How SEEDATA finds jobs to be done through ethnographic research and collecting insight from TRIBE report

As we mentioned in the previous blogs, ethnography made by SEEDATA values “insight” and “job(jobs to be done)”. However, in order to answer why this ethnography is able to find jobs that are needed to be done, we must define what is meant by a “Tribe” and how one can gather insights from them. Furthermore, it is necessary to understand how insight can affect an ethnography.  


This time we interviewed Mr. Miyai, the representative of SEEDATA to further examine the relationship between “insight” and “job”. 


Tribe = People who already have values/behaviors that are likely to be generalized in the next several years


Please tell me what was the reasoning behind creating a “tribe”


Mr. Miyai: “I had an unusual career when I was working for Hakuhodo, where my job was not simply to make advertisements, but rather specialized in helping my clients with the stages before which includes product development and constructing brand design. Hence, I always had a focus on creating products or service that can further enhance a company’s branding. 

As a method, we incorporated the concept of lead user method which is being the most advanced in a certain genre. Giving an example, if you want to develop a stethoscope (a medical device), a user who is already facing a problem that someone can face three to five years later is called a lead user. In this case, the doctors/physicians are also contributing as a lead user where they are making advanced efforts. Normally, this method can be applied to innovate product and/or service in a B-to-B setting when testing with prototypes.”

More specifically, how do you define a lead user?

Mr. Miyai: “There are two types of lead users, first being the ones who are currently facing a need that will most likely to be generalized in a few years. The other type is the people who have overcome those needs by themselves. To illustrate, it's one of those people who has voluntarily made changes of a Linux to an OS a few years back.

However, there are some restrictions to a lead user method where it can only be applied in limited fields and is difficult to utilize unless clearly know who the lead user is in the situation. 

On the other hand, in the advertisement industry that I used to work, we valued insight or how you deliver meaning to the product. In general, the lead user method tends to focus on the development/elaboration of product functions. Thus in some cases, there are little details to the process of deriving the insight. 

So even if we applied the lead user method, there were limitations to developing these insights because it differed from the duties of supporting product development as an advertising agency. 

Therefore, I decided to think out of the normal definition of a lead user being "someone who customizes by themselves". Instead, understanding the insight of "how you deliver meaning to a product" was more important because you advise clients about the ways of delivering meaning to their service/product.”  

Is that when the term “tribe” arrived? 

Mr. Miyai: “I thought that if you interview and research people who embody values and behaviors that will likely to be generalized in the next several years, it can help various companies. Hence, the creation of a “tribe” was made by applying parts from the lead user method. 

When researching tribes, you can understand the value of those people. Because values are a matter of mind, if you can create an insight into what kind of meaning or value the product provokes to their users, that insight can be applied to any industry. 

As a company that works with clients from various industries from real estate to manufacturers, we keep account of many tribe reports because we value the insights of consumers and their diverse lifestyles.”