Simon is a highly versatile and experienced qualitative researcher. He went freelance in March 2010, after 12 years as an agency qual researcher, most recently as a research director and head of marketing qual at Ipsos MORI. He is a genuine multi-specialist, having at various points led big agency qual teams in FMCG, Shopper, Public Affairs and Media. Simon takes on all or any parts of the research process, for agencies or end-clients.
He sees qualitative research as a unique chance for clients to understand everyday human behaviour and build their plans upon the reality of people’s lives and emotions. But he also helps clients transcend this: he shows them ways they can turn insights into fresh ideas and communications that cut through.
Simon’s approach is a blend of creativity and rigour. He gets creative work and creative people (both clients and research participants), and is a skilled exponent of exploratory qualitative research on new ideas, designs and products. He writes fiction in his spare time and a qual research and culture blog, Strangers on the Shore (www.shorequalblog.com). At the same time he is big on forensically rigorous analysis. Originally a lawyer at one of Britain’s top firms before his research career, Simon has a fine-tuned eye for the telling detail, intellectual rigour in making sense of complex information, and tells it straight.
Simon is also a strong believer in working across research industry categories: our focus should be on understanding people from their own perspectives, not on our own processes.
Simon graduated from Oxford University in 1991, with 2:1 in Law. He is a Fellow of the RSA.