Brandon is a social psychologist who helps companies create products and services that resonate with consumers at the level of identity and emotion.
In recent work with a healthcare company, he helped identify the importance of enacting familiar routines and rhythms for living a comfortable and meaningful life. This finding helped define a new strategic direction: to help people stay closer to important routines while receiving medical care or recovering. His team created a portfolio of services that give patients greater flexibility around when and where they can receive care.
In recent writing, he highlights the value of deep immersion by a highly-skilled ethnographer and the limits of survey and app-based inquiries for understanding actual life. He writes that there are two dimensions of a participant’s conduct that an in-person ethnographer can observe: one is hidden and one is visible to the participant. Methods that rely on self-reports through a survey or an app will only capture what is readily visible and agreeable to the participant and leave behind a rich world of hidden behaviors and experiences. They’re effectively “hidden” because 1) they are habituated and reside below conscious awareness, 2) there is no language and/or social custom for sharing them with others, 3) they are being actively suppressed to protect various identities and statuses.
Brandon received a PhD from UCLA and did postdoc work at Duke University.