Our services in detail

Desk Research

An important task where you gather all the relevant knowledge about your brands and markets.  We start by scoping out our information needs, typically covering:

  • Market size and trends

  • Brands, manufacturers, market sectors and shares

  • Retail

  • Innovation and trends

  • Consumer behaviour

  • Consumer attitudes and needs

  • Consumer demographics

Often you may wish to expand your knowledge with some selected interviews among key people. This will colour the data and it is amazing that there is rarely a need to conduct many interviews.

At the end you will receive a report comprising of an executive summary, recommendations for next steps and a compendium containing all the relevant facts and figures.

Quantitative Research

The industry has changed fundamentally in recent years with a shift to the internet away from face to face or telephone. Internet based surveys have distinct benefits such as speed and cost.

But there is still an important place for using the traditional methods:

  • Street Interviewing remains the best way of speaking to people about their locality.  This could be about  shopping, a restaurant or bar  or a tourist attraction

  • Telephone interviewing remains important for B2B samples

  • Postal/ self completion still gets good response rates

  • Door to door is still used if you are after a randomly selected sample

We use all the main data collection methods, selecting whatever is the most appropriate for the project.
Data collection is only part of the process, applying some of the analysis techniques we have can have a significant value to your data.  Please see our section on “Statistics Unmasked”.   This is an easy reader with non technical explanation of all the commonly used techniques you can use to bring added insight.

Qualitative Research

If you ask us to conduct qualitative work we  usually team up with Dr Chris Wilson, who we have worked with for over 20 years.  Chris’s PhD is in psychology from the London School of Economics.

Working in parallel brings the academic rigour and a wealth of experience to your problems.

Our qualitative work will comprise of either, or both, focus groups or individual interviews.


Semiotics is an investigation into how meaning is created and how it is communicated. Its origins lie in the academic study of how signs and symbols (visual and linguistic) create meaning. It is a way of seeing the world, and of understanding how the landscape and culture in which we live has a massive impact on all of us unconsciously.  To explain further, here is a short case study:

We were doing some work on new sports logos and the respondents were unanimous in totally rubbishing them. The executive who was in charge of the branding exercise was in attendance at each group. We foresaw that his disappointment would be diverted to us. My friend, who was conducting the groups, had previously lectured semiotics at Goldsmiths. He collected approximately 100 examples of sports logos from UK and the US, and from this he established a set of conventions, which included:

  • They all used primary colours
  • Names were usually in lower case
  • Names were literal (eg speedo)
  • The lettering and logo all conveyed movement

The proposed designs used secondary colours, lacked movement and the names were meaningless (eg Zingo). They had failed on all of the above conventions.
At the presentation we went through the results from the groups followed by the semiotics.  At the end the marketing director summed up “Not only have the design agency done a poor job but they hadn’t done their homework either“.

What the semiotics did was establish the conventions of the market. The designers having ignored these conventions produced logos and brand names that the respondents did not understand nor like. In addition semiotics made us heroes in the eyes of the client.  Since then we have used to evaluate websites, pack designs and brochures, and it always reveals the unexpected.

If you are interested please contact us here.


People who like a nice chart


People who like cheese


Unconvinced by silly graphics

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For a no-obligation proposal or if you’d like to discuss your options and how our services can help you get in touch.

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