Our Research Philosophy


Every successful insight program has a grounding philosophy. Ours is Design-Led Research.

Design-Led Research is immersive, interactive, empathetic and intuitive: it seeks to solve the drama behind the need.

Design-Led Research is based in deep and empathetic consumer insight; a process that captures the narrative of the consumer and product/brand usage experience to focus insight against relevant needs and motivations. It employs divergent, immersive, and interactive methods to identify, solve and refine problems, conflicts and unmet/under-served needs and motivations; pulling from multiple resources to incorporate different perspectives in the solutions.

The goal is to create and hear in a different voice – to crystallize and empathize with what we hear.
The Expression of Design is the Language of the Nonconscious

Design Expression is the visualization of the poetry and drama behind the product usage or retail experience. Design-Led Research is divergent and iterative. It accounts for all perspectives and attempts at natural convergence – highlighting focus points of drama or conflict that must be resolved. The solution is iterative and inclusive; refining and building with the consumer in conflict to reach a more valuable solution.

The objective is to think, talk and listen in a different voice – one that creates empathy. We seek to build and immerse ourselves in the narrative of the consumer experience and to isolate a deeper insight as a focus point for innovation.

If Insight is perception of the obvious, then Deep Insight is explaining what makes it obvious. It is often the expression of the nonconscious; as it is expressed it explains the obvious.

Insight is what makes the obvious, obvious
Deep Insight is penetrating perception of the obvious
The Goal is to Find Out Why
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The foundation of all Insight is knowledge. Even more – the heart and soul of Insight is understanding and empathy; the development of Deep Insights into how consumers actually behave and make choices and why they behave as they do – the conditions and motivations that drive their behavior.

The strategic and creative process is complicated to describe and in many ways is intuitive; we need to structure our knowledge of the consumer in such a way that allows us to process insights that lead to inspiration.

At the core of all consumer insight is an understanding of consumers’ psychology and values. Consumers simply cannot help but translate their basic motivations into their product and retail experience and therefore how they make choices and behave. It is these motivations that are at the core of Deep Insight and where successful strategy and true consumer connection with emotion and drama is made.


We Seek to Understand Consumers from Several Perspectives

Needs as defined by the situation/occasion of usage – and the desired functional, emotional or symbolic needs and conflicts that underlie usage and behavior. This understanding encompasses both their desires as well as barriers and conflicts.
Basic psychology – motivations, beliefs and values that drive their identity and existence. It is these basic values and psychological needs that drive their entire behavioral structure and life choices and that play a significant role in their behavior and how they process their needs. These deeper psychological needs are at the core of what must be satisfied; they lie at the heart of the consumer experience and narrative.

Core category attitudes – very often reflective of their values and psychology

Behaviors – how consumers make choices and their usage habits and practices along the entire path to purchase and usage acceptance continuum:

  1. Desire Phase: how they recognize the need and decide to act – as well as the actions that take place
  2. Decide Phase: how they evaluate alternatives and make product and brand choices – as well as the key tradeoffs that underlie decisions
  3. Delight Phase: how they relate to their choices and evaluate performance and satisfaction

Perceptions of products and the competitive brand landscape – highlighting gaps and unfulfilled needs

Category beliefs and values – as well as related trends that motivate them

Life stage and demographics – that drive choices and usage habits 

Going Beyond Traditional Research Techniques

Our mission is to improve current practices by innovating new procedures and analytical methods . . . as well as to develop revolutionary techniques, including adaptations of neuroscience and implicit research.