Our collaborative of entrepreneurs range from well-seasoned, multi-country mavericks, to very regionally focused specialists. We engage the right expertise to make the most impact.
Liz is passionate about people - their motivations, beliefs and aspirations. She started with an idea to collaborate with some of the brightest colleagues she has had the pleasure to work with over the years - and the collaborative was born.
Her natural curiosity to unearth and extract led her into the world of research where the art and science of research was commonly under leveraged through segregation. With over 18 years in the art and science of uncovering motivations and behaviors, Liz specializes in bridging tools and people. The research journey she creates is designed to bring greater value to the researchers, the clients and the consumers. At Walmart.com, she built segmentations and customer loyalty programs for over 23 product categories. At Barclays/Blackrock, she built and evangelized research among hedge funds, mutual funds, pensions, financial advisors and endowments. She’s worked out of Canada, Paris, Saigon and the U.S. for leading market research organizations such as Angus Reid/Ipsos, Taylor Nelson Sofres and Hispanic & Asian Market Research/Cheskin Research. She has designed and facilitated Action Planning Workshops for cross-functional business groups, manned conference booths on predictive loyalty modeling, co-authored on customer loyalty, and presented customer loyalty insights to hotel business owners at the Mandalay Bay. When not observing people, she dabbles in snowboarding, community building, French, photography, music, journalism, film, travel, wine and Belgian beer. Liz graduated in Political Science from the University of Rochester and did her Master's coursework in Economics at the University of San Francisco.
Ella's seasoned career began in Paris at a trend-scouting agency. There she discerned societal and consumer trends that were leveraged to fuel the development of brand strategy, products and creatives across categories and brands. Ella’s research experience encompasses empathy-centric practices with particular specialization in strategy, brand development research, ethnography, semiotics and cultural analysis. She has facilitated many cross-functional workshops, infusing research insights and innovation into areas such as bringing segmentations to life, building marketing strategy and developing consumer insight tracking programs. She is passionate about unearthing people’s motivations, inspired by Russian romantic literature and magical realism, and hooked on films from Godard, the Bergmans and the Rossellinis. Ella grew up in France and Mexico, which fostered her affinity towards the culinary arts in Latin American and Europe. She lived in Berlin and Paris before moving to South-East Asia where she worked for 5 years. She has recently relocated to Latam. She loves cooking for her friends and pouring wine from antique Cristal carafes. She graduated from the Paris-Sorbonne University in communication and is fluent in French, Spanish and English. She has been entrenched in local and regional research across Europe, Central America and South-East Asia for the last 15 years.
Born in London to Vietnamese parents, Chuong spent over 10 years in the realm of advertising, marketing, research and communications across Europe, New Zealand and South-East Asia. Being naturally nosy, Chuong found a cozy niche in qualitative research and strategic planning. Chuong knows much more than his wife about diapers, baby formula and other motherhood dilemmas (which may overtly seem contrarian). But he has observed how women wash clothes in volcanic lakes in Guatemala, on rooftops in Ho Chi Minh City, and back alleys in Manila. It does present its occupational hazards. Chuong commonly finds himself skulking around a shopping aisle waiting to ask a poor, unsuspecting consumer, why they selected that particular flavour of soup and SKU. He has developed a really bad habit of constantly trying to join disparate dots when there is not even a dot to begin with (flashback to the film A Beautiful Mind), and is ceaselessly probing until he feels the truth has been uncovered.
Chuong is happiest when clients believe in ethnography and deep insight gathering and extraction. He is even happier when they dispatch him to a far flung country to conduct ethnography. Chuong considers himself a vagabond, but in the the positive sense. He has lived in seven countries, and visited around 40. Nowadays he tries to channel his whole marketing experience into his own startup, called DiveShare. It is a user-generated database created by divers to help other divers. Dive log data is so useful if properly crowdsourced, but the act of logging dives is inherently boring. He wants to change that, so he reinvented the dive log for the iPhone.
Tim's seasoned career had its long beginning in academia, where he taught Marketing as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to becoming an entrepreneurial consultant, he was Senior Vice President of Research Sciences for Ipsos-Reid and Director of Statistical Services at Conway|Milliken. Tim has experience with a wide range of methodologies in marketing research statistics, including discrete choice design, analysis and simulators, segmentation, forecasting, and multidimensional scaling and correspondence maps. His area of expertise is Bayesian statistics and particularly applying the Gibbs sampler in market research. Tim has done research in a wide range of industries, including packaged goods, media and entertainment, financial services, pharmaceuticals, travel and tourism, lotteries and gaming, automotive, agricultural equipment and chemicals, and telecommunications. Tim's other passion is landscape black and white photography and sipping wine in the Loire valley. Tim has a Ph.D. in Economics from Washington University and a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Grinnell College. Tim has spoken at many market research conferences and his presentations include:
"The Latest Thing in Conjoint: Hierarchical Bayes Estimation,” IIR Excellence in Market Research Conference, Jul ’07 (invited tutorial speaker),
“Conjoint and Discrete Choice Models and Hierarchical Bayes Estimation,” DMA Analytics Council Seminar, Oct ’06 (invited tutorial speaker)
“New Product Development,” IIR Modeling for Impact Conference, Dec ’05 (invited tutorial speaker)
“Shelf vs. Grid Stimuli in Packaged Goods Discrete Choice Studies,” Advanced Research Techniques Forum, Jun ’05 (with Greg Rogers)
“An Introduction to Hierarchical Bayes Conjoint Analysis,” IIR Modeling for Impact Conference, May ’05 (invited tutorial speaker)
“New Developments in Pricing Research,” IIR Modeling for Impact Conference, Dec ’04 (invited tutorial speaker)
“A Comparison of Conjoint and Scanner Data-Based Price Elasticity Estimates,” Advanced Research Techniques Forum, Jun ’04 (with Greg Rogers and Joel Huber)
“Shelves & Pairs in Package Testing,” Executive Insights Conference, Jan ’04 and Advanced Research Techniques Forum, Jun ’03 (with Kristin Sharp)
“Choice-Based Research in the New Product Development Process: A Bayesian Perspective,” Advanced Research Techniques Forum, Jun ’00 (invited tutorial speaker)
On the weekends one will often find Deyon in Marin helping first time AIDS/LifeCycle participants on their training rides as she volunteers as a training ride leader (TRL). She can often be spotted wearing the bright orange identifier TRL vest, or as some participants prefer to call it, the beacon of hope. Off the bike, Deyon has more than 25 years of leadership experience in roles that encompass business operations and strategy, human resources and development, finance, technology, communications, and legal affairs. She is passionate about helping organizations become more successful with improved profitability while establishing high levels of employee commitment. She is well respected as a motivational, collaborative, lead-by-example leader and proponent of empowerment and accountability. Energized by the challenge of implementing changes that ensure an organization’s success, Deyon is recognized for creating a climate that promotes imagination, unrestrained thinking, and experimentation.
Born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam, Thanh Phuong has been working as a qualitative research expert in Vietnam and Singapore for the past 10 years, including as head of Qualitative Research for Cimigo in both countries. Phuong has a proven track record of innovative thinking and strategic recommendations to a vast array of multi-national clients, including Pfizer, TetraPak, Diageo, Beiersdorf-Nivea, LG Cosmetic, Sanofi and Colgate Palmolive. She has a solid background in qualitative research, which includes leading focus groups, ethnographies, immersions, trend-scoping, consumer-customer co-creation, ideation/concept workshops, and building online communities. Her natural curiosity and passion for diving has led her to travel all over the world. She's an avid traveler and scuba diver, making her way around the world one reef at a time.
Lara is a native Portuguese speaker, who is highly gifted in the craft of conversation. Lara completed her undergraduate and graduate work in psychology and family systemic therapy in Brazil. She started as a psychologist, yet continued her passion for research, working closely with at-risk teens in Sao Paulo - Brazil and in Brooklyn - NY for the International Aids Society. Her humanistic spirit and endeavors continued with the Ministry of Health in Brazil, where she used lots of in-depth interviews, focus groups and ethnographic research to help the social-development of teens and families. Her adventurous spirit brought her to live and work in London and in Israel - where she expanded her work into branding and ad effectiveness. She also co-founded a Brazilian research agency, expanding her craft into a myriad of practice areas, including high tech, telecom, personal health & beauty products, retail and fast moving consumer packaged goods. She continues to innovate her techniques to engage more digital audiences, including video diaries and experimental online forums. Lara also speaks Spanish and English and has traveled all over Latin America. Currently, she works out of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Latika has close to 20 years of research experience and is a gifted moderator. Latika started out in marketing and media, working for a large media conglomerate based in India. Thereafter she honed her research skills on the supplier side with mix methodologies for Azure Knowledge Corp, Quick Finder, AC Nielsen, TNS, Ipsos, GfK, and Schlesinger Associates. Her research for global companies included automotive, finance, beauty/skincare, technology, entertainment, media & FMCG. With entertainment & media, she studied film viewership with linear TV and Video-on-Demand. She garnered audience feedback for pre-releases of Bollywood films to refine communication and promotional strategies. She also worked on Children’s program ideas for linear TV. Latika has a MBA from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies and a Psychology undergraduate degree from Delhi University. She's an avid consumer of cross-cultural books and magazines, while being a daily practitioner of mind and body spiritualism and harmony.
Linh's favorite pastime as a young, inquisitive adolescent, was peering into windows and wandering through hidden alleys. Her deep observations and reflections evolved into a natural ability to recognize cultural and social trends in events, stories, social media feeds and daily interactions with people and their environment. Linh loves waking up to self-imposed questions about social observations: How to tap into the realm of teenage humor? The metamorphosis in meanings towards the holiday of Tet, and the evolving nature of teenage flavor palettes. Linh's specialty is depth and exploration, gleaned through group interactions, in-depth discussions, ethnographic frameworks and online communities. She often finds herself at the very center of the vastly changing cultural and social landscape of the emerging market that she is researching and uncovering. Thus, Linh is uniquely positioned to understand and extract the cultural insights of particular ethnic and social enclaves. Linh has more than five years of experience leading research for both local and international clients from different industries, including food and beverages, dairy, personal care, advertising and pharmaceuticals. Linh is currently based in Hanoi, Vietnam and is fluent in Vietnamese and English. She has dabbled in Japanese and French and continues to frequent it on her Ipod app when occasionally inspired. Outside of formal research, she blogs about Hanoi's rough subsidy era or cultural roots that differentiates Northern and Southern Vietnam. She's an avid rock climber, despite her tremendous fear of heights. Her aspiring dream is to lead a climb in Ton Sai, Thailand.
Xana is our Renaissance researcher based in the Ukraine. Xana brings together many disciplines in her ever-evolving craft, fusing anthropology, design and communication in her work and her unique perspectives on the world. She seeks to unearth how humans create and recreate our cultural spaces with elements such as architecture, visual arts, design, sustainable systems, fusionary cuisine and tapestry. Xana’s seasoned career started in academia with the theory of communication. Her anthropological and cross-cultural communication work is wide-ranging and far reaching. She's led coaching workshops for CEOs doing business abroad and taught cross-cultural empathy for women in federal prison systems. Xana has over 10 years in marketing research, which includes leading the Qualitative Practice for Ipsos Ukraine and servicing international clients regarding segmentations, activation workshops, semiotic research, brand positioning and research innovation. She is currently part of a media and communications start-up in Kiev. Xana is fluent in English, French, Polish, Ukrainian and Russian. She holds a PhD in Psycholinguistics from Odessa National University and completed PhD coursework at Indiana EDU School of Business.
Cynthia is our San Francisco-based cultural immersionist. With over 15 years experience in empathy-centric research, Cynthia is highly adept at extracting impactful insights from ethnographic, in-depth, and group discussions. At H&AMCR/Cheskin, she helped technology and CPG clients with brand positioning, product development and testing, marketing and communication strategy and design innovation. She is a native Cantonese speaker, but also moderates in Mandarin. For a myriad of brands, she's brought cultural insights back from Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Munich, Jeddah and Dubai (to name a few). Being an avid traveler and a gourmand, she's visited some 25 countries and over 100 cities, tasting all the local cuisines along the way. She also co-authored China’s New Culture of Cool. She has a B.S. in Marketing from San Francisco State.
Victoria is our seasoned Barcelonian marketing and communication strategist, who started her 15 year research career as a creative copywriter for Saatchi & Saatchi Barcelona and McCann Erickson Madrid. Thereafter, she spent seven years with Tactica, a market research and strategic advertising firm, directing empathy-centric research to help brands improve their marketing and communication strategy. Victoria holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and a Masters in Strategic Communication Planning. She also teaches courses in strategic marketing, consumer behavior and customer relationship management to University and Business graduate students in Barcelona. Outside of work, her craft extends to restoring antique furniture and seeing a piece of the past come alive. And when she's not exploring hidden corners of Barcelona on bicycle, she's transporting herself on the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.