The What I See Project is the brainchild of Edwina Dunn, the founder of dunnhumby, the company behind Tesco’s Clubcard and other loyalty programmes in 30 countries around the world. The Project is not a commercial one – it is born of Edwina’s own interests and passions.
This, in her own words, is the background behind the idea:
The concept for What I See is very much rooted in two parts of my experience and history.
dunnhumby was really built on the idea of getting to know people. Obviously that had a commercial application for Tesco and brands, but the more we found out about people the more I was fascinated by the individual, and the habits and insights that we discovered in the data. The woman who bought value produce for herself, but would buy premium for her cat. The people who would choose a retailer for their entire basket depending on whether they stocked Milk Loaf or not.
And as we grew internationally, that fascination only grew: whereas the British like ready meals, the French prefer ready-to-cook meals, where all the ingredients are sold as one item. In Thailand, nobody used trolleys because they all came on motorbikes to the store. And the most important thing in choosing where to shop in China? The price of eggs.
So our entire business was based on understanding people – which I’ve always been fascinated by.
The second relevant aspect of my experience is that of being a woman in business. I enjoyed certain freedoms having founded my own business - being the boss meant that I avoided a lot of the day-to-day struggles that face many women in large companies. But at the same time I became aware of how differently men and women express themselves and communicate ideas.
That’s the real genesis of my fascination with female perceptions – physical, emotional and how the two connect. How do our experiences impact our self-perception? How does our self-perception impact our experiences? Are they independent or connected?
So for me, What I See is exactly that: an exploration of perception. It’s an interactive way in which women can reflect on their feelings and thoughts about themselves and life more broadly.
What could be more compelling than listening to real stories from women all over the world?