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Luc SpeisserA six-year study of thousands of households reveals four shopper shifts. By Luc Speisser. Six years ago, during a work session in our Paris office that led to the creation of a major new research study of shoppers, a prominent American branding pundit told me: "Watch out, if you launch that kind of enormous study, there’s always going to be somebody chosen to write a report. And that somebody may well be you." We both burst out laughing, but he was right. Here I am, six years later, trying to write that daunting report. 

That study began with a simple idea: The best way to understand shoppers is to shadow them, to be like a fly on the wall. On top of this we layered five goals: track families over time, meet them in their homes, observe their social dynamics, consider their actions holistically, and make sense of their contradictions. Although our objectives were clear, we were less certain about how to gather this information. So, my team and I began looking at consumer research programs offered by agencies here in France. Many of them included several of the components we were looking for, but none covered all five. So we began to develop a prototype of our own. continue