Qualitative Research - Millward Brown Lansdowne

By: Millward Brown Ims  05/12/2011
Keywords: consumer research

Qualitative research is concerned with understanding, not measurement. It allows us access the inner world of your consumers and customers to see how they make assumptions and decisions about your brand, service or company.

Our approach combines standard qualitative techniques with cutting-edge behavioural psychology to work with words, symbols and non-verbal communication, in order to provide you with rich, exciting insights for your business.

Our researchers combine their specific expertise from the disciplines of marketing, sociology, psychology, philosophy, linguistics and economics to develop a rich and integrated approach. When applied to client assignments, it provides:-

  • A deep understanding of the socio-cultural influences on behaviour
  • Elegant elicitation of values, belief systems, motivational drivers and need-states
  • Insight process and thinking techniques that deliver real insights which unlock growth in your business
  • Opportunities and formats to bring your consumers into the heart of your research and development process

Our purpose is two-fold.

Firstly, we see ourselves as a group of obsessively curious people whose mission is to understand consumer and customer DNA. Through this understanding, we can guide our clients through the uncertain terrain of new thinking towards tomorrow’s realities. In other words, we add significant value to our clients’ bottom line.

Secondly, we aim to excel at the application of established methodologies and pioneer emerging options in order to keep our clients ahead of the game. To do this, we leverage:-

  • Curiosity: Continuously looking outside our areas of expertise for inspiration and new thinking
  • Knowledge: Combining internal market and consumer research with innovation process expertise and thought disciplines to deliver best in class solutions.
  • Imagination: Consistently discovering, developing and applying cutting edge thinking to client challenges.

Not all methodologies we develop make the final cut - only those that stand up to our own internal rigour and testing become available to our clients.

When curiosity, knowledge and imagination come together, they become a powerful force - allowing us to be fearless in our challenge of living your business and brands and bringing them to life in our theatre.

The Key to Success

The real key to successful qualitative research is an enthusiastic interest, firstly in people, and secondly in the issues at hand. We cultivate this quality - our explorations are always exciting to us, so that our group discussions and depth interviews are always stimulating and our interpretations are creative as well as realistic.

We Cultivate Ongoing Relationships

Our research relationships are generally ongoing rather than transient. This is particularly true of our qualitative work, where we welcome informal discussions with clients both before and after the conduct of projects, to maximise the value of findings. At all times we like to work with clients and their agencies in the generation and development of ideas.

We also encourage clients to attend some of the group discussions in a series, as this provides first- hand experience of their customers. In Dublin, a range of one-way mirror viewing facilities are available, and outside Dublin, video linkage can be organised.

We focus on Recruitment

High quality recruitment is a critical component of the qualitative research process. By maintaining close contact with recruiters throughout the recruitment process, we ensure that our respondents meet the correct specification.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

In Millward Brown Lansdowne, we use NLP to enhance our research approach. It allows us to access the value and belief systems of consumers outside of normal awareness that unconsciously determines the choices they make and mental models of their world. In addition, NLP provides the skills for translating habits and beliefs into purchasing and motivational strategies. We integrate these techniques into group, depth and workshop formats.

Application areas for Qualitative research

  • Advertising Research
  • Category Management
  • Brand Research
  • Market Dynamics
  • New Product Development
  • Internet Site Exploration
  • Accompanied Surfs
  • Ethnography


  • Focus groups
  • Mini Groups
  • Extended Creativity Groups
  • Conflict groups
  • Situation Groups
  • Telescope Groups


  • Individual depth interviews – at home/in venue
  • Situation depths
  • Friendship Pairs
  • Family Unit interviews
  • Tele-depths
  • Accompanied shops: accompanying a respondent while on a shopping trip, often including a visit to their home.
  • PFI's (Perceptual Focus Interviews): a particular approach used to pre-test advertising in one-to-one depth interviews


Workshops are the ideal format when interaction and diversity of views is required for:-

  • Creating and developing concepts, brands, innovation pipeline, communications
  • Problem-solving and issue resolution
  • Creating a shared vision and destination
  • Building commitment to a shared goal
  • Getting your consumers into the heart of your brands and business
  • Research into action workshop
  • Insight workshop
  • Ideation workshops
  • Creative Consumer Workshops
  • Visioning workshop

Our Experience

Over forty years of qualitative research at Millward Brown Lansdowne has given us an intimate knowledge of almost every conceivable general consumer market, including food, drink, confectionery, household items, motoring and many others, and also of almost every conceivable consumer type.

In addition, we have developed a unique specialist qualitative expertise in a range of highly technical areas, including telecommunications, information technology, pharmaceuticals, financial services, and many others.

Areas of qualitative research on which we thrive include advertising testing, brand positioning, brand image assessment and development, communication strategy and corporate image.

Keywords: consumer research

Contact Millward Brown Ims

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