Since 2015, we have been developing a framework which captures the style of work we do here. I thought I would explain where this idea came from:


So many mainstream research agencies offer the same thing -  quant and qual and 'actionable strategic insight'. Talk about boring. All the researchers working with Susan Bell Research are generalists, and we like conducting quant and qual research of all types and (blush ..) have the skills and strategic nous to do it, but saying 'we are good at quant and qual and strategic insight' is as exciting as a restaurant saying 'we sell food'.

The trouble is that the usual opposite of the generalist is the specialist - a specialist who is perhaps into behavior change and nothing but behaviour change, or just ethnography perhaps. In a small and very crowded market like the Australian research market, your specialty has to be the flavour not just of the day, but also of the next day, next week and next 5 years if you are going to have any commercial success. So, no a narrow specialty doesn't work for us either.


What we are saying in our 'sense, senses and sensibilities' statement is that we work on a diverse range of projects, such as NPD, segmentation, communications, stakeholder engagement and process improvement but the way we do it is different. Our clients tell us that working with us is different. "We love you because you think" as one client put it.


Here's what it means:


Sense. We make sense out of complex problems and show our clients how to communicate so they make sense to their stakeholders. A difficult brand? A difficult stakeholder group? A difficult concept to communicate? We can help.

Senses. We have more expertise in sensory qualitative research than just about anyone.  This is a specialty much in demand by R&D experts and sensory scientists. You want to know how to turn your concept into a product, or to check out a new flavour or pack?  You need us. You need us too if you want to understand your service experience, and where it goes wrong or right.

Sensibilities. The one skill that researchers should possess above any other is the ability to understand and empathise with people. Research really is about people and treating people with sensitivity. That's why we have created a successful niche conducting research with victims of accidents, crime and investment fraud, and have been able to conduct influential research about funerals, and homelessness for example.

Tags: Sensibilities, Making sense, Senses, sense-making