Going Deep into the Field with Consumer Ethnography

Strategic Ethnographic Research

Ethnography anchors consumer interviews in the rich semiotic context of their environments. Through the semiotic analysis, we translate consumer insights into strategic direction for our clients.

The speech, gestures, actions, shopping behavior, and the disposition of their possessions in the home form a complex, multi-dimensional text. The semiotician draws out the codes structuring meaning in the text and exposes emotional and cultural tensions that motivate consumers to deconstruct these codes in their daily lives. The manner in which consumers bend and personalize the cultural codes sheds light on unmet consumer needs, emerging trends in the culture, product category, and target segment. Such findings form the basis of our strategic recommendations to clients in areas such as product innovation, design, and creative strategy.

Applications: Our research into the luxury sector in Paris and Shanghai revealed unusual distinctions between the perceptions and culture of luxury in China and the West. This kind of research has important implications for marketers trying to leverage their brands in the rapidly growing luxury market in China Results: our clients applied our findings to development of new advertising strategy and new research protocols for the China market.

Culture Swapping PDF