Exploratory Research :

Ethnographic interviews with your consumers

In situations where people do not have access to their own cognitive and emotional processes, ethnographic interviews (combined with a period of observation) provide deep insights that cannot be achieved through a standard individual interview.
Ethnographic interviews are interviews conducted with deep immersion in the consumer's natural environment to observe his or her way of life, allowing you to enter the participant's world and see it through his or her eyes. In situ we get the full picture, understand the context and see what cannot be said, as well as their motivations and behavioural patterns.

Ethnographic research combines a variety of data collection methods

  • Observation of behaviour: A professional facilitator visits consumers in their natural biotope observing their behaviour, collecting relevant materials and taking photographs. This method is particularly accurate because trained moderators observe behaviour that is completely unconscious and therefore cannot be documented by consumers themselves.
  • Diaries (paper&pencil or online): Consumers can also observe and document their behaviour themselves. They describe how they live, how they consume, how a product is used, and anything else that might be relevant to the research. 
  • Pictures, audio and video recordings: Used to illustrate the behaviour that has been observed / described
  • In-depth interviews: An ethnographic interview looks like a friendly conversation in which the researcher slowly asks indirect questions about consumers' lives, values, beliefs, etc. to help the consumer share their experiences.

The facilitator needs a wide range of skills

  • The ability to establish a good rapport with the interviewee
  • Good observation skills
  • And the ability to translate observations into research conclusions
Today, home visits are often replaced by a webcam tour of the consumer's home. Participants do not feel that strangers are invading their privacy, which makes this method less invasive, increasing the chances of getting genuine responses and allowing for a more diverse sample.

Nothing describes reality better than reality itself

We have a long history of gaining deep insights through genuine rapport. We have already explored Chinese cooking habits to gain deeper insights into how cooking is done, what the current food trends are and how open Chinese cooks are to Western culture.

We also looked at how consumers organise their fridge and cellar to determine the status quo: By 'going underground', Séissmo was able to confront the reality of German cellars and gain a deep understanding of the different latent needs for organising the cellar and, more generally, the consumer's own world.

And we watched women applying hair colour live on camera to assess the user experience, i.e. how the texture is perceived, how the product is applied, etc.

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The other 3 pillars of our research expertise

Brand & Strategy Research

  • Advertising impact
  • Product re-launches (360° marketing checks)
  • Packaging
  • Prices & promotion
  • Marketing mix coherence, portfolio
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Shopper Research

We look at every angle
  • Shopping experience (online and offline)
  • Optimal layout, co-creation with Do-It-YourShelf
  • Shopping mood, shopping mission
  • Loyalty drivers
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Product & Packaging Test

We find the addiction factor
  • Opportunities for adopting new concepts and ideas (both products and services); addiction factor
  • New formulas, flavours, fragrances, textures, colours, shapes, dosage forms, handling, devices, packaging materials, service components, names, claims, etc.
  • Customer & user experience
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