Ethnography - mining for insight

October 2006


As marketers increasingly seek insights into consumers’ emotional relationships with brands, as the key to achieving successful differentiation from competition and effective brand communications, the importance of qualitative research has risen - again.

However, the reliance of qual research on the focus group has increasingly been called into question, for a range of reasons, and researchers and research buyers have been seeking for ways to arrive at a deeper understanding of consumer cultures and the role of brands within them (1).

This has led to a revival of interest in ethnographic or observational techniques, both in their own right and as part of a more holistic research programme (1, 3).