Shocking (and not shocking), over half of today’s consumers actively support brands and purchase from companies whose purpose-driven missions align with their own values.

As companies are now being audited by public discourse, organizations like The Black In Fashion Council and The Valuable 500 were developed to help companies achieve diversity goals with the goal of fostering a more inclusive culture.

This mini trend shares the expectations customers have of inclusive brands and ways companies can show up for those behaviors. Are you making changes in your organization to stand by your inclusive mission? So are we – let’s grab a coffee and chat about it! 

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In the last few weeks, we’ve heard from a good handful of people in our circle that they are venturing off to live a nomadic lifestyle where they can work from anywhere.

It turns out, this trend isn’t isolated in our own community. As of today, over 35 million people globally consider themselves digital nomads – freely traveling and working from wherever they please. And because of this, an entirely new type of adventure dubbed ‘bleisure travel’ – blending business and leisure – has formed.

This mini trend explores how new travel communities are showing up for this workforce in meaningful ways – and ultimately how employers can support this way of living. Are you interested in discovering how your company can show up for this evolving workforce!? So are we! Let’s grab a coffee and chat about it! 

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A long awaited intro to… Shared Voices!

Since day one of PinPoint, a core tenant of our process has been walking in the shoes of others (hence the feet photos all over our website) because every unique perspective starts with a unique stance. Because of that, our Become Your Audience Pin has turned out to be one of our core pins when we need to learn from a firsthand perspective. We use this pin to uncover pain points and with that information, determine how our client’s offerings need to evolve so that their business transforms those pain points into high points.

Over the last few months, we’ve been working to determine how we might offer a mini-version of this Pin to the masses. So we did what we do best, applied design thinking to design thinking, and voila!, out of that process came Shared Voices! To put it simply, imagine if multiple ‘Become Your Audience Pins’ married a Kickstarter campaign and had the most magical little baby!! Or in more tactical words, we cracked the code on crowdsourcing customized research – and for a fraction of a Pin cost!

How exactly does this work?

Great question! Well, we heard you loud and clear that trend reports have given you nothing more than useless data points, so our goal is to let you (and at least 15 other like-minded business leaders) craft what the inputs and outputs become. You’ll sit down with one of our Research Strategists to share what you’ve always wanted to know about your customers (scroll a little further to see just who we’ll be talking to first!). This Listening Session will be focused on identifying the types of research insights that would be most impactful for you.

Then comes the customization! We will develop a research protocol that incorporates the goals of you and your like-minded ‘research backers’ so that the questions, conversations and learnings we get out of our qualitative research gives you the answers you need… not just what you hope you’ll find in a typical cookie-cutter trend report. Bonus… you also get one of our favorite things – the power of mindshare! The questions you don’t think of, another anonymous ‘research backer’ likely has, and you all get the answers together!

We’ll do all the research, the robust synthesis, the strategy behind identifying potential opportunities – and you just sit back and wait for all that goodness to roll in. At the start of the next quarter, our findings will be delivered not only in a PDF, but also a personalized video made just for you and your team highlighting how the research is specifically actionable for your organization. 

So who are you talking to?

If we’ve learned anything these past four years, it’s that there’s quite the variance in people’s needs – be it their generation, age, gender, regionality. So for this inaugural issue, we are slicing the pie to look squarely at GenZ women with purchasing power in the top four metro areas – New York City, LA, Chicago, and Houston. Why? Because 1. we’ve gotten more requests for GenZ research than ever. Move over Millennials there’s a new sheriff in town. 2. Women are a core focus to PinPoint’s mission and deserve a voice at the table – especially now. 3. GenZ is the largest generation in American history – ranging from 9-24 year olds, and we want to focus on just those who have the $$$$ to spend.

This will be the first of many Shared Voices – so if you have another slice of customers you’re curious about, let us know here!

Who exactly is this research intended for?

Y’all are so smart with these questions! This inaugural issue is ideal for B2C companies who are selling a product and looking to gain traction with 18-24 year old women. If that’s you, and you love the power of mindshare, get on it! We know there are way more than 16 of you out there, so strike while the iron is hot!We are selling 16 slots between now and August 1st. If you or someone you know is interested, take a look at the new addition to our website OR reach out for a chat. We cannot wait to build a better future – together!

This report explores how the Gen Z workforce is shaping new attitudes & behaviors in the workplace. These workers are quitting and changing jobs 40% more than last year – why!? Well, that would take some qualitative research, but this report at least shares some tactics orgs can take to invest in the recruiting & retaining of this workforce.

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In honor of Earth Day, we dug into consumer behaviors and sentiments related to eco-positivity so that we could project opportunities for companies and consumers to make an impact on this planet we call home.

Sustainability is a complex issue, no matter how you dice it. There is no easy solution for brands, instead it’s a continuous journey for companies to thoughtfully show up. And as consumers, we have the responsibility to choose our actions and the brands we support to be part of the change.

This mini trend shares tips and tricks for companies and consumers to make an impact on our environment – not just for Earth month, but for every day of our lives.

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Choosing our favorite kind of client is like choosing a favorite kid.

We just recently stopped by Loyola University’s Quinlan School of Business (shout out to Stacy Neier Beran for inviting us – thank you, thank you, thank you!) where we left beyond inspired by Stacy’s Design Thinking students. Sure sure, the original goal might have been that we were there to inspire them, but we walked out the doors that day with a slightly different perspective on our work.

You’ve probably heard us talk about the ‘oh no’ and ‘a ha’ moments our clients come to us with (if not… well then!), but that day in class, an inquisitive student asked us which one of those states we desire to work in more. At first, the question took us by surprise, almost like asking which kid is your favorite, but it got us thinking. Do we have a preference? 

What We Love About an ‘A Ha’

Who doesn’t love when someone knocks on their door with a brilliant idea and asks if they want to be a part of it!? We for one have all hands raised on this one. We get introduced to so many incredibly smart and talented humans who are in the ‘a ha’ moment of their business – whether they have the next big product idea, received capital for the next phase or, like in the case of our work with Brilliantly, a desire to evolve with the biggest impact first.

What we love about an ‘a ha’ moment is that our clients come to us already at a ‘woohoo’ mindset on the scale of doom & gloom to excitement – and we feed off that energy! We love validating or refining someone’s genius to make it ‘ingenious’, but with an ‘a ha’, we also have to recognize it feels to them like it’s their baby. And sometimes what we learn when we bring that idea out into the world is that it isn’t needed, or won’t be successful in the way it was originally envisioned.

We did a quick exercise looking at all of our ‘a ha’ clients from PinPoint’s past, and of those, almost 47% of the ‘a ha’ ideas we’ve worked on would have failed if executed before listening to their audience. It’s never easy to tell someone their baby won’t thrive, but we’d be worse partners if we pretended it would and watch it flounder later. That being said, of the almost 47% we had to confront with not-so-great information, all of them did something about it and refined their offering so that 100% of them have come out the other side with revenue, impact and sales growth. Oh the ups and downs of an ‘a ha’…

What We Love About an ‘Oh No’

We’ve seen a lot of ‘oh no’s, especially since March of 2020. Everything from companies coming to us because of a drastic loss in sales to others fearing the end is near, or, like in the case of our latest work with Carbon Arc, knowing they were missing opportunities to better serve and connect with the community, but not knowing how.

We get it, no one wants to label themselves in an ‘oh no’ moment, especially when it comes to business, but sometimes this is the most exciting and pivotal moment for a company. Truth be told, if we could wave a magic wand and grant every business owner/manager a life without ‘oh no’s, we wouldn’t

What we love about an ‘oh no’, for better or worse, is that when in that dark business cloud appears, there’s not only a desire for change, but a need for change. We did another quick exercise looking at all of our ‘oh no’ clients over the years and 95% of them landed in that dark spot because they became too insular – looking inside the business for answers instead of out. When we show up and flip the whole process on its head by going outside the business to find solutions, more often than not our ‘oh no’ clients are the most eager to jump with us. And truth be told, who doesn’t love it when you get a new friend to dive into your favorite process in the world with!? 

In that 92% of ‘oh no’ clients we’ve helped look outside their comfort zone, 100% of them come out the other side with more loyalty, more customers or more sales. And that’s why we love an ‘oh no’ moment, there is power in recognizing the reality of where you are at that very moment, and being brave enough to shift it.

What’s Your Favorite?

So now we’re going to be that inquisitive student and ask the question right back to you – between an ‘a ha’ and an ‘oh no’, what do you prefer? Maybe you experienced it either in business, maybe in life, maybe while crafting your own set of Bernie Sanders’s inauguration-day mittens during Covid. Wherever you were, whatever you were doing, we want to hear from you because the more we know, the more we grow (yep, we’re that cheesy) – grab a coffee and let’s chat!

The term ‘CleanTok’ and ‘cleanfluencer’ has exploded in 2022 – expanding our perspectives on what it means to be clean in a post-pandemic lifestyle.

New cleaning routines are going above and beyond stain-removing tips and instead focusing on the long term life of beloved furniture and objects.

With more people than ever saying they ‘enjoy cleaning’ (shocking, we know), this mini trend explores how we might lean into these evolved behaviors and develop meaningful, stress-relieving habits that connect mind & home.

Check out this post on Instagram.

Why we use quantitative research and what it even means.

For those of you who have worked with us, or talked with us, or maybe just follow us on Instagram, you probably know we’re fans of data. We love a good number, we are inspired by stats and we find facts, well, fascinating. But truth be told, we weren’t always this way.

Back in the day, we were solely ethnographic researchers meaning we listened not to numbers, but to people. Don’t worry, we absolutely still listen to people, but when that was our only means for research, we found ourselves in a guessing game wondering if we were even talking to the right people. In the pre-PinPoint days, we would sit around a table and make assumptions about who we thought our client’s audience was. 

The thing is, sometimes our guestimates were spot on, but there were many other times when they were not. One in particular stands out – a restaurant chain who was looking to better understand their guests in order to evolve their menu, their service and of course grow their ROI. Problem was, when researchers & leadership guestimated their target audience to be ‘middle-aged families’ who they claimed to see most often in their restaurant, the research resulted in less than enticing results with little-to-no actionable steps. What was completely missed were the customers not seen inside their walls – those who ordered online and even more so, those who weren’t even customers yet!

Seeing that misalignment over and over got us thinking there had to be a better way to recruit research participants for qualitative insights. We were fortunate enough to work alongside a data analytics company previous to PinPoint who taught us the power of numbers. That experience led us to define our own PinPoint process where we now start every project with quantitative data (aka. the numbers – % of demographics, $X spent) to guide our qualitative insights (aka. why are they spending $X and what were the decisions that led to it).

Now, we’re not the Neilsen’s or McKinsey’s of the world, nor will we ever claim to be. And quite honestly, we don’t intend to work with the companies who can afford those large dollar partners (we’re pretty over making the Fortunes more fortunes!). So while we’re not the specific individuals out there doing deep data scrubs of credit card purchases or internet usage or census results, we do have access to elements of those scrubs and with that access comes a heck of a lot more knowledge than we ever used to have. 

Our data spans from dollars spent by zip code to generational preferences to industry-specific purchasing behaviors. This is the type of data that allows us to paint a much more intelligent picture of current & future customers – a recipe card per say for recruiting people to tell us what the numbers don’t say (aka. what is provoking 41% of adults aged 30-59 to increase the number of days they drank heavily in 2021 – lots to unpack there!).

At the end of the day, our goal is to give companies who care enough about their community access to that community. We intend to leave this world a more equitable place than the way we found it. Our belief is: through data we become more informed – creating understanding and empathy, and with empathy comes change. That is what drives us and what led us to our Pin Process – guaranteeing a deeper, more factual, more empathic understanding of who you serve and how to serve them better… without the unattainable price tag! 

On a mission to better serve your community? Ever wondered how to find the right people to talk to before making a big investment? Just want to hear more absurd facts like ‘more than 80% of gamers eat while playing’? We got your back – grab a coffee and let’s chat.​​

Just about a year ago, we talked about the ’Shecession’ and Covid’s disproportionate impact on women – especially Black, Brown and young.

Well, friends, we hate to say it but not a whole lot has changed. And if the past year has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t wait around for the big guys to make it happen.

To date, the women’s movement has celebrated female power, strength and resilience, but in a world that continues to thicken around us, a new wave of women are choosing to connect with their femininity in novel and more intimate ways.

This mini trend explores the continued implications of the pandemic on women and how small actions can make big impact.

Check out this post on Instagram.

Reflecting on our purpose

The end of one year and the start of the next is always a prime moment for reflection. I know you’re going to be shocked when we say this, but we were no exception to the reflection jam! During the last three weeks, we took some serious time to look back on our Founders story, why we started PinPoint in the first place, how our work to date laddered up to that vision, and began projecting on how to more thoughtfully execute our purpose in our everyday actions.

Since there are a few new faces in the crowd, here’s a brief review of how PinPoint came to be:

Faith – an actor who spent more than half of her life “walking in other people’s shoes”- ran into Stacy – a recovering architect wanting to design for people over ego – at one of the most prominent human-centered research & design agencies in Chicago. Together, they followed each other around for upwards of ten years until they realized they could – and should – do more than grow the fortunes of Fortune 500s. 

As Faith describes it, they locked themselves in a room only allowing themselves to apply human-centered design methods TO the human-centered design field until…. TADA! PinPoint was born. And with it came a new purpose. By (their) definition, human-centered design is the process of listening so deeply to the people you are creating for, that you have no other choice than to design with empathy vs. ego. That’s what PinPoint was made for – as a means to approach people as individuals and incorporate underrepresented voices into the design process so their context and needs could directly influence businesses that cared to listen.

Fast forward, PinPoint is nearly 3.5 years old and during this time of reflection as 2022 kicks itself off, we once again locked ourselves in a room (this time, it was a magical cabin in the woods of Wisconsin with our business coach) and took a long, hard look at ourselves in the mirror. What we learned was that since PinPoint’s initial days, we had both honed our purpose, but also steered away from it. We let ourselves get excited by some shiny objects that didn’t necessarily align with our ‘why’. And at the same time, we have found dynamic words to finally articulate what our ‘why’ is. 

Perhaps the greatest gift coming out of that blustery cold cabin was finally writing on paper PinPoint’s purpose and values. No longer are they strewing about in our heads, but rather they are the north stars our co-founders, our team, our clients and even our research participants can strive for. We promise over this next year to share all of our values with you in detail, but until then we’ll leave you with our purpose. 

We, PinPoint, are on a mission to create more inclusive communities.
And we promise to shape a better future with great research that incorporates underrepresented voices who deserve to be heard.

We hope you share that mission. We hope you signed up to receive these tidbits because of that. And we also hope you find your own purpose and values that drive you day in and day out. Whether or not you share ours, know someone who does, or need help to define your own, we’re always down for a coffee talk. We hope you join us.