We love us some research quotes! A few of our favorites from a round of interviews unpacking what #dei should mean within #sports and #entertainment.

If your organization is looking to listen to your audience – we’re here for you! Reach out and let’s grab a coffee.

The What, Why & How of Pins

As we kick off this new year, recognizing the many new faces reading our tidbits than just a year ago, we thought it would be a great time to re-highlight our ‘Pins’. Where did they come from? What the heck are they? And ultimately how do they define PinPoint’s business today? So many questions, lots of answers.

“Where did Pins come from?”

We’re going back to the B.C. days (Before Covid). It’s 2018. Design Thinking has been around for nearly 50 years and yet, it’s still a fairly nebulous process. Faith and Stacy found themselves at the tail end of starting an in-house design thinking team for one of the world’s largest food providers in sports & entertainment – the joint venture they pursued following their time together at an innovation consultancy in Chicago.

As Faith describes it, the two locked themselves in a room and by the end of the day, had a business, a model, a name and (at least the start of!) a logo. It was officially the day ‘Pins’ were born. However, our founders don’t pride themselves on how fast they created Pins, but rather why they did. The notion of Pins came as fast as it did because (novel idea) Faith and Stacy applied design thinking to design thinking. They unpacked the many pain points businesses had with the design thinking processes of their past – from cost of entry to the ambiguous outputs that ended up attracting dust in a desk drawer.

Pins were created to be design thinking modules – each a bite size process with a distinct and actionable output – that businesses could dip their toe into and, overtime, string together for either a specific project need or longer term partnership. Spoiler alert – Pins disrupted in ways even our founders couldn’t have imagined at the time. 

“Cool cool… but really, what is a Pin?”

Pins are the simplest way for companies to show up for their audience – we mean deeply, empathically, authentically show up. In today’s society, it is no longer enough for executives to sit around a boardroom making decisions based on what they ‘THINK people want.’ When PinPoint was founded, Pins were thought of as a way to advance design thinking into what we call Equity-Centered Innovation (more on that here!). In its simplest terms, Pins enable representation of underrepresented audiences by incorporating their voices into the design process, allowing their voices, context, and needs to directly influence goals and outcomes that they ACTUALLY need.  

So with that being said, think of a Pin as a square. Within that square is one singular equity-centered process (ie. one-on-one qualitative interviews) with a singular output. On its own, a Pin provides concrete insight. However, when strung together with other Pins, they work together to create valuable equity-centered strategies and human-centered designs. For a specific project, it may take anywhere from 2-8 Pins based on the need. And for year round support, it may look like 1-2 Pins/m for consistent and iterative innovation.

We designed 12 unique Pins, each a specific process with its own actionable output, that fall into four categories: 

  1. Quantitative Research where we unpack an audience’s demographics, their psychographics, and an industry’s competitive landscape
  2. Qualitative Research where we walk in the shoes of that audience to uncover the ‘why’ behind those numbers and the reasoning for behaviors
  3. Innovation Worksessions where we bring industry experts around the table to learn from, ideate & prototype with
  4. Design Strategy where we concept equity-centered business models, brands spaces, products, and digital tools with a reason behind every design decision 

Our only requirement is that at least one Quant, Qual or Worksession Pin be complete before kicking off a Design Pin. Why? Because without equity-centered data or research to drive decision making, you’re just another person in the room with an unconsciously biased opinion. 

“So how long does it take to complete a Pin? And how many do you do?”

Through years of experimenting, tweaking, and refining, our Pins have allowed us to innovate how we resource our team. Nearly to a science (with some art thrown in there), we’ve designed each Pin to take 1-month to complete. What that means is that we can fill our team roster with a mix of full time and, what we like to call, flex time Research Strategists. A full time Strategist will work on three pins simultaneously, while a flex time Strategist might work on one or two pins in a given month. 

Why is this important to us? Because more lived experiences on our team means more diverse perspectives in our work. Pins have allowed us to hire new moms, educators, and industry leaders looking to challenge themselves in ways a typical 9 to 5 wouldn’t allow. This diversity in lifestyle has led to deeper empathy within our team and within our work – while also disrupting the hiring model and giving opportunity to brilliant minds who need their brilliance shared with the world.

The last piece to the internal puzzle is the Pin Pipeline. When Faith & Stacy started PinPoint, they were determined not to let profit drive the business. Profit-able, of course, but money above impact was not an option. Over the years, we have experimented with 3, 5, 8, up to 10 Pins running concurrently before finding our sweet spot for 2023. This year, our Pin Pipeline may be condensing to 6-Pins per month, but it means the quality of our outputs and the level of our impacts will match what our team and our change makers deserve.

“What does it take to snag a few of those Pins?” 

1. Be a change maker! 2. Commit to not only listening, but evolving based on what your audience has to say and 3. Reach out! Since limiting our Pipeline for 2023, Q1 filled up in a heartbeat, but we are committed to making sure the rest of our 2023 project roster, like our team roster, remains varied and diverse. We wholeheartedly believe equity-centered innovation happens not when we isolate within a single industry but when we cross-pollinate learnings from one industry to another. 

So whether you are developing a new makeup line or reinventing your healthcare brand or building a new office space – let us know! We want nothing more than for our Pins to expand our collective knowledge, together. Here’s to creating a better future from pain point to PIN points.

The way GenZ consumes content has changed the game and the content itself is changing societies. Yet, organizations are behind the curve and not showing up in ways that matter most.

We believe data like this only helps us better understand behaviors of people, and from that understanding, shore up in ways that make a positive impact for those people.

If your organization is looking to define company values – we’re here to help! Reach out and let’s grab a coffee.

This year, PinPoint decided to change things up. Instead of sending PinPoint swag out into the world, where it might likely end up in a drawer or landfill, we knew we could do better. We started PinPoint to make a positive impact in the world and it’s because of our friends, our family and the change makers who choose to work with us that we are able to do that day in and day out.

So this year, we chose to donate $2,022 towards non-profit communities that matter to the communities who make PinPoint… well PinPoint! On Monday, December 19th, we asked our community to tag a non-profit that mattered to them on our Instagram. The response was overwhelming! By the end of the day, we had 29 organizations tagged and we were able to divide the $2,022 pool amongst – donating on behalf of the person who tagged + PinPoint.

Some of the organizations are also near and dear to PinPoint, but there were many others we are learning about for the first time and beyond grateful for! Below is the list of all the non-profits PinPoint contributed to for our 2022 holiday gift. We hope you take a minute to parse through each organization – we hope you, too, are amazed by the contributions these non-profits are making in the world.

Art for All Homes – We bring original art to everyone regardless of resources.
Betsy’s Blankets – We collect new blankets and bedding to provide warmth to those who need it most.
Birth Center Equity – Growing and sustaining community birth infrastructures to improve maternal health outcomes in our communities.
Birth Detroit – Midwifing safe, quality, loving care through pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
Camp Young Judaea Midwest – Our beautiful lakefront facility in central Wisconsin provides the opportunity to explore, take on new challenges and make friendships that last a lifetime.
Chicago Abortion Fund – We fund abortion & build power in Illinois and the Midwest.
Chicago Fair Trade – Fair trade is an alternative business model that focuses on the triple bottom line: people, the planet, and profits.
City of Refuge Chicago – We exist to bring light, hope, and transformation to individuals and families on the west side of Chicago.
CO/LAB Theater Group – We are a nonprofit that provides individuals with developmental disabilities a creative & social outlet through theater arts.
Culinary Care – We’re using the power of food and compassion to help people survive cancer.
DAIS (Domestic Abuse Intervention Services) – We empower those affected by domestic violence and advocate for social change through support, education, and outreach.
Digs With Dignity – We elevate the lives of those transitioning from homelessness in Chicago by providing them with a comfortable, dignified home.
Equality Illinois – Equality Illinois is the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy organization.
Feeding America – We are a network of 200+ food banks, on a mission to #EndHunger in communities nationwide.
Feeding People Through Plants – Feeding people with hope, human connection, and empowerment, one orange ⛺️ at a time.
Girls on the Run – We support the next generation of women using the power of play! Our programs nurture the physical and social-emotional health of girls in 3rd-8th.
Kheprw Institute – We are a community organization focused on youth empowerment and building community wealth.
Mercy Home for Boys & Girls – Help us end the cycle of abuse and poverty.
Midwest Young Artists Conservatory – Building a home with the power of music since 1993! 🎶❤️🎻 Orchestra, chamber, jazz, choral & early childhood education.
National Birth Equity Collab – Optimizing Black maternal, infant, sexual, & reproductive wellbeing.
National Network of Abortion Funds – Grassroots network building power to remove financial, logistical, cultural & political barriers to abortion.
Natural Resources Defense Council – We work to safeguard the earth – its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.
NIVA – NIVA’s mission is to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent venues and promoters throughout the US.
Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance – We are the largest global organization advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families.
Rogers Park Business Alliance – We cultivate and sustain a thriving economic environment in Rogers Park, serving businesses and residents.
SAGE – We are the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ elders.
True Trauma Center – We increase access to affordable trauma-focused, evidence-based therapy, and prevention.
World Central Kitchen – WCK is first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises.
Young New Yorkers – Transforming the criminal legal system through the creative voices of young New Yorkers.

Thank you to all the people in our network for joining in on this year’s gift to the world. We appreciate you & cannot wait to see what this year brings, together. Cheers to a successful 2022 and an even more impactful 2023!

We share these data points 1. because they are important to understanding humans, but 2. because it’s PinPoint’s mission to turn these data points into action and help companies do something with it.

If your organization is looking to learn more from GenZ – there are many more facts where these came from! Reach out and let’s grab a coffee.

According to the UN, by 2025 one in six people in the world will be over the age of 65, up from one in 11 in 2019. As our global population lives longer than ever, the World Economic Forum has proclaimed aging well a ‘lifelong healthcare priority’. 

As we live longer, it opens up new opportunities, challenges and ways of thinking about health. When we look at the economics, GenXers have a reported $2.4trillion in spending power in the US and Boomers account for 70% of household wealth at $28.6trillion.

This mini trend leans into what ‘aging well’ will mean and how we as consumers and businesses can show up for this consumer in both a thoughtful and meaningful way. If your organization is looking to learn more about these age groups – there are many more facts where these came from! Reach out and let’s grab a coffee.

Check out this post on Instagram.

For Giving Us The Best Year of our Lives

Is it just us, or did 2022 fly by at hyper speed!? It’s hard to believe we’re entering the last month of the year, and of course that means time for reflection. About this time every year, we start to look back on the people, the projects, and the changemakers we are so fortunate to learn from and evolve with. This year is no different… well, we take that back. It was different in that this year, we worked on more projects and more clients that align with PinPoint’s values than ever before. And for that, we are so proud.

So we thought we would take a brief pause in our normal programming to share who some of those changemaker clients have been and why their work has made such an impact. To all of our clients – thank you for caring enough about your audience or your internal teams to listen to their needs and make changes for the better.


The Ah-Ha: Brilliantly Warm was originally designed for women post-mastectomy as a way to help regulate body temperature discreetly. Our original research in 2021 not only validated its benefit with these women, but shed light on its ability to impact women in other life stages, especially new mothers.

The Impact: 92% of new moms struggle with breastfeeding just three days after giving birth. And one of the most common pieces of advice is to stand under a hot shower for several minutes. Sure sure, you know what’s nearly impossible as a new mom – taking a several minute long hot shower in the middle of the day while you’re out running errands with your newborn (or so we learned!). So what’s next? Co-creating an evolution of Brilliantly’s product to best support new mom’s differently than post-mastectomy women. Grateful to Founder Kristen and her team for paying attention to the evolving needs of women and evolving the FemTech landscape.


The Ah-Ha: Trust20 came on the market to give restaurant owners and their workers a more inclusive and intuitive training process on the topics they need most (and by law!). But Trust20 also saw an opportunity to deliver content that would make an impact in the restaurant go-ers lives, too – especially those suffering from food allergies.

The Impact: 32 million Americans, or 1 in 10 adults, have food allergies. And it turns out, the majority of them find eating out especially challenging – that’s a lot of people! We did what we do best and started listening. We walked in their shoes as a restaurant guest, understanding what it really takes to select a restaurant, communicate with staff, and manage their allergies on site. Fun fact – it’s not fun. But our learnings directly helped Trust20 develop a new training process using real life examples and tools for restaurants to build confidence with guests before they even arrive at the hostess stand.


The Ah-Ha: As many companies found a need to evolve their organization in a post-Covid reality, Airbnb’s Environments Team did as well. Their team’s unique skill set as architects, strategists and hospitality leaders meant they had the ability to show up for the company in a way it never had prior and support internal departments with needs that, three years ago, didn’t exist.

The Impact: In a company of 6,000+ employees, The Environments Team did what many leaders and organizations ought to – they decided to listen to those employees. And trust us, it’s not easy to approach your co-workers and ask them what you could be/should be doing better without some level of politeness or politics getting in the way – so we were fortunate to do it for them. Through those internal interviews, we identified a new sweet spot for the team that 1. aligns with Airbnb’s future vision, 2. supports several tangential teams and 3. enables their own team to do the work they love. Which, as employees continue to seek personal value and purpose in their work – this type of changemaking is needed more than ever.

Ramova Theater

The Ah-Ha: This one hits close to home, literally. An abandoned movie theater sat vacant for decades, disintegrating before the eyes of its Chicago neighbors until Our Revival Chicago and Baum Revision decided to do something about it. What they didn’t want to do was come in and gentrify one of Chicago’s most diverse neighborhoods, but they did want to offer something special to music goers and their neighbors alike.

The Impact: In a metro area with nearly 9 million people, of which 26% are GenZ who make purchases based on how a brand addresses environmental sustainability, inclusion and other social issues, amid a neighborhood with the highest diversity rate – The Ramova had a major opportunity to stand for something different and they knew it. We went out and talked to that 26% to uncover what ‘sustainability’, ‘inclusion’ and ‘society’ meant to them. What came of that research was a brand identity unlike any other music venue in the city of Chicago – one that not just respects, but enables diversity, equity and inclusion internally and out.

To say we are grateful, joyous, and honored to be part of the impacts above would truly be an understatement. There are no words that quite express our team’s appreciation for what these leaders stand for, the impact they are making, and their willingness to include our team in the process. All of our claps go to these clients and the many others in our PinPoint family for being the changemakers you are. Thank you for empowering and encouraging our team to do the same. If you or someone you know is a changemaker like the ones above and are in need of a crew that aligns with your values to make change in the world, please reach out! We can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store.

A study published in the medical journal, The Lancet, found anxiety disorders had increased by 25% globally between January 2020 and 2021 – over 76 million cases recorded across that year. Not surprising as the pandemic combined with high levels of political, economic and environmental uncertainty.

Today, 61% of global consumers are concerned about the world’s outlook and 23% deeply worry about it. Anxiety, stress, and depression are influencing the way we aspire to impact our wellbeing, our care needs and our priorities. 

This mini trend explores the top three anxieties driving new behaviors and the opportunities we as consumers and businesses can take to address these new attitudes for the positive. Have you noticed these anxieties creeping into your own emotions? As a company, have you noticed their impacts on your employees and your customers? Please share – let’s grab a coffee and chat about it! 

Check out this post on Instagram.

So… leaders do something about it

We don’t know about you all, but if we had a dollar for everytime someone mentioned needing to ‘figure out GenZ’ lately, we’d be ready to retire. Obviously, so much to learn about GenZ, but in the process of focusing on the shiny new generation, we seem to have forgotten about others that matter just as much, if not more. Want to know what we haven’t heard someone mention lately – needing to figure out ‘women going through menopause’. And we’re raising the flag that this is something ALL businesses need to be paying more attention to.

Let’s start with some hard facts for all the business leaders out there: “between productivity loss and healthcare costs, menopause’s global economic impact is estimated at over $150 billion annually.” – Quartz

Spark your interest yet? If not, maybe these will:

  • 1 in 5 women have considered leaving their job or retiring early due to lack of support in their menopausal years
  • 79% of women describe working during menopause as ‘challenging’
  • 40% of women report taking time off work due to perimenopause or menopause symptoms
  • 59% of those that took time off felt they needed to hide the reason why 

When we look back on the last decade, companies have made a lot of progress in normalizing pregnancy (although we still remember back to an early employer of ours who pointed nursing moms in the direction of glass enclosed phone booths… they resorted instead to public bathrooms). Today, many companies offer flexible working arrangements for moms-to-be, make the benefits process simple and straightforward, set up designated mother’s rooms, normalize breastfeeding, and even educate employees on the “are you pregnant” question.

All that being said, if we were to run research on whether or not business leaders are currently helping normalize menopause in the workplace, our hypothesis is that the findings would lean heavily ‘not’. And what sucks the most, of these women (55 million in the US to be specific… aka. 20.5% of the entire US workforce), who are forced to experience the data points above, they are quite often the ones taking on the most challenging projects or advancing into top leadership positions at this stage in their careers.

Companies, you have a moment, right now, to do something about this.

Don’t lose these women – perhaps your most valuable women – because facts are facts and there is a decent chance they are feeling unsupported, considering leaving, or even retiring early. So what do you do? Well, the first step is to listen. Every workplace has a culture, defined in great part because of its employees, so give them a seat at the table. Listen to their experience. Give them space to co-create ideas with you. And then put those concepts into action. We’ll help you get started in the brainstorm:

  • How might you ensure women in midlife are included and supported directly through benefit offerings?
  • How might you normalize menopause like we continue to do with pregnancy?
  • How might you treat the whole human during menopause, not just the employee?
  • How might your inclusivity efforts address women in their menopausal years?
  • How might you leverage digital health services to support?

Now we’re curious – have any of you out there looked into supporting midlife women in your workplace or on your teams? Have you implemented strategies to support their menopausal needs? Or maybe you’ve just had the first discussion on the topic (to which, we applaud you!). Please reach out, let us know what you’ve been thinking about, or perhaps haven’t thought about. We at PinPoint are here to support this growing population and normalize their health and their lives in a way that matters. We sure hope you are, too.

What we can learn, and do, from staggering facts

This past September 8th marked Mother’s Equal Pay Day… say what? Well get ready to be even more perplexed. September 8th marks how far into the year mothers must work to earn what fathers did last year alone. Yes, jaw-dropping.

At this point, we all know facts around the gender pay gap (women on average make 83 cents on every dollar a man makes), but that gap widens when a woman is also a mother. On average, mothers make 74 cents to every dollar a man earns. Even more staggering… Black mothers make an average of 52 cents to every dollar compared to white fathers, Native American mothers 50 cents and Latina mothers 46 cents. (Forbes

At PinPoint, we’re all about the data points and unfortunately they keep getting more intense. Those cent per dollar ratios only account for mothers working full time, year round, outside the home. But the reality is, women are still down 427,000 jobs in the labor force compared to pre-pandemic. And those facts above don’t include mothers who lost their jobs or switched to part-time work when schools shut down.

Before the pandemic, Mother’s Equal Pay Day fell on May 5th. In 2022, Mother’s Equal Pay Day fell on September 8th. This. Is. A. ****ing. Problem.

As a company whose entire mission is to bring a voice to underrepresented communities, these facts are what get us up on our worst days. Why? Because it proves working mothers are not being heard and they deserve a seat at the table.

You most often hear us talk about design thinking and equity-centered innovation used to impact customers, but perhaps more important than ever, this type of research and innovation needs to be applied internally, to employees. We feel honored to work with a handful of companies who have already cared enough to take the time and listen to their underrepresented employees (shout out to the American Dental Association, National Restaurant Association, and Byline Bank). And if you’ve read this far, we hope you care enough to do the same.

If so, please take a moment before heading off to enjoy your weekend and read up on some of the few resources we compiled below. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

If you, or anyone you know, is ready to listen to the underrepresented voices on your teams, please share these facts, these resources, and reach out if there is any way we can help you get started down the right path. PinPoint is, and always has been, committed to empowering the voices of those who deserve to be heard. If there’s a chance to support others out there committed to doing the same, sign us up. Let us please change these facts, for the better, together.