UK Insight In Action

How we supported the needs of a Japanese research agency as their market research partner in the UK.



Our client, an Asia Pacific-based market research agency, had been asked by an automotive brand to undertake global communications research.

The brand had developed a highly abstract creative approach to position itself in the world of alternative fuelled vehicles. The research method they wanted to take was a mix of detailed individual quantitative self-completion tasks and focus groups, some of which the client wanted to moderate themselves via an interpreter. (In our experience, this doesn’t always bode well.)


We undertook all elements of the research including recruitment, venues, interpreters, preparing fieldwork materials, as well as participation in a detailed briefing meeting. So far, as expected.

But when the groups started, we sensed the unconventional, creative research approach was clouding the issue and hampering understanding. There was a risk that key insights would be missed.

We proposed small changes to the research structure that made a big difference to respondent understanding, as we set about uncovering powerful nuggets of truth. We adapted the self-completion tasks to make questions clearer and we co-moderated the groups to remove the language barrier that existed.


Once all the groups were completed and the self-completion data entered, we participated in a debrief meeting with the end client and co-ordinating agency to ensure that they had a true understanding of what the UK consumers had expressed in the groups. We added in local colour and context so our clients had a deeper comprehension of why people were responding as they were.

As a result, the communications were adapted to ensure that the idea was culturally and linguistically appropriate and effective for the UK market.

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