Insight for Innovation ®

KMG Ideation Research

KMG Ideation Research is designed to surface the deeper emotional, perceptual and functional drivers of consumer value as valid and actionable platforms for concept exploration. It can also bring consumers and clients together with KMG processes and capabilities to leverage fresh insight and generate early-stage concepts.  This work often culminates in a Design Strategy that employs patented analytical tools to help build consensus and provide focused direction for design.


immersionKMGs Immersion work takes place in consumer-selected buying and usage environments.  This effort is often coupled with found-object discussions that can place early-stage novel solutions in context for feedback. Project work involves genuine true-to-life observation:  It is never time-and-place contrived or Q & A driven.

Retail Immersion involves observation of a genuine shopping occasion, and takes place in a consumer’s choice of time and store location. Usage Dynamics Immersion takes place when and where product usage behaviors occur.  Immersion works in concert with the Brand Experience Cycle (see Analytical Tools) to identify high-potential opportunities for innovation.

Consumer Interaction

In KMG Consumer Interaction sessions,  small groups react to Consumer Promises, preliminary concepts and found objects to elicit fresh insight.  This effort is often coupled with real-time sketching by an experienced designer to bring consumer feedback to life in “Thought-Starter” concepts.

Consumer Interaction is effective in identifying underlying emotional states, surfacing attitudes and behaviors around usage occasions, or for evaluating initial Consumer Promise language.  It replaces typical focus groups as a deeper and more vivid foundation for concept development and screening.

Precision Ideation

The KMG Precision Ideation approach involves a structured session that teams the client with target consumers and KMG staff.  The session may start with an abbreviated effort at defining a Design Strategy.  This may include identifying and ranking the emotional, perceptual and functional Innovation Platforms that new concepts must address.  These IPs may be allocated to small break-out groups for ideation, where independent thinking and group discussion work together to forward the best ideas.  Then, team presentations allow for refinement, and concepts are scored against marketplace, brand and feasibility criteria.

Design Strategy

Proprietary KMG Strategy Tools help the team to visualize and set priorities among innovation opportunities by interpreting, organizing and communicating the outputs of Ideation Research.  These Tools help focus concept exploration on a series of Innovation Platforms that offer the most leverage with consumers and the most clarity for designers.  For example,  the KMG 3C Matrix ensures that design direction is mindful of true-to-life parameters.  It is a one-page cataloging of client capabilities, constraints and concerns across relevant internal functions.  This deliverable often focuses on technical considerations, including R&D, manufacturing processes and supply chain, but also addresses marketing and distribution issues.


Gap Mapping is a vivid analytical tool for capturing and ranking consumer-driven perceptual and functional expectations in a category.  They are helpful in translating and communicating research data to propose gaps, opportunities and platforms for innovation.  Innovation Platforms represent perceptual and functional leverage points that grow out of fresh consumer and strategic insight to provide design teams with a flexible yet focused framework for concept exploration.  Innovation Platforms consist of rather specific language that ties back to Gap Map opportunities and/or key consumer insights.  They are the spring board for prolific and on-strategy ideation.

“Thought-Starter” Ideas

KMG’s Ideation Research Tools offer opportunities to work with consumers in thoughtful ways to generate preliminary product or package concepts.  Often, a designer is on hand to capture consumer feedback in real-time sketches for discussion.  This may take place in a small group setting or in a Consumer Lab, one-on-one.  While Thought Starters are not refined, actionable concepts they do effectively translate consumer input for further discussion, and inspire formal concept development.