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The Qualitative Difference

Focus Groups   |   Interviews   |   Online & Mobile Research   |   Ethnography

At Spark, we uncover consumer insights that ignite success. We rely on a variety of proven tools to hunt down the market intelligence that our B2B and B2C clients need in order to stay ahead of the curve in a competitive market. We’re experts at engaging customers and stakeholders in meaningful conversations on the web, in their home or office and on the go.

Whether testing a new product idea, creating a brand strategy or mapping a customer journey to purchase, we believe it is critical to understand the beliefs and attitudes that drive customer behaviour. To this end, we develop unique qualitative research plans for every project and work to unearth the important insights that will spark strategic thinking and meet your business objectives. We have developed many research methodologies, combining elements from a variety of approaches to keep our research fresh, meaningful, rich, and productive.

Focus Groups

At Spark, we are RIVA™ trained advanced moderators. We develop creative approaches utilizing a wide variety of techniques to explore decision-making with customers and zero-in on the attitudes and triggers that drive them.

Our focus groups:

  • Offer welcoming and interactive environments where participants feel comfortable sharing
  • Provide a mix of activities to engage participants and generate rich output for our clients
  • Focus on productively answering the most pressing questions while leaving room for participants to fill in the gaps and tell their own stories


Customers and other stakeholders offer an important perspective on brands, categories, and processes. Interviews allow for a deep and free-flowing exchange of information and our team is skilled at obtaining the qualitative data that’s most important to your business. Conducted in person or remotely, our signature interview approach gets to the heart of attitudes, perceptions and behaviours from a variety of stakeholders, including:

  • Executives
  • Front line and other key staff
  • Current customers
  • Prospective customers
  • Business Partners
  • Investors

Online and Mobile Research

At Spark, we’re driven to find and use the most effective and efficient combination of tools and approaches. Online and mobile applications and platforms provide new ways to get “in the moment” with the target audience.

We’re experts at using online research to reveal customer insights for both B2C and B2B projects. This  effective research tool allows us to reach customers wherever they are—their office, at home or on-the-go. Your team can view the developments in real time through a client login that provides access to the ongoing conversation.

Our online research methods offer a variety of benefits:

  • Reach a wide geographic range of respondents with no travel costs
  • Fewer time restrictions—research can even be conducted over a number of days and participants can log in when it’s convenient
  • Richer sharing experience with opportunities for video, image and text questions and responses

Ethnographic Approaches

When it comes to market research, observation can be just as powerful as conversation. Our ethnographic approach shows you life through the customer’s eyes by viewing their day-to-day habits, whether it’s through journals, passive observation, home walk-throughs, or other proven observational methods. This research method is an ideal fit for companies looking to understand how products and services (or those of their competitors) factor into the daily life of an average consumer.

Our ethnographic approach includes:

  • In-home interviews
  • Household audits—cupboards, closets, rooms, daily habits
  • Journaling and diaries
  • Story-telling exercises
  • Accompanied shops

In-Home Interviews

Bring your customer’s perspective sharply into focus by visiting them where they live. Our in-home interviews combine observation and interview techniques to provide a complete picture of customer habits and attitudes from their vantage point. This gives you a rich and powerful way to understand consumers through pictures, belongings, and purchases, which in turn provides us with a clear understanding of individual context, priorities, and values. Then, we’re able to provide a meaningful idea of how products and brands fit into their day-to-day life.

Accompanied Shops

Be a fly on the wall as consumers make their day-to-day purchases. Accompanying consumers at point of purchase in retail, leisure, financial and entertainment environments provides meaningful first-hand insight into decisions that are made within the point of purchase environment. Whether walking through a store or observing online shopping behavior, we gather and distill qualitative data into effective and actionable strategies designed to improve the customer experience and increase purchase and uptake.