Empathy the cornerstone of consumer research

He says the notion of empathy and human-centeredness is still not widely practiced in many corporations. “Business people rarely navigate their own websites or watch how people use their products in a real-world setting. And if you do a word association with ‘business person’, the word ’empathy’ doesn’t come up much,” notes Kelley.

Empathy in terms of creativity and innovation is the ability to see an experience through another person’s eyes, to recognise why people do what they do.

“Gaining empathy can take some time and resourcefulness, but there is nothing like observing the person you’re creating something for to spark new insights.

And, when you specifically set out to empathise with your end user, you get your own ego out of the way. “We’ve found that figuring out what other people actually need is what leads to the most significant innovations. In other words, empathy is a gateway to the better and sometimes surprising insights that can help distinguish your idea or approach.”