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 from treatment. 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 social custom for sharing them with others, 3) they are being actively suppressed to protect various identities and statuses, etc.
Brandon received a PhD from UCLA and did postdoc work at Duke University.