Who We Are
ReD Associates is an innovation and strategy consultancy. The anthropologists, sociologists, economists, journalists, and designers who make up ReD employ the methods of social science to study human behavior.
Our teams in Copenhagen and New York work together to develop deep insights into how and why consumers make decisions. We use these insights both to see the world in more compassionate and complex ways—and to identify new opportunities for our clients.
We benefit hugely from having a very international staff: Our diversity of perspectives enables us to ask culturally relevant questions and explore the world in open-ended ways.
In our practice we employ methods and ways of thinking from two domains—social scientific practices from ethnography, market analysis from traditional business practice—to provide clients with clear and comprehensive directions for moving forward.
What We Do
Companies tend to come to us when they’re on the verge on something new. Some are entering a different or emerging area of the market and they’re not sure how to proceed; others simply need a next-gen version of what they already produce.
We know numbers get you only so far. Standard techniques work for standard problems because there’s a clear benefit from being measured and systematic. But when companies are on the verge of something new or uncertain—identifying and understanding changes in customer behavior, revitalizing antiquated products, fixing broken sales models, giving a direction to “innovation,” or rethinking a long-term strategy—those existing formulas aren’t easily applied.
Companies tend to come to us when they’re on the verge of something new.
The technique of “grounded theory” that we have borrowed from social science means that we only create a hypothesis about what the problem is and how to fix it after we spend a lot of time with customers around the world collecting hard facts about their habits, preferences, and feelings. The research helps us draw out insights that resonate commercially—we are experts at making those insights actionable by turning them into business opportunities.
In some cases our work has led to sharp turns in strategy or dramatic internal reorganizations. For others, efforts have focused on targeted or incremental change. But in all cases we use the facts we cull about people to help companies create products, design services, or position themselves strategically.
What To Expect
At ReD, we think about products, services, or processes from the perspective of the people who use them. We look to identify gaps between what people need and what companies offer. Our process is grounded in social science—the study of human nature. We set out to study people’s behavior in an effort to link that behavior to their purchasing habits and to discover what they need or desire as customers. Mucking around in people’s emotions can be a circuitous and messy process—but the end results are concrete and based in science.
On a typical project we start by creating a framework for understanding the problem (falling market share) or goal (creating new products). Then we head out to do fieldwork with consumers around the world—meeting them in their homes, following them to bars, joining them on shopping trips, interviewing them all the while.
We look at people holistically in their environments
—how they live, what they think and do all day, what their habits are, and how they understand the world. These observations are compiled as scientific data. Once we crunch that data patterns emerge. We then build a theory around those patterns and test the theory against what’s happening in the marketplace. Finally we deliver what we call “insights” to explain what we learned from our research and analysis. Then we marry those insights with actionable suggestions for how to proceed strategically.
Among our deliverables are new or more targeted value propositions, a plan for implementing innovation processes from a practical and long-term perspective, prototypes or guidelines for new products or services, strategies for targeting gaps in a market or sharpening customer segmentation, and guidance in improving the success of M&As, and a blueprint for evolving and blending digital strategies with traditional ones.