Dine Discoveries


Friday, May 23, 2014 | Posted in Engagements, Inspiration

Sometimes we forget just how green the grass is on OUR SIDE.

While considering speakers who would inspire at our Spring QRCA Chapter Event, we looked far and wide before realizing we had two International Sensations right in our midst. Daniel Berkal (The Palmerston Group) and Sarah Johnson (Athena Brand Wisdom) had just spoken in Budapest and graciously offered to take the Toronto Chapter through the wonderful work they shared in Europe.

Their two talks showcased complementary methods that add another perspective and richer insights to primary research.

Sarah started us off with a focus on semiotics and how to weave this cultural analysis into a range of initiatives, from market landscape reviews and mapping through to interpretation of deep-seated cultural themes embodied in consumer projectives. She has done this work on a range of products and categories, including a global initiative to understand beliefs around obesity!

Daniel took us through fascinating case studies on immersive techniques that deepen engagement and insights.

  • Want to find out about gambling behaviours, rituals and problems within ethnic populations? Why not ride the buses from ethnic areas to the casinos? Daniel and I did this one together, then followed up with deep and targeted probing during face-to-face sessions.
  • Rock climbing as a warm-up for group discussions? Why not? It builds camaraderie and openness and helps guys share true feelings.
  • How to simulate reality? Why not stage a launch party for a new beer brand to get beyond posturing and into the real reactions of night club patrons?

The talks inspired, the conversation was dynamic, and many of us walked away ready to inject these techniques into our upcoming projects!