\ \ Voltar

Step into their shoes – our Empathy-Based research Playbook

This article is part of our series on Empathy- based Research.
You can view the full series or download the report.

Download Report


Empathy is a remarkable human ability. It allows us to step imaginatively into the shoes of another person. And in doing so, empathy provides us with emotional insight into how it feels to be someone else. Ultimately, empathy turns data into insight, and the good news is we have written a playbook to help you do it!

Click here to download your copy of the playbook now


Empathy is our ability to see and feel things from someone else’s perspective. It’s an interpersonal skill that produces emotional insight into what it feels like to be someone else.

Psychologists believe empathy depends on two things, working together. Firstly, our automatic tendency to mirror the emotions of others. And secondly, our cognitive ability to see the world from their point of view.


The big news – empathy is the #1 prerequisite for innovation success. This is suggested by a Nielsen analysis of 61,000 SKUs representing more than 12,000 new launches since 2011. The study found that the No 1 rule for successful innovation is “walking in the shoes of the consumer to uncover key demand-driven insights”. An important stat when you consider 3 in 4 consumer product launches fail within a year.

Yet, despite this, most businesses have a severe empathy deficit, with only 30% of marketers proficient in seeing things from someone else’s perspective. The empathy deficit means that while 80% of brand executives believe their brand offers the best experience, only 8% of their consumers agree! And this is a costly mistake. $300m and an average loss of 69 NPS is the typical annual cost of the deficit to global brands – as they struggle to understand and address consumer needs, experiences and expectations.


As innovation and research become increasingly dominated by quantitative data analytics and algorithms, market researchers need empathy more than ever to see the humans behind the numbers. So, we’ve put together this playbook of practical empathy-based activities to help you research and innovate better from a consumer perspective.

Although some people are naturally more empathic than others, empathy is a skill that can be trained and improved in all.

This research playbook will show you how to use empathy to generate consumer insight and promote consumer closeness. It contains a set of 5 practical activities, called “plays”, which activate empathy by promoting perspective-taking and emotional mirroring. In doing so, these plays generate emotional insight by helping you understand people’s feelings and motivations. The plays themselves are taken from the worlds of psychology, design, therapy, medicine and investigative journalism, where empathy-based research has long been used for insight generation.

Although this research playbook is intended primarily for researchers, empathy techniques can be used by anyone in your organisation for insight generation. And beyond the world of work, these techniques can help you better understand the emotional world of the people you care about. So, wherever and whenever you need emotional insight, whether it’s with consumers, colleagues, stakeholders, experts, partners or your loved ones, this empathy-based research playbook will show you how to do it.

Click here to download your copy of the playbook now

If you want to be a more empathic business and introduce human-first insight and innovation – Brand Genetics can help. Get in touch today to find out more!

Quer acompanhar o que estamos fazendo?

Quer acompanhar o que estamos fazendo?