qualitative research

Using traditional segmentation and “variable-driven” view of the world sometimes fails. This is the story of that sort of failure.
The other day my streetcar drove past a McDonald’s. The parking lot was jammed. Searching in vain for a parking spot was someone driving a…Maserati. A what? I did a double-take. My researcher’s mind couldn’t [...]

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Categories: Blog · bourdieu · class · culture · ethnography · luxury goods · qualitative research · quantitative research

The interview guide is not as important a document as most people think. Most if not all qualitative research would be improved if researchers stopped focusing on the guide, and focused more on the research questions.
Many qualitative researchers have had this very same experience: the client wants to add too many questions focusing too narrowly [...]

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Categories: Blog · Research Methods · brand · ethnography · market research · methods · qualitative research

Christmas shopping season is in full swing, but one retail company stands out for its message: don’t buy our stuff. That’s right, Patagonia is telling its customers that they should NOT buy more of its products. From their blog:
What kind of crazy reverse psychology is this? Is Patagonia trying to fool its customers into buying [...]

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Categories: Blog · anthropology · brand · ethnography · home · market research · qualitative research

Harvard Business Review has a great post about making effective surveys. Rob Markey is a partner with Bain and Company, the consultancy, and huge proponent of the “Net Promoter Score.” He tells us that he himself ignores email invitations to surveys routinely, even though he’s in the business of surveys.
Response rates below 40% in consumer [...]

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Categories: Blog · home · market research · methods · qualitative research · quantitative research · surveys

Two of us at Copernicus (Sarah and I) are working on a project, funded through Ryerson University, on smartphone usage. One of the key findings we’ve uncovered so far is that people tend to adopt new communication channels (e.g., text) when they purchase new handsets. This new handset/life change correlation is a symbolic ritual that [...]

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Categories: Blog · anthropology · culture · design · ethnography · home · market research · mobile · product design · qualitative research · sociology · technology design

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