ELC, Stereotype Content Model, Flyover Politics, & Redefined Success
Welcome to Perspicacity, a weekly newsletter by Kurt Reckziegel about insights & how they're derived. If you haven’t subscribed, please do!
Perspicacity noun /pur-spi-kas-i-tee/
🔮 the quality of having a ready insight into things; shrewdness.
Every week, we toss a few questions over to someone in the insights community to get their perspective on the world of research.
This week we welcome Paige Reckziegel who is Director of Insights & Brand Growth Intelligence at Estee Lauder Companies (ELC), supporting their recent acquisition, DECIEM.
Read on as Paige talks about empathy, divulges her secret source for beauty insights, and wonders about reality TV as catharsis.
In today’s issue, you’ll also read about:
🧠 Stereotype Content Model
🧰 Flyover Politics
💥 Redefined Success
💡 Inside Insights
Perspicacity: Who are you, what do you do, and how did you get there?
Paige Reckziegel: Hey there! I’m Paige Reckziegel, Director of Insights & Brand Growth Intelligence at Estee Lauder Companies (ELC). I recently moved into a new role leading support for DECIEM, a new(ish) acquisition into the ELC portfolio.
I fell into research + analytics accidentally - after I blindly applied to a summer internship on Craigslist! (Wow, I am really aging myself there!) From there, I worked at a few agencies, and then found my way over to Estee Lauder, where I helped establish digital insights capabilities into their flagship brand. From there, my scope has broadened to include more traditional consumer research.
While I fell into it by accident, my career in consumer insights feels very natural to me, as I feel I am a bit of an empath - always trying to understand people’s feelings, motivations, needs, and how I can help them. I play this role in my personal life, and then was able to pivot into it professionally.
Perspicacity: How is the research & insights function structured at ELC?
Paige Reckziegel: Being such a large organization, our insights function is quite large, spanning across 3 main divisions: consumer, category (e.g. makeup, skincare, fragrance), and then brand, where I am positioned. This way, I am able to distill down all of the information available to what is most relevant for DECIEM and their consumer. Within the brand team, I work closely with Product Marketing, Product Development, and Consumer Marketing - ensuring the consumer is at the forefront of our brand and product strategy.
Perspicacity: What is a topic you’d love to find an excuse to research? Why?
Paige Reckziegel: I definitely think there has been some research out there on this - but I would love to understand how and why viewing reality TV can be cathartic. I am a Bravo TV fan (no shame!) - and it is pretty amazing how watching a group of housewives argue over something can really help me wind down at the end of the day. So I’d love to dig a little deeper into that.
Perspicacity: Is there a key tool or resource you couldn’t live without?
Paige Reckziegel: My network of friends + family! Beauty is a continuously evolving category, so I find I am constantly learning something new from them. I love hearing about the latest product they're trying, how they like it, how they came to find it, and why they chose this particular product out of everything available. When purchasing beauty, I feel like there is a paralysis of choice by default, so it’s interesting to really be able to distill down purchase decisions and behaviors. I learn so much from them!
Perspicacity: When have you been undoubtedly wrong? How did you react?
Paige Reckziegel: Working in a global role is incredibly enlightening, but also very challenging. There was one particular study I conducted in a global market, where my stimuli lacked a proper cultural nuance, which completely skewed the results of the study. It almost made the findings pointless.
It was completely embarrassing - but I take it in stride knowing that a role in consumer insights is a role where you are never done learning. I think it was a big deal for about 48 hours and then we were on to the next project, so it became out-of-sight/out-of-mind quickly thankfully, but I definitely quadruple-check everything now (whereas I only triple-checked before!)
Perspicacity: Anything else I should be asking you?
Paige Reckziegel: Not a question, but I should note for your audience that an added bonus of falling into this industry was that it led me to meeting you - my husband! How lucky is that!
Perspicacity: Thanks Paige! Guess our secret is out!
🧠 Thought Patterns
This week I’d like to introduce you to the Stereotype Content Model.
The concept was introduced in a 2002 paper authored by Amy Cuddy, Susan Fiske, Peter Glick, and Jun Xu, which recently won the SESP Scientific Impact Award “honoring the author(s) of a specific article or chapter offering a theoretical, empirical, and/or methodological contribution that has proven highly influential over the last 25 years.”
Here’s a run-through of the concept, adapted from a Twitter thread from one of the authors, Amy Cuddy, PhD.
The SCM hypothesizes that all group stereotypes form along two dimensions:
Many groups are stereotyped as 👆🏻high on one dimension and 👇🏻low on the other.
This moves away from the earlier conceptualizations of stereotyping and prejudice as one-dimensional (ie. love vs. hate, positive vs. negative, etc).
Distinct emotions differentiate the four competence-warmth combinations:
😔 pity = ⭕ + 🔥
🤢 envy = ✅ + ⭕
🤩 admiration = ✅ + 🔥
contempt = ⭕ + ⭕
😔 Groups stereotyped as low competence with high warmth elicit paternalistic/pitying prejudice.
🤢 Groups stereotyped as high competence w low warmth elicit envious prejudice.
🤩 Only groups that are stereotyped as both warm and competent (ie. in-groups and cultural reference groups) elicit admiration.
Groups stereotyped as incompetent and cold elicit contempt.
And here’s a visual representation of the emotional and behavioral outcomes of high and low competence and warmth stereotypes (stereotype content model & BIAS map; Fiske, Cuddy, & Glick).
🧰 The Toolkit
Sometimes it’s about a specific tool, vendor, or dataset. Other times it’s just about having your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in a part of the human experience that you’re not yet in touch with. 🕵️♀️
Writer Lyz Lenz recently launched Flyover Politics, a “Discord community for people in the Midwest to talk hot dish, Wisconsin old-fashioneds, and local politics.”
Seems to me that this could be a great way for non-Midwest researchers and marketers to get a better sense of what’s going on in the US between the coasts.
Anyone else have online communities that they’re a part of just for the purpose of painting a more nuanced picture of the people you’re researching?
⚡ As always, you can find my full toolkit here
💥 Observations & Provocations
How people define success and happiness in their lives is changing. Take a peek at this Fortune piece from a couple weeks ago:
“Americans are stepping off the ‘hamster wheel’ and redefining what success looks like.”
Something to keep in mind when we’re thinking about what motivates people. 🤔
If you have a friend or colleague who would find this interesting, please be a pal and share.