The methods we use

Methods

Customer, stakeholder and user research methods

We use qualitative discovery methods and quantitative evaluation methods.

Methods for customer, stakeholder and user research: our focus is people and culture

Our qualitative research gives clients a deep understanding of people and the culture they live in.  

We focus our research on understanding 'people' - we don't call them 'consumers'. We know how people use symbols to express their emotions and rituals to create meaning, and how they have a drive to make sense of their experiences.  We use qualitative research to find out how people really make decisions and discover why they buy and use your product or service. We reveal how our clients' products and services fit into the rich tapestry of people's lives. 

Qualitative research needs to be designed by people who understand people, as we do. We are trained in the social sciences and the humanities. We understand motivations, perceptions, cognitive schemas, and rituals and we appreciate the power of the imagination.  We have fine-tuned traditional techniques such as projective techniques and laddering, make extensive use of implicit techniques such as tasks and observation, and combine that with a sense of excitement about what technology can bring to research.

Discovery methods for customer, stakeholder and user research

We conduct advanced qualitative research. This means:

  1. We use conceptual models to drive our thinking, including our sensemaking model of decision-making, and symbolism and ritual models or consumer behaviour.
  2. We frequently use a mix of qualitative research methods including semiotics and ethnography.
  3. Our researchers are senior, experienced researchers, fluent in qualitative methods.

Sue is a regular speaker at conferences, workshops and training courses on qualitative research for, for example Research Society, NewMR, QRCA, and Qual360

Our methods:

  • One on one user interviews, online, phone or face to face

  • Focus groups, online or face to face

  • Short term communities - online

  • Cultural analysis (semiotics and discourse analysis)

  • We use many activities in our research such as drawing, card sorting and diaries.

Evaluation methods for customer, stakeholder and user research

  • stakeholder surveys 

  • audience surveys

  • communications audits

  • concept tests

  • customer experience surveys

  • packaging tests

  • product tests

  • Incidence and usage and attitude surveys.

We custom-design to your brief. 

Customer, stakeholder and user research - tips

  • Always do a cognitive pilot test - ask us about this. 
  • Always include free text questions
  • And if at all possible, do some qualitative research first.

Customer, stakeholder and user research reporting

Many of our reports have been published which tells you about the professionalism of our reporting. We find the story in your data and communicate the findings clearly.

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