

We neared the end of the group and the respondents were beginning to talk in circles.

Suddenly, Bethany spoke: "Footprints in the sands of time were not made by those sitting down."

Then, she offered two new ways to think about the product and used language that could be written directly into an ad. 

Her ideas led to a new advertising campaign for the client and reignited the group when they were starting to falter. The clients were happy and had ideas that they hadn't even considered before hearing from Bethany.

Resilient Consumers are people from all different walks of life but all share the same abilities as Harold and Bethany. Contact me to start including them in your research. 


Let's talk about your research!