Conversation Methodologies Different strokes for different folks


Different conversations need to be held in different formats for the best results. We also offer IDIs (In Depth Interviews), dyads, triads, affinity groups and ethnographies.”

We have used telephone IDI’s with famous experts such as architects, stock market analysts, chefs and journalists for research into trends on how future architectural styles will affect the windows market; how new digital home offerings will change the home security market; how investor opinion will inform the future of financial products like REITs; how food trends can inspire new product development. IDI’s are also invaluable for understanding client engagement and customer satisfaction, and we have used them for a leading security software company, as well as developing new customer charters for private banks and other professional services firms. Often, we use in-facility IDI’s in combination with focus groups to probe further and deepen the insights.

We often use Dyads in association with focus groups, because we may need to speak to two people together for various reasons. For example, for a non-profit, we interviewed couples on perceptions of child development to understand their different roles and how they influence each other; for a fashion retailer we have utilized ‘friendship pairs’ to capture the experience of shopping with a friend.

Triads & Affinity Groups: Sometimes our clients’ objectives are best met by recruiting an alpha consumer as a host who invites like-minded friends to a discussion in their home. We use very selective recruiting, generous incentives and a hospitable setting for the discussion, which is videotaped for clients and stakeholders. For example, for American Lamb, our hosts cooked from our recipes to share with their guests, and we garnered consumer insights for a strategy to grow the market for domestic lamb.

In-home and shopalong ethnographies can be invaluable for understanding consumers’ behavior around your product – e.g. how they shop for it, where they keep it, how they use it, what needs and aspirations it fulfils. Ethnography can also be used to understand the future of your market. For a leading search engine client we went around the world conducting ethnographies to understand the future of search. And for a major big box retail chain we conducted in home ethnographies together with shopalongs to understand the meaning of ‘fresh’ food.