Qualitative research is usually described as the why and how of decision making as opposed to the what, where, when and who which is often the domain of the Quantitative arena.
However, the Colmar Brunton team take it further – the focus is very much on the ‘why’ things are happening, and with the proliferation of data the why question is being asked more and more.
The next step from the ‘why’ is the ‘so what does it mean to me’ and that is the area where we have proven ourselves most effective and the area we constantly challenge ourselves and our outputs against. Linking consumer behaviour and motivations to the strategic demands of the boardroom remains our focus.
Dealing with constant change is an inevitable part of doing business, as much as it is a challenge in people’s everyday lives. A leading New Zealand organisation with a complex history, and a rapidly evolving product range, identified a compelling need for stakeholder insights to help them navigate a successful path. The organisation’s size means its impact reaches across many levels from individual customers, rural communities and corporate partners, through to Government. The challenge for the organisation was to step outside of its normal mind-set and comfort zone. It needed to actively engage with a wide range of stakeholders to properly understand their perspectives… good and not so good, but the real challenge was in addressing the fact that not everyone in the organisation was on board with this.
Research generally, particularly qualitative research, is a fine balance between science and art. With this particular challenge we had to incorporate story telling. The story that needed to be told was one of transformation, collaboration and genuine demand from all stakeholders for a better performance from the client. It was vital to ensure that over and above thorough research execution, the right messages were communicated in an effective way into the organisation, not just the board.
We immersed ourselves in the business, we learnt its politics, its personality and its drivers in order to make sure that the work was shared and then lived and breathed across the organisation. In the end change took place, targets were met and the value of insight is now widely recognised and proving itself in real world applications.
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