We have been exploring sustainability.  One question we asked was whether vegetarians want foods that look and taste like meat?  To find out, we conducted in-depth interviews with vegetarians and vegans for a recent conference.

Using our sensemaking interview technique, we discovered that this is a complex market, where it is risky to make assumptions without really understanding people's real motivations and the inner conflicts they are feeling. Some people avoid meat to help the planet, but some people avoid meat because the idea offends them. Only the first of these would be interested in a plant-based meat substitute that looks like meat. There are some great insights here about the semiotics of sustainability with real implications for the packaging and branding of sustainable foods in grocery.

If you would like Sue to present her findings on the vegetarian market, email her here: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


How do people choose when to retire? How do they plan, if they plan at all?  We conducted a survey for Industry Super Australia which they submitted to the Retirement Income Review. You can find it here.  

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Brand equity

One of our clients wanted to know what their brand equity was. They are a service business, highly reliant on the people who deliver the service to build emotional connections with customers. We conducted individual stakeholder interviews to find out what the brand stands for, what its values are. 

We discovered a strong emotional connection between the brand and its stakeholders. However, like many brands, it has evolved over the years.  While it is still firmly entrenched in the category where it originally made its name,  in recent years the brand has gained a reputation in a new niche. How the brand communicated to both of these markets was going to be key to its future success.

We used exploratory qualitative research for this client which allowed us to use our more advanced interview techniques to understand how the stakeholders positioned the brand. The end result were very clear guidelines for our client about what they needed to communicate to each segment and how they should do so.




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