The Clustering of Customers,
the Typing of People,
From the One
to the Many
As a veteran of hundreds of hours of focus groups, sessions, store interceptions and onsite consumer reviews, I find a forest, but am I close enough to the tree?
I was thinking about this the other day, walking in a relatively young forest — 90 years old, I’d guess — on Decatur Island, where my studio is. Walking in that forest, I was studying the trees, and recalling some influential poetic meditations on the nature of a forest as a collaborative self-funding ecosystem. Trees lay the raiment of place, made in the optimization of the rightfully tree-engineered soils, moisture conditions, sunlight searching, for them.
Rains came, and the drops in the silence of the forest [no raindrops reached the forest floor] reminded me of the bark, wet channels — water slowly coursing the rough canyoning of the bark’s surface texture and saved in slowness, gradually seeps into the soil — the trunk makes it so — the longline of its skyward stance, draws it down like a channel. Looking cloud-ward from the earthbound stance of the forest, you can see the sun — but what you might also note is the fulfillment of the shadowed world — trees create their own light-trapping interlacement — they reach out to hold all they can. To us below, it is darkened in mystery and lightless-ness.
But as I study — each tree has its own story to tell — how it will create its own misted transpiration — a breathing through the community of its forest members, moisture and gaseous exchanges roiling in the quiet corridors of old green wisdom.
But the trees are different, and the forest is a community of relationships — and so too the telling of each story — hardwood and soft, deciduous and coniferous, newly sprung or decades old. They’re all trees, they’re all in the same grove, but they’re different.
In the walk of relationships, the circling of community, the circumspect study of people, teams, demographies and categories — to each, we know, different.
In our experience, we gather and build committed communities of relationships — carriers of stories that they hold about the brand. It’s their brand, their story — the hold and carry it on to others. In the fluency of flowing storytelling, gathering them together, we can talk to them, work with them, and recognize their differences in the minutiae of how they tell the story of their lives, and the turning circle of their relationships to each other, and how, finally, they relate, they carry, the brand.
In the forest — a community, it’s a unified grove — gatherings of relationships, yet every tree, every person is different. You speak to them in their language
and they will speak back to you,
in their language.
Walking the forest,
I was thinking about
this sharing —
this grove of trees,
and the differences of
each — in their
TIM | GIRVIN DECATUR ISLAND STUDIOS
G I R V I N | SEEKING WOWNESS
CREATING STRATEGIES, PRODUCTS,
IDEAS FOR CHANGE.