March 20, 2020
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The Hive: Still the Right Time for Real Time

Almost 13 years ago, we built The Hive platform to help us understand teenagers. Now, The Hive is nearly a teenager itself.

The Hive was hatched when few of us had teenage kids—and none of us were cool enough to know what teenagers really wanted. Many of us didn’t know what social media was (or would become). But we knew that if we could get teenagers online, they would likely tell us more than if we rounded them up into focus groups.

Online research was in its infancy. Facebook was still on-campus and invite-only. A loaf of bread cost… no, I won’t do that to you.

But online was where Millennials were living in 2007.

So, we built The Hive. We built it to get deeper, richer engagement and a more accurate glimpse into consumers’ lives. We built it so we could offer our clients an alternative that eliminated costly business travel. We built it to ensure we could leverage our best strategic and creative thinking without the chaos of backroom, between-focus group revisions. And it worked.

Over the years, we’ve created concepts. We’ve shipped prototypes around the world for product concept fit video reviews. We’ve investigated big ambiguous questions like “how do women define humor?” Whatever we throw at it, The Hive delivers.

Though it was first constructed with teens in mind, The Hive quickly became one of our favorite ways to interact with consumers of all ages. The Hive is comfortable for respondents and it’s a playground for our team. We love crafting clever questions and customized activities that get consumers to reveal insights without even knowing it. They have fun, interact and spend WAY more time online with us than we ever ask them to.

Hivers are the ones that always lead the discussion. They flow to the work and to the assignments, sharing openly and honestly along the way. We give our Hivers tools. They play. They build. They debate. We listen.

Market research methods cycle in and out of favor. Non-conscious measurement! Whites-of-the-eyeballs only! Observational or nothing! But The Hive has endured.

And it is just as effective and critical to our work now as it was then—if not more so.

Today, innovation demands agility and speed. The Hive allows us to confidently adapt. There’s no doubt that it’s still the right time for the real time feedback that The Hive offers.

For the most part, the madness of backroom, between-focus group revisions is a distant memory, replaced by the vibrant co-creation of The Hive. Ideas go up and get a day’s worth of rich feedback. Our strategists, creative teams and client partners listen. We revise and optimize. We put the new ideas back up. We listen once more. And then we do it all again. What was once a fire hose of consumer insights has become a focused collaborative tool with real time iteration.

For nearly 13 years, The Hive has harnessed the passion and openness respondents bring to online interactions. It takes their desire to help, to create, to participate and to be heard… and channels it into co-creation that builds brands and sparks successful innovation.

Give us a buzz to chat more about what The Hive can do for you. We promise; this teenager is easy to love.

Be sure to watch the video below and check out our  infographic and one-pager for more information about The Hive.

Corey Beilstein is a Senior Vice President, Behavior and Research Design at Seed Strategy. He blends research technologies with his background in behavioral sciences and cognitive psychology to decode consumers and unlock breakthrough insights.

Edited by Adam Siegel. In addition to being the Editor of The Accelerator, Adam is VP, Creative at Seed Strategy where he draws upon his diverse experience in advertising, research and innovation to craft breakthrough creative and winning concept copy.

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