How a show about chicken wings made us better researchers

Published on
February 4, 2023

Yes - a show about chicken wings has left me deeply inspired at the connection and the power of asking the right question, and it will definitely do the same for you.

I’m referring to the YouTube native interview-style show called Hot Ones. Where laid back and unassuming host, Sean Evans interview celebrities while they devour wings that get increasingly spicier.

Guest start their journey with a mild tabasco and slide up the death scale with hot sauces like Da Bomb or Pucker Butt.


It. Is. Good. Stuff.

But, what I love just as much as watching the great equalizer of humankind - hot sauce bring out sides of celebrities you normally wouldn’t see. Is watching host Sean Evans blow the mind of his celebrity guest with a variety of niche, off the wall, oddly specific and particular questions.

Sean and his research team can unearth a long-forgotten story or a secret tidbit like nobody’s business. It is top-notch entertainment watching the Oh $h*! reaction of the guest when Sean lobs a good question their way.

It got me thinking. That WTF moment is the exact attention to detail that brands need to be applying to their consumer relationships. And not obtrusively in a way that results in a late-night Google search for “can Facebook hear my conversations.” But in a way that states, I am interested in getting to know you past the usual.

The Commonplace.

The Basic.

And that my friend is the heart of great research.

Because that’s what’s happens. Sean Evans can break through and connect with his guest in a way that a hundred junket rooms or punchline driven late-night interviews cannot do. It’s strategic , inspiring and pushes the conversation even further.

If your customer feedback is not inspiring or connected to direct action.
If your community seems unenthused online with low engagement. If your last experiment in “reaching” a diverse audience with a new product or service has fallen flat.

Start asking better questions. Every business should always have a set of 5 questions they are always looking to answer.
An exercise we do at Idea Trust is starting a brand new think session with what do we want to know at the top of our page. Then we brainstorm 10+ ways to ask the same question.

  • What questions can I ask you to move my relationship with my consumer forward?
  • What can I ask my consumer that will move our business forward
  • What questions will create an atmosphere of mutual empathy and breakthrough?

We don’t have time for bad and uninspired conversations in today’s marketplace that moves at the speed of technology or in a marketplace where consumers are understanding their own buying power.

Watch Sean Evans do his thing here:

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