Katarina Johnson

About Katarina Johnson

Katarina is a senior director of research and consulting at Market Strategies International and a trained ethnographer with a background in medical anthropology. She has spent the past 10+ years applying her passion for culture and human behavior towards complex brand, product and marketing strategies. Over the years, Katarina has earned a reputation for her unique deliverables that “live on” in pharmaceutical organizations, including illustrated storytelling, immersion workshops, customer experience/journey maps, photojournalism and documentary films. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in applied anthropology.

Why Pharma Ethnography is a Critical Investment

Alice in Wonderland

In the 1951 Disney adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, our protagonist finds herself in a bit of a predicament. Eager to catch the White Rabbit as he scurries off, Alice is too large to squeeze through the door to continue her pursuit. In frustration, she calls out to the doorknob, “I simply must get through!” The doorknob replies, “Sorry, you’re much too big. Simply impassible.” Confused, Alice responds, “You mean impossible?” Doorknob: “No, impassible. Nothing’s impossible.”

Impassible versus impossible. It’s easy to see how Alice was confounded by these two very similar looking and sounding words. However, the dialogue between the doorknob and Alice is more than clever wordplay; it’s sage advice. If a path meets an obstacle, change the perspective and try again. Seemingly impassible problems are opportunities for adaptation, creative thinking and novel solutions.

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