Search for Conflicts

Back conflict

For revealing insights

The tool

Search for conflicts that people experience, which are relevant or somehow connected to the product/ service, the brand idea or its values or purpose.




Why conflicts?

When people experience conflicts, they experience tension and discomfort, and they search for something or someone that can help them or, at least, be empathic and understanding.

Therefore, identifying conflicts can lead to the creation of new brand perspectives, which are more relevant and meaningful for people.

Two kinds of conflicts

2 kinds of conflicts

Internal conflict:

When two or more aspects of a person’s inner world oppose each other.

For example, their values vs. their desires. A person may hold dear the value of loyalty towards their partner, yet experience strong desire towards a third person, which results in an inner conflict.



External conflict:

Conflicts between a person’s inner world and others.

For example- my needs vs. my family’s needs. A father may find himself torn between his need for rest and his children’s need for play with them.



Territories of conflicts:

terr of confs

People may experience conflicts between different values or beliefs they hold, e.g. the value of freedom of speech vs. the value of protection against racism; or between values and need, e.g. a conflict between the value of healthy food for my kids vs. the need to be loved by them.



Where to search for conflicts?

Search for conflicts that are relevant or connected somehow to the product, service, or the brand content world.

The brand content world can be anything connected to the brand idea, brand values or the brand purpose.

Step by step


Bring to mind the product/ service or the brand world: brand idea/s, values and purpose.


In this context, try to identify any conflicting views, beliefs, values, desires, emotions, needs or behaviors that people may have in relation to these.


Search for “Internal Conflicts”, where two or more aspects in the inner world of a person oppose each other, or “External Conflicts” where aspects in the world of a person and aspects in the world of others oppose each other.


Examine if any of these conflicts, seen as a potential insight, allow you to articulate a new brand perspective. Do they inspire an interesting new brand statement?


Evaluate whether this new brand perspective or statement is relevant, meaningful and engaging for people. If so, include it in your communications brief, or base your brief on it.


Repeat steps 2-5, each time focusing on a different phase:

  • The consideration and decision phase: whether to use/ have / buy the product/service.
  • The selection and shopping phase.
  • The consumption/ usage phase.


Young people experience an internal conflict between the wish to stay in the city and the value of being a good son and visiting their parents.
By McCann Melbourne, Australia.

Internal conflict: revealing one’s creativity vs. lack of self belief. By TBWA Media Arts Lab

Internal conflict: respecting tradition vs. following your desire.
By Dentsu East, Tokyo.

External conflicts between fathers and sons in family run small business.
By Publicis and OMD Italy.

External conflict: parents, kids, sex and condoms.
By Marcel Paris & Sidney

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