Essentially, ethnographic research centres on participants using a service or product in their own environment, and the inherent social, cultural and societal behaviours inherent to that.

This kind of research can yield all kinds of valuable information, from learning about how consumers might end up using a product to problems that arise in a non-standard, natural research environment.

As a part of a balanced, effective approach to consumer research, ethnographies are hugely valuable. Not only do they allow you to observe and understand the ways in which individuals naturally react to products and services, they do so in their own environment.

While a lot can be drawn from group sessions, interviews, etc. ethnographies can allow us to observe a much more natural response to something, and that can provide incredibly valuable insight. We’ve found it extremely effective when it comes to attitudes and thoughts that participants just wouldn’t think to express in other research.

We use a variety of approaches and methodologies to conduct ethnographic research. From surveys and interviewing to direct observation, to community participation, there’s a range of different approaches that can help to build the complete picture vital to the client brand.

When Should Ethnographies Be Used?

  • When testing, trialling or developing services and products beyond what can effectively be done in a group or individual research setting
  • When researching groups that might not find it easy to express views in a group or individual research setting.
  • As part of a balanced approach to research that considers as many factors and variables as possible.
  • To supplement information and data you’ve received from other research
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