Surveys and focus groups are great for telling us when and where business and social policy challenges may develop. But rarely can they tell us why people act in the way they do, or how to truly influence their behaviour.

Increasingly, organisations are turning to ethnographic research to help look beyond traditional insight models. Ethnography engages and records people in their own environment; where they are using a product, service or making a choice. It offers unrivalled insight into the cultural trends and patterns that characterise people’s behaviour. 

Deployed in a commercial or public setting, it can generate meaningful and actionable insight, which can lead to the creation of an effective strategy. 




Ethnography is the systematic study of people and culture. It is a form of qualitative research aimed at unravelling nuances of customs, habits and behaviour. Using explorative and observational research techniques such as documenting through film and photography we are able to gain a deeper insight and understanding into beliefs, aspirations and motivations in context.

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries ethnography as a research technique has been responsible for some of the biggest breakthroughs in understanding social structures and meaning systems.


Ethnography works when we need a detailed insight into people and their interactions with products, services and their environment. As such, it can be applied to many practices and disciplines - these are areas in which it's applicable and commonly used:

  • Customer Experience/Journey
  • CSR & Local Content Research
  • Product Review/Development
  • Charity, Sustainability & NGO Research
  • Public Sector/Social Research
  • Consumer Research
  • Behavioural Analysis
  • Employee/Organisational Research
  • EVP & Employer Brand Research
  • Reputation Research
  • User Experience Assessment
  • B2B Research
  • Cross-cultural Comparison

If you have a challenge not listed here, but believe our solutions meet your needs then we'd be happy to discuss this with you: