Looking for empathy

April 10, 2017

At the Swedish Informed Consumer study launch event, the talented anthropologist Erika Tanos asked us to close our eyes and imagine the people she was describing. She asked us to imagine what they might look like, how they might have decorated their homes and how they might relate to people around them. Even though we had our eyes closed it was an eye-opening experience for many. The people Erika talked about felt real and close. It felt like we would have been there in their homes with Erika.

This is a great example why we here at Kuudes emphasise empathy in everything we do.
Without empathy, i.e. the capacity to feel what others feel and see what others see, our work becomes shallow. Without empathy, we are constrained by our own beliefs and values. That is why we want to keep on learning to understand consumers. We want to know how they live their everyday life, what brings them joy and what is important to them. The best way to understand them is meeting them in person – and being empathetic.

Through our extensive studies in Finland and Sweden, we have learnt to see beyond our own “bubble” and understand people from different backgrounds and starting points. We have seen so many different houses, met so many different people and heard so many different stories. We have learnt that you can never know who’s going to open the door. By visiting several different homes, we have started to understand different people; their values as well as their attitudes and motives that drive their everyday consumption choices. This has given us the knowledge to design credible concepts, fascinating brands and appealing packages for different people. The same concept doesn’t work for all and that is okay. We understand that people are not motivated by the same things.

It is good to step in someone else’s shoes for a while. Good for business and good for us as humans.


Roosa Luukkanen, Junior Insight Specialist, Kuudes Helsinki