Circling the square – converting consumer insights into actionable recommendations

Crystal Nathan
The Nielsen Company, Australia

Johanna Campbell
Frucor Beverages, Danone, Australia


My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as is and why it exists at all.”
Stephen Hawking

Although the goal is termed as simple, it is a monumental albeit fascinating task and qual research often gets endowed with that task in a marketing environment. Hence, the hunt to explain the reasons behind a particular phenomenon or phenomena and arrive at insightful solutions continues.

Having said that, Qualitative research also comes under the axe for producing results that are “too conceptual and airy/fairy” or “not robust enough to be actionable” or as the ubiquitous client would put it “telling me things that I already know” or better still “not giving me enough insights”. So how does one combat this? To the authors of this paper, the answer lies in not just adopting the proverbial “thinking out of the box” route but also identifying the insights and enclosing it with actionable recommendations … thus circling the box or square. (see Figure 1.)