Posted by Rob Walker on May 22, 2007
Posted Under: Consumer Behavior

Both Ad Age and Brandweek made mention recently of this: In Your Purse: Archaelogy of an American Handbag. Basically these researchers got 100 women to reveal and discuss the contents of their handbags. I gather these were “mall intercepts,” as they say in the trade. The site says:

“In Your Purse: Archaeology of the American Handbag” is the first exhaustive quantitative and qualitative study to delve into the contents and context of the only instrument that connects the home, where consumer needs occur, and the store, where these needs are fulfilled: in a woman’s purse.

There’s also a link to a promotional YouTube video; overtitles in the jokey intro suggest that while this all sounds kinda nutty, it’s “for science.” The project is a creation of Insightfarm, a “Market Research and Consumer Strategy Consulting firm Dedicated to Driving Business Growth through Consumer Insight.” So there’s science for you.

Maybe the results are interesting, but it’s a little hard to judge by the site or the trade coverage. Apparently it will be a book this summer. (“Innovation workshops facilitated by InsightFarm Inc.” are also available.)

Meanwhile, Fashionista has a regular “Your Bag” video feature (I’ve never watched a whole one, but I think the premise is pretty straightforward), and there’s at least one What’s In Your Bag pool on Flickr, if you want to do some research on your own while you wait for the book.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

Thank you for mentioning my study and book. Just an update to let you know that the book is now available at The focus of the book is the 30 product categories carried in this “home away from home” and the innovation opportunities available to companies who engage in understand women via this important organizational tool in her life: the purse. Let me know if you’d like further information.

Written By Kelley Styring on October 8th, 2007 @ 6:24 pm