What Can Butter Teach Us About Meeting Customer Needs With New Product Research?
Meanwhile, Lillian Gilbreth (AKA “The Mother of Ergonomics”) decided to take an ethnographic approach.
“We need to go into their homes to fully understand this.” While there, Lillian began to notice a trend. She observed sticks of butter on countertops. She asked the homemakers why they weren’t being refrigerated, and got to the real issue.
Women were storing a stick of butter on the countertop so that it would be soft enough to spread without damaging their bread.
But, there was a compromise – they were concerned about the safety and spoilage of the butter, so they would throw it away after a few days, concerned that it would make their family sick.