Understanding highly ambitious, successful individuals

04/09/2017 By Understanding highly ambitious, successful individuals
Research Problem

A senior marketer within a bank had a hunch that successful entrepreneurs could have characteristics in common with successful and creative senior executives. If the bank could better understand this niche audience it could tap into the aspirations of its premium level customers.


We conducted a series of depth interviews with C Suite Directors, successful entrepreneurs and some younger respondents on a similar trajectory. We used the ZMET technique, asking respondents to source non-literal images and objects which told us “who they were” and “what was important to them in their lives”.

We conducted a similar exercise amongst successful, but less ambitious mass affluent respondents as a control group. In total around 30 interviews were conducted in the UK, Brazil and Hong Kong.


We delivered our findings in the form of six specific characteristics which we defined as ‘the DNA’ of this audience.

Without giving too much away, from a moderator’s perspective it was very easy to tell the difference between the target audience (charismatic, focused and optimistic) and the control group (less so on all these dimensions).

ZMET is one of several techniques we use to get an understanding of customers. Find out more about our customer research. Or contact Richard Smith.