Stop, Collaborate, and Listen


The New Ground Creative Team – Photo by Kelly Fletcher

Our work at New Ground Creative always starts with a conversation. We love to talk. Well… maybe not Falyn. But have you met our Communications Strategist, Joe, or our fearless leader, Carrie, when she has had a little too much coffee? And our Outreach Strategist, Biz—sheesh—with the blog posts and the hair. That NGC crew is game to gab.

We also listen. We get curious. We want to create and cultivate a relationship, of course, but this research is also a fundamental part of the work we do. Bonus: we get to be students everyday. Some days we are studying millennials and others we are getting to know the ins and outs of a business looking to reinvigorate their brand. Whatever the case may be, research is a big part of our process as well as a personal passion when research means getting to know our community—the people, the places, their hopes, and their needs.

Learning as we go, in this way, can be tricky. Curiosity brings up new questions which results in potential new approaches which leads to new information and a new spark of curiosity. It’s a cycle. Sometimes things don’t go how you planned which can be confusing and frustrating, but inherently a new opportunity arises even out of a problem. Like when I was 7 years old and cut off all of my Barbie doll’s hair. I wanted to do something radically different with her hair but when she had none—I was presented with a new problem. Then one day, I began making her different types of hats. This happens in our process at New Ground Creative occasionally. Seeing problems as potential opportunities serves us and our clients well.

So time for a simple question: Why? Why we are generating this information? Joe has an awesome way of answering this question when it comes to working with our clients. He wants to “arm your audience with language to defend their choice of you.” Businesses spend a lot of money creating a perception of who they are and what they do but the most powerful brands are the ones that own who they truly are. At New Ground Creative, we value taking the time to intentionally get to know our clients as well as reflect back to them observations from within their organization, as well as from their audiences and partners.

Like us, our clients and the people they work with have a lot to say. Up until now we have, for the most part, held space for this discourse and sharing within the trajectory of our process and the corresponding market research we offer. Our interest in millennials shaped a new possibility. Getting out in the community and talking to local millennials opened new doors for receiving information.

Our initial curiosity raised questions such as:

What do millennials care about?

How do they engage with technology?

What are their thoughts on money and what choices do they make about how they spend it?

How are they different as a group and how are they similar?

And how does any or all of this impact the communities where they live and work?

This week we paused to consider why we are asking these questions. First, we are a part of this community and we want to give voice to people living and working here. Second, millennials are a hot topic and largely generalized. In what ways we can, we would like to offer authentic representation of this population through their own words. *Cue David Attenborough’s voice: “Observe the wild millennial in their natural habit. Fascinating.” And finally, it is our hope that this shared research will support what we do, as well as the mission and vision of the clients we work with. And thus a new word is born…



  1. the study of millennials addressing common stereotypes and exploring successes, challenges, strengths, weaknesses, goals, and perspectives.
  2. An opportunity for millennials to share their stories and experiences to set the record straight.

The study of millenniology shows that millennials do not fit into a nutshell, not even a genetically modified one.

Our next blog post features insights and perspectives from millennial, Alex Fischer, Owner/Bookkeeper for Open Bookkeeping and Co-founding Collective Member of The Root Social Justice Center.

(For those of you thinking, “You said that last time.” I promise. Thanks for reading!)

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