Emotional Attachment of Beer

How are you attached to beer? I can put it this way instead: what is it about beer that attracts you?

The emotional factors of any good and service are what initially get us involved. If we choose to stay involved, our emotional attachment has begun to develop. What’s the next level, after initial introduction?

Women of all ages have an emotional attachment to beer.

In studying women and beer (qualitative data research) I can tell you there are as many reasons that women get involved in beer as there are women. And I can tell you that there are clear patterns and habits, trends and paths that are common among women and their engagement with beer. That’s good news for beer focused companies.

Are you one of those companies?

If you are, you likely want to know what your customers think about your beer and your brand, no matter what space you hold in the whole beer schema.

If you don’t know or you don’t think you care – your beer will sell itself – stop reading now and go burn your money. I can’t help you.

If you do care, then I can help you more than you can surmise. And it’s not because I think I know it all.

What I do know is this: Women Enjoy Beer. All sorts of women enjoy all sorts of beer. I help dedicated people in beer oriented companies know why women either do or don’t drink or buy (or both) beer. No one else has taken the time or made the deep dive into the asking of open ended questions to hear and record their replies, like Women Enjoying Beer has.

No one.

We know way more than any other resource out there who states they know women and beer. It’s qualitative data – it’s voluminous, messy and it’s rare any sort of company (beer or data) wants to dig into it, though it’s THE best data you can get hands down. Scan (quantitative data) will never tell the full story. So why do so many beer companies buy and reply on that data? It doesn’t divulge the why, which is the absolute key to knowing what your customer wants from your beer.

I personally have come to love this data – this rabbit-hole style input that can go anywhere; it doesn’t fit a mold – it simply reflects what our customers think, do and how they make decisions. It’s gorgeous and incredibly usefully fascinating for the right people who are willing tot wander through the weeds of this data to get to the gold. And gold there is. Qualitative data is a gold rush of insight; quantitative is the leftover denuded landscape from mining scan data.

General reports and extrapolated documents won’t have the depth of use and long-range collected insight like we have. I can tell you exactly what the emotional attachments and detachments are for women and beer.

Emotional attachment is not a sex oriented concern either. Women don’t get all ga-ga over beer any more or less than men do. Women aren’t any more detached from beer than men are. The crux of the deal is this: Beer is for everyone. Our data confirms this over and over again. Our services educate you on how to really maximize the insight clients get access to when we work together.

Beer isn’t for every women. Nor is beer for every man. It’s for the people who want to engage. The emotional attachment is a specific area of research data we have recorded. It’s rich, deep and extremely useful in the right hands and minds. Call us if you are one of those companies.

How are you emotionally attached to you beer?

How are you emotionally attached to your customers?

Buy the book here.

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The power of getting where you’re going is a milestone.

“Milestones are constructed to provide reference points along the road. This can be used to reassure travelers that the proper path is being followed, and to indicate either distance traveled or the remaining distance to a destination.” – Wikipedia

Where is it you want to go? What do you want to measure? What road are you creating that you’re heading down?

Milestones in beer are infinite. What was the first beer you tasted? What was the first beer you really connected with? Who were you with when you enjoyed a special beer? Where were you? How do all of these experiential milestones factor into your beer life going forward?

A few milestones for me include:

  1. First sips of beer in the company of my parents. Curious, though unremarkable. No big deal.
  2. First beer at college parties. Socially more of a big deal, taste wise – unremarkable to my taste buds.
  3. First taste of a sour or wild beer. Life changing, I loved it.
  4. First brewpub I patronized, though for the vibe & food, not the beer.
What are your milestones? Where do they lead you?

What are your milestones? Where do they lead you?

And so on.

As a researcher of women and beer, I find it interesting to learn about others’ milestones in beer. Finding out what resonates and what is benign. Hearing stories and tales of their experiences.

It places Women Enjoying Beer in a singular space, with an insight library of personal recollections and opinions unique to the entire beer world.

When beer makers, importers, distributors and retailers want to really know the milestones for women and beer, were at the ready to serve. Sharing the information through our services is how we are aiming to complete the milestone of a gender-free beer community. One in which gender is irrelevant (because it is) in relation to beer.

What are your beer milestones?

Beer for everybody. Everybody for beer. That’s a milestone worth aiming for.

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252 Thanks

This morning I sent an email to all 252 Women & Beer Survey responders. The input they provided helped form the foundation of the book, How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer.

Do you know a woman – or are you one – who replied to the survey? Then, thanks.

psst! the book is ready...

psst! the book is ready…

The original survey was 50 questions in length. That’s a good amount of time sitting in front of the computer, entering your thoughts and opinions. See, this survey is qualitative – it’s ‘messy’ data. It’s all opinions, thoughts, ideas, factors in our decision-making. I love every moment of reading and interpreting it as well.

Qualitative date tells us the Why behind the action. It’s a critical, oft neglected part of research. I’ve heard some people who work in various data collecting companies say that gather this kind of data is hard and unwieldy. So? It’s the most important stuff. Only knowing statistics – what has been measured and leaves out the Why – is to leave out a huge part of the picture.

The book was a 7 month intensive investment for me. It forced me to set aside other work & revenue generating activity. I had to think seriously about doing so, since I’m my own business. Everything I do affects the top & bottom lines. I discussed it with my family to ensure I had their support (I did).

It’s with pride that I am now crowing about and carrying around the book to show and sell. Many people have already expressed an interest, several have purchased it. You can buy it here online now and yes, we absolutely ship internationally. Women & beer are everywhere. That’s an easy request to fulfill.

Be in touch when I may be at your service: education, consulting, speaking on women, women & beer, beer & food. Workshops, pro education, media & press requests, and consulting. Book events, both public and private, are happily executed as well. Thanks.

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Wanted: Super Bowl 2015 Beer Ad Research Volunteers

If you’re someone who wants to contribute to progress of gender equity, if you like to speak up and be heard, if you enjoy beer, if you give a damn – here’s an opportunity for you.

Superbowl 2015 Research Project

Pursuit: Gender Equity as it relates to beer marketing and advertising.

CONFIDENTIALITY: All research WEB has ever conducted remains confidential. No identifying factors beyond geographic locale are ever used. Rest assured all reputable researchers work this way.

We’re asking for the following.

  1. Female and male volunteers, must be at least legal drinking age in your country of residence to execute a 3-stage project pre-Super Bowl (2/1/15), day of, and follow-up shortly there after.
  2. Must be honest and both include opinions and suspend judgement – simply examine and report on certain facets. BE VERY SPECIFIC.
  3. Want to complete all three stages of the project, be as specific as possible and return requested insight in a timely fashion.

WEB will use this information in various platforms to educate and inform.

If you’re interested, please go forth as you best choose with the directions below. Thank you in advance for everyone who wishes to jump into this project. Your input matters.

Stage 1

Shop Before the Super Bowl: Head to the retailers, breweries and shops – all places where beer is for sale are fair game. Make notes of the displays, take pictures when you can, record your comments. The following get you started, enhance as you wish.

  • How do you feel about the display?
  • What facts about the beer can you actually get from the display?
  • What’s good about the display/s?
  • What would you change to be more gender balanced?
  • Do these display/s motivate you to buy the beer – or not?
  • What do you like, what don’t you like, what would you change if it were either your store or your beer?
  • What suggestions would you offer the retailer, wholesaler, or brands?
  • What does it make you think about the beer itself?

Please note: Brands, locations, day/time of day, all information you find relevant to the situation.

Write or otherwise record your impressions and thoughts and get them to us: [email protected] when complete.

Please include with your thoughts: Name, gender you identify with, email address you’ll be using, and geographic location (state, province, etc.)

Stage 2

Watch the Super Bowl: Wherever you choose to watch, please note the following and add as you see fit.

  • What beer brands are actually shown during the Super Bowl?
  • If you’re watching pre-game or post game – note them clearly.
  • What messages do you think the TV beer ads during Super Bowl are trying to communicate? How do the ads relate to you?
  • Removing any humor, are they respectful of all genders?
  • Specific comments on gender and the beer ads are desired.
  • Which ads, if any, make you want to buy and consumer the beer they are advertising?
  • Which beer ads do you enjoy and why?
  • Which beer ads do you not enjoy and why?

Please record the impressions about; be as specific as possible. Get them to us at [email protected] immediately following or with all three stages.

Include with your thoughts: Name, gender you identify with, email address you’ll be using, and geographic location (state, province, etc.)

Stage 3

  • Post Super Bowl: Write down your impressions and thoughts about the following, include your additional thoughts and insights as desired.
  • Which beer ads during Super Bowl will or have already affected your beer buying and consuming and how?
  • What brands and brand impressions did they leave you with?
  • What impressions do you have about the companies who make the beers advertised during the Super Bowl?
  • What feedback would you send to beer companies, beer marketers, and beer advertisers as it relates to you, gender and beer based on their ads?

Due Dates: Send each Stage as you complete it if you wish, or send it all as one project when completed. Be sure to include your name, best email to reach you, gender you identify with, and geographic location (states, provinces, etc. + country).

BONUS: Describe your ideal TV beer advertisement.

We would request you reply by February 9th to [email protected] and will start compiling as soon as material starts coming in.

This is a qualitative research study: No close-ended forms or survey formats this time. Simply your unvarnished and honest and professional feedback as you wish to give it. Yes to emotions, no to ranting.

We’ll send everyone who completes the study a small thank you gift if you include a best mailing address to do so. We’re grateful for the insight and will utilize it well.

Thank you very much for the consideration and participation. Have fun with it – share this with as many people as you wish.



What Makes Your Customers Happy?

Do you know this answer? If you do – how many replies are there? How many customers did you ask? Did you only ask existing customer? Did you ask potential customers?

Do this exercise to get invaluable and high value insight you can use:

1. Ask current customers, one person and one questions at a time, what makes them happy in relation to your brand and business. Listen, record, thank, move on.

Ask your customers questions. Listen, thank, reflect, use, move on.

Ask your customers questions. Listen, thank, reflect, use, move on.

2. Ask former customers what made them happy about your brand and why they haven’t been around to it lately. Listen, record, thank. Asking them what it would take to get them to return (or return more often) as appropriate will yield constructive insight.

3. Never argue, only listen. This is not the time for a debate or even a discussion. Respect their time and move on.

4. When you get insight that makes you happily cheer, congrats! There’s clearly a fit of What You’re Doing + What They Want.

5. When you get insight that makes you wonder, congrats! This means the customer is giving you open and honest feedback (you asked after all). Thank them sincerely and then examine the insight to see how, what, when it all fits together.

6. All consumer input is valid if asked for an opinion and they responded.

7. Never assume you know what they’ll say. That’s precisely the reason you’re asking. You’re too close to your brand to be objective. You must ask your patrons.

Most consumer insight has applicability. It’s up to you and your team to revisit your mission and vision and see how the input fits and can be used. Hire a pro to interpret the input, as all data needs interpretation to properly utilize it. From stats to opinions – yes, interpretation is necessary.

Why did you start your business? Why do you work where and with whomever you do? Stay in tune with those original drivers, stay in tune with your customers.

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Shifting Culture With Women And Beer

As you look around your daily life, what do you see?

Do you see good things? Bad things? Things you want to pursue? Things you want to support? Things you want to change?

At Women Enjoying Beer, we’re very thankful that hundreds – ne  thousands – of women have helped us in shifting culture by speaking up about their relationship with beer.

“Relationship with beer?”, you ask? Yes, it’s a relationship. And it goes waaaaay back for some, for others it’s pretty recent. Age has little to do with some facets, and sometimes everything to do with experiences.

We love the research part of our work, which is what in fact drives the whole effort forward. Asking “why” questions like a terrible two year-old (or enlightened genius in the making!) is exactly where examination and progress is made.

So why do we do it? How did I choose this path and what do we actually do? Theses are two very common questions we get.

1. How did I choose this path: I looked around 5 years ago and wondered why more women didn’t enjoy beer. Notice I didn’t say drink. There’s a huge difference in enjoyment and drinking. Enjoyment of beer does not require the drinking of it – it’s about community and opening your mind. Searching for those responses then are the driver ever forward. Why, why, why.

2. What do we do: Lots. It starts with the qualitative research with women. We then utilize that highly valuable insight to shift culture by working with entities of all sorts that know the impact of knowing how to successfully address the worlds largest population: females.

A cross-section of just some of the clients we’ve worked with looks a bit like this (full page and listing coming soon): Universities like CWU; Brands like Lakefront, New Belgium, and Ninkasi; Events like Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, Congreso Cerveza Mexico, TFOB; Institutions like OMSI, SOPTV; Associations like ABL, PEO; Businesses like McQuade, Doll, Maletis; Media like KTVL, Craftbeer.com, NW Travel Magazine.

Why do we do it? Because it’s meaningful work, overdue and fascinating.

Education changes the world for the better. Once we gather the research information, we educate forward. Love and money may come and go, education stays with someone forever.

Women and beer are the two universally existing facets of life in earth. What better way to shift culture than to start with two universally recognizable things.

Gender equitable cultures and societies are more productive, more balanced and better over all for this small planet of ours. We want to be part of that work.

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Beer Flavor Sexism Rant

If you can’t take the truth, then stop reading. If you can take it, be my guest.

Below is a contact I received recently from a brewery in planning.

I’m starting a brewery and want to find a brew or two that is [sic] especially tasty for women. What types of beer tend to be most appealing? Witbiers? Lagers? I hear you have done research and asked questions to women about what kinds of beer they like best. If you have this info, I’d greatly appreciate it!

And it’s perfect to discuss the fact that there is no such thing as a woman’s beer or a man’s beer. I’ll say it once (here):


If you choose to not recognize and understand this and start here, then we’re all doomed to perpetuated bad myths, stereotypes that hold everything back and sexism (both ways) in relation to beer.

Let me be clear – WEB isn’t about gender: it’s about opportunity afforded to all, by all, in a respectful and equal playing field world.


1. Think of flavor as a human pursuit, not a gender oriented one.

2. Appeal is in the tastebuds of the EDUCATED taster.

3. Education is the absolute key to progress. Self education and education provided by brands, distributors, and retailers. Go get it!

4. There are myriad books, journals, and publications (both online and hard copy) to help educate consumers and pros alike.

5. Women Enjoying Beer is a full on business; it’s how the company can afford a living for the team. Never ask a service provider for free work. Yes, we can help anyone who is interested in actually using the qualitative information we gather from women all over the country. And yes, you get to pay for it since it’s one of our products – just like you get to buy a beer if you want to enjoy it.

We ask all sorts of qualitative questions in our research. We’re very unconcerned with what brands and styles women like in a vacuum. Meaning – you have to qualify what styles you make as they relate to your brand, what food you’re serving (if you do) and foods you recommend to pair (which everyone should), where the beer is served, what people are doing/have just done/are going to do/currently doing. There is not, nor will there ever be, a single type of beer for any gender.

WEB has chosen to delve into WHY more women aren’t enjoying beer (and why they do) which is a wonderful Pandora’s box of responses. There’s no such thing as a singular answer, since every aspect is different for everybody. Sure, there are patterns and common threads. About 4 of them.

6. If this was a woman: why would you possibly want to keep the “she-only-likes-this/these-kinds-of-beers” syndrome going?! If this is a man: shame on them for not realizing everyone likes flavor – just like if it is a woman. Of course I know, yet for this argument it’s neither here nor there. It’s unbelievable either way.

The obvious lack of market research is mystifying and appalling (whether done by the founders or hiring someone like WEB). Every brand needs to do research before they open and ongoing while they are open. Period.  I shudder to think of how this person looks at females in general.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Women hold themselves back. Mentality like this, which I’m not saying if it’s male or female, is scary and will only make the next generations suffer in many ways coming up. All genders can do something about it.

Think I’m being too dramatic? You should read some of the super passionate input we’ve received. WOW! Reports based on the 2012 Women + Beer Survey will start coming out soon, available for purchase.

Who’s offended – mildly or outright – at sexist labels? If you’re the one who says “it doesn’t matter to me/pertain to me”, this is an incredibly apathetic and dangerous attitude. Who has these labels in obvious eye-shot of an audience that is uneducated and not versed in soft porn and how damaging it is? No, it’s not that far a leap.

Everyone can do something about killing sexism, starting with beer – whether you consume it, buy it, or neither. This is a terribly ignorant query. Really?!

A much better query would be something along the lines of: When do women enjoy beer? Why do they enjoy the styles they do? Where do they enjoy beer? And so on…. I doubt men would appreciate being forced into categories as well.

As you can tell, this really gets me going. EGADS!!! This should get you going if you have any females in your life you care about.

We have so much distance to still travel for the extinction of sexism in beer to actually die.

Please do your part: start with a genderless flavor conversation. Assume respect for all genders who look at your brand. This is where every brewery will make progress, every consumer gets equal respect and brands will stop using sexist labels.

The best brands want nothing to do with including any kind of gender references and implications, graphics or images on their beer. Beer should be high quality and be sold on its merits – nothing else.

We get asked “what beer brands are bad at sexism?” I always turn the question around and point out examples of the really smart brands that focus on the beer and classy design, which appeals to everyone. FYI – in this case I reference brands like Boulevard. Sierra Nevada, and New Belgium. This facet is one reason they’re so successful. One of these days though I’m going to let ‘er rip and publish a post on poor brand choices.

Until then, I’ll keep breathing and forging ahead. It’s obvious with thinking like this that WEB needs to be around.

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Looking For Focus Group Hosts

Do you have an opinion about beer? Then share it!

Join me as we contribute to the growing pool of knowledge and information of women and beer. WEB is the only company gathering qualitative research on women and their relationship with beer.

Founder Ginger Johnson leads the Focus Groups – guiding a group of women through 10 topic oriented questions.

Focus group at Highland Tap & Burger, Denver CO 2011

Your part: Simply being willing to talk openly and honestly about your relationship to beer, as it pertains to the select topic (which will be revealed at the FG).

Opinionated women eager to talk about their relationship with beer (and of course legal age) can contact me to line up a Focus Group. In person groups can be upwards of 15+, Long distance (Skype) online is capped at 8 women per visibility of screens. There is no cost for these events, you can enjoy a beer of your choosing while we talk, and these are ongoing year round, for the foreseeable future.

Input provided by focus group participants is utilized by Women Enjoying Beer (WEB) to develop and serve the female beer enthusiast. WEB is a ground breaking company that consults, advises, attends and conducts events, offers training & education, writing and speaking expertise to the brewing community to better engage women in beer.

Thanks to previous hosts – contact me to set up your own. Cheers –

Ginger, Founder, Women Enjoying Beer

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Bend Oregon Women + Beer Focus Group Invite 8/18/12

Want to talk about beer?

All women 21+ are welcome to attend a Women + Beer Focus group Saturday 8/18 in Bend, OR – at the Riverbend Park from 10 – 11 am.

Look for me at the Riverbend Park

Ginger Johnson, founder of Women Enjoying Beer, will lead this 1 hour-long conversation about beer (we’ll start promptly at 10 am). All you need to do is show up and be willing to talk about beer.

Within park parameters feel free to bring what you may want to nibble and sip on.
We can take up to 20 women, covering 10 questions based around a single topic.

Why attend: Because women are the worlds most powerful market share AND breweries, distributors, and retailers need to hear how you want to be marketed too. WEB is the only independent company that listens to women and gathers this qualitative research. It’s all designed to shift culture positively – recognizing that women do enjoy beer. Plus every company and organization needs to know how to market to its target.

Come if you can – call Ginger with any questions at 515.450.7757.  See you then & thanks!

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Straight from the Source: Women + Beer

  • “I like the social aspect of meeting people, it’s not necessarily about the beer.”
  • “I like the high it can give.”
  • “I like learning about all the beers and foods together.”
  • “I’m starting to drink beer again so I like the chance to learn about them.”
  • “I like an ice cold beer after a hike.”
  • “I like the carbonation.”
  • “I like how it tastes.”
  • “I like the really dark beers.”
  • ” I didn’t drink beer until I started coming to these events.”

You don't know what women want from beer unless you ask them.

I like, I think, I want, I do, I didn’t…..All of these comments are as fresh as they get: they came from last nights WEB meet up. A room full of women, talking about beer.

Are you doing something like this? Are you offering women’s only events surrounding beer? Talking about beer and food is better than just beer too, by the way.

In the recent lively conversations about women and beer, many ask ‘why should beer be involved in gender discussion’ (to paraphrase)?

I’ll tell you why. Because in this case, women as a gender is the market segment that will help the craft beer community survive and grow, especially in light of the mercurial growth happening right now in the USA.

Ask women what they want, what they like and what they think they want to know about beer. They’ll tell you. And that’s real information anyone who wants to sell or promote beer can use immediately.

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Prohibition Trivia

Linda (SOPTV), Ginger & Kari (SOPTV) "Celebrating Prohibition"

Looking backward at Prohibition and the whole 14 years, plus the 100 leading up and the years following repeal, you can find an over abundance of interesting information.

We’re 3+ months away from celebrating repeal and the 21st Amendment (12/5/33). Do you know what prohibition was really about? (hint: not anti alcohol) Do you know what dynamics really gave it the juice it needed? Do you know why it was repealed?

WEB recently concluded a series of events related to Prohibition and the repeal in conjunction with our local public television station and the pending Ken Burns/Lynn Novik film, Prohibition. It was a perfect collaboration: WEB’s core = education. Public broadcasting = education. Film by Burns and Novick: stellar!

The events were fundraisers attended by community members and supporters of, well, legalized alcohol, the film, and public TV. They were all fun and interesting. WEB dug around (we’re used to research!) and presented period info to the guests. Below are some of the trivia questions we’d ask the audiences.

1. What’s the difference between ‘bootlegging’ and ‘rum running’?

2. What were the methods of smuggling and moving illegal alcohol?

3. What year did Oregon adopt Prohibition?

4. How did breweries survive during prohibition?

Take a shot (not of whiskey!) and these questions and we’ll share the answers tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’d also recommend reading Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer by Maureen Ogle. WEB threw a book launch party when it came out and I have been rereading it as a great read and resource.

The show will debut nationally October 2nd, in a series of 3 consecutive nights. Put it on your calendar. It’s a great way to follow up to the Great American Beer Festival, which also celebrates the modern craft beer landscape.

Cheers to repeal!

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Frequently Asked Question: What Kind Of Beer Do Women Like?


  • What’s womens’ favorite kind/s of beer?
  • What kind of beer do women like/drink?

Read closely. It’s the same answer as any beer enthusiast should give. The favorite is the one in front of them.

WEB gets regular contacts from students in college and grad school, doing projects or papers on beer and women. Some are marketing students, some are in other disciplines. All are curious for free information. Another one rang this week (always happy to get phone calls by the way).

Here’s the deal: Women like beer. Are you getting that?

If you’re any kind of beer business you better start doing something about it now. Some of the coming changes in the world are for the worse and now is absolutely the time to be earning female beer market share with a solid marketing plan; not after the schmidt hits the flan.

Why market beer differently to women? Because (and watch the sarcasm here) they’re different than men consumers. You don’t market tampons to men and you don’t try to sell elder care to teenagers.

Identify who your market target is, do some research on their beer and buying habits (this is critical) and then start developing a plan. Put a time value on plan development and then start.

All effective plans need maintenance and revisitation. Work that into the plan so you can nimbly adjust as need be. I guarantee there will be surprises, good and not so hot.

What kind of beer women likes depends on everything. Find out what those ‘everythings’ are.

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Focused Group

One of the best resources I have come across, and then promptly devoured, was this book. Judy Langer is an extremely accomplished and still seemingly very excited researcher.

Her book helped me understand what I needed to understand to conduct proper research. It’s a tome for qualitative research.

Like Judy, I highly enjoy the research part of Women Enjoying Beer. And quite frankly I was surprised with how engrossing it is. Interesting people who want to talk and share and ponder, tons of eye opening insights, lots of repeat ideas (which is good = trends, patterns), and in general interesting psychology.

The reward is even greater for all parties since you’ve done well by the subjects and the clients.

It should be productive fun – this book helps make it so for me.

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