Outside In Perspective (Series 5/5)

The 3 B’s of Going Global: Beliefs, Behaviors, Benefits

Beliefs and behaviors are the hard part. Behavior can get to beliefs, which is cultural. – Brad White, Partner, Prophet, formerly (r)evolution

This is the last of the series “Something Innovative happened at KO HQ this Thursday”

Operating Globally? First, understand the point of view (aka needs) of consumers and then the shareholders’ point of view. The two are linked, products cannot have market success without both needs met.

It seemed all Summit speakers spoke of their successes by going into the global markets first to learn and only then to sell product. I heard loud and clear that if you spend time living in the consumers’ shoes you begin the journey into ethnography, the process by which product teams learn as consumers articulate what they need, and this drives everything else.  Isn’t this hard, expensive, time consuming? What does this have to do with Agile development process?

Everything. It’s tied closely to MVP.


Beliefs are formed from the past, what one has experienced and they are hard to change. Beliefs are cultural and not homogeneous, tending to be regional. Beliefs drive behavior, are the basis for everyday decisions, but determining the “beliefs behind the behavior” is very difficult.


While it appears second on the list, behaviors are what we study first. Behaviors can get you to underlying beliefs because they are seen and can be evaluated. Start with watching your new target’s behaviors and begin to tease out the belief systems. Be aware that we tend to apply our own deeply held assumptions to why another is behaving. This will not provide good information because behaviors are beliefs in action and beliefs are cultural bound. Be honest about your outcomes, avoid stereotyping.


The prize for all this research is understanding the new consumers and their unique needs in order to provide products and services they want and will buy.

>>An iterative process, requiring openness to forgetting all you “knew” to accepting all the “new.” <<

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