Ethnographic Research, Inc.

Consulting agency
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About Explore our Facebook page to learn what we’re up to and where we’ve been. Read our blog posts, learn about some of the theorists who drive our work, look at photos from our fieldwork, and have fun!

Ethnography means trying to understand behavior and culture by going out and talking to people wherever they are, while they’re doing whatever it is they do. It means entering someone’s world for a while, be it a couple of hours or a couple of days, or like our anthropological forefathers and foremothers, a couple of years.

A major difference between ethnography and other types of research is the depth and intimacy of our work. We get up close and personal with our research participants. By spending time with people as they go about their daily lives, we develop a better understanding of the cultural significance of various products/services and get a first-hand look at how people respond to and are affected by their social surroundings. We talk to individuals and families about broader issues that affect them, we watch the world with a telephoto lens, we listen and we learn. We do all of this where the action normally occurs: in their home, at their work, at the local gym or wherever things are happening.

We don’t go into the field with too many preconceived notions or with a script. But this is not to say that we don’t go into the field unprepared. We identify general topics or categories we want to understand to help meet our clients' business objectives. Based on these topics, we let the people we talk to lead the way. They tell us what is important, not just with their words but with their actions. Because of this, our results are much more vivid and real. Like oils compared to watercolors, our findings are richer and deeper than those produced by more traditional research methods such as focus groups. Our clients find our insights not only actionable, but hard-hitting and memorable, which provide strategic platforms for their future business in addition to answering current questions.
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