We combine ethnographic field techniques gleaned from academic studies, with a deep understanding of cultural trends and the evolving symbolic value of products and services in society.

Our approach to qualitative consumer research is unique:

  • Our basic approach is to use the theories and observational techniques of cultural anthropology to interpret consumer behavior and preference. Our creative and insightful interpretations of consumer behavior have led to compelling advertising and business strategies for our clients. We seek culture connections on two different levels. First, we seek connections between the consumer product and the American cultural system. Consumers assign meaning to products according to the values and ideas of American culture. By illuminating the cultural meanings of a product we provide the advertiser and marketer with a wealth of analogies and metaphors to use in communications strategies.
  • The second culture connection we make is between a particular product, or service, and what anthropology has learned about human behavior and culture across the globe and historically. We are always searching anthropological theory and the ethnographic record for creative analogies and metaphors to apply to our case studies of consumer behavior. For example, an anthropologist has used ideas drawn from interpretations of the famous New Guinea exchange system known as the Kula to help a company design an online picture exchange system. We have used ideas drawn from the anthropology of ritual to understand women¹s relationship to their hair care products and we have used ideas drawn from the anthropological study of magic to understand aspects of the experience of credit card and other financial transactions. Communications strategies based on cross cultural knowledge, as interpreted by anthropological theory, can powerfully connect a product or service or brand to consumer needs and desires.