I’ve been an independent qualitative consultant for the last 20 years, sometimes delivering projects individually, but often collaborating with qualitative and quantitative consultants. For strategic briefs and challenging problems, collaboration can be extremely beneficial to ensure well-balanced insight and to meet tight deadlines.
Prior to ‘striking out independently’ I was part of the qualitative team at The Harris Research Centre in Richmond for 4 years, with projects being either ‘stand alone qual’ or ones which dove-tailed with the agency’s quantitative research studies. The agency had a strong profile in retail, consumer, automotive, utilities and technology sectors – the ‘halo effect’ was I generated client experience in all of these markets – including being ‘baptised’ by car clinics!
I gained my qualitative training initially with Reflexions Market Research, a boutique qualitative agency specialising in advertising research.
However, the foundation of my career lay client-side – starting out with Bain & Co management consulting, leading to a strategic role as a Planner in the PR and Communications consultancy Valin Pollen (a leader at the time in the land of financial and corporate markets). A period as account manager with a small packaging and product design agency gave me a ‘hands on’ perspective on working with packaging design creatives and delivering a promotional campaign for luxury champagne brands amongst others!