Qual, quant or a mix of both – we’re experienced in all three. 

We strongly believe that no one approach is the answer to everything, so we blend qual and quant, face-to-face and online, in-the-moment and asynchronous to make sure we’re always in the right place at the right time, using the best means of getting to what you need.

We don’t believe anyone who tells us that the focus group is dead, but we also know when mobile ethnography or an online community will be better for the job: we have no ‘off the shelf’ products and design every project around its own needs



Using a broad range of approaches to bring an issue to life…

Of course, we offer all of the traditional approaches: groups, depths, duos, online and offline quant – it’s a long list. We’re also skilled in ethnography, semiotics, expert interviews, cultural audits, co-creation and workshopping, and we often use a combination to get to what we really need. We work to one simple rule: we never choose a traditional approach just because it’s easy, and we never choose a new technology just because it’s fashionable. We use whatever it takes to gain the understanding we need in every case: getting under the skin of the matter is what really drives us

We humans are irrational beings: there’s often not much logic to what we do. If we’re asked about what we’ve done, out of context, we’re likely to rationalise and reinvent it before we speak – sometimes we consciously recognise that the truth sounds illogical, but more often, with everyday tasks, we simply haven’t registered what we actually do, so we say what we think would be sensible. So we believe there’s no substitute for context. We don’t look at shopping habits in group discussions – we go shopping. If we need to know how people cook, we go round for dinner. If we need to know about drinking habits, we tag along on a night out. Being there in the moment, rather than post-rationalising later, is critical to our way of doing things


A well-honed skill in spotting what’s really going on…

Over the years, we’ve developed a keen understanding of the differences between what people say and what they mean. When their choice of language, tone of voice or body language says there’s something going on, beyond what’s actually being said. We know when we need to dig deeper, or in a different direction, or when we need to throw away our hypotheses and start from scratch. And having spotted it, we have the skills to bring out the real picture


Turning findings into actionable insight…

We’ve worked with plenty of clients who are drowning in data, but desperately thirsty for insight that will give them the guidance they need. We don’t believe in simply gathering evidence: that’s the starting point of our thinking process. We’re here to make sure you get insightful, usable guidance that helps your business flourish – so we’re always thinking ‘what does this mean for you?’, not just ‘what does this say?’

Plus, if you have mountains of data already and need to make sense of it, we’ll happily analyse it with a fresh pair of eyes before we recommend new research


On international projects, we work with excellent local agencies, manage all stages of the project, brief face to face and, in qual, attend fieldwork to view via simultaneous translation

Our fundamental principle is that international understanding goes far beyond language. In the UK, if a brand is compared with, say, The Guardian or The Daily Mail, we have an understanding of what that means. But do we understand the significance of The Boston Globe vs The New York Post in as much depth? So even in countries where language isn’t a barrier, we work with local moderators or cultural consultants to ensure no subtle nuance is missed

Our experience covers all areas of Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Middle East and Australasia