Posted January 29, 2013
You may have noticed the prominence of bridges on our site. You may also have wondered, what’s up with that?
The fact is that bridges have long been, for us, the perfect metaphor for the work we do—and not just us, the entire market and opinion research profession.
Bridges connect—one side to another. They solve a problem—how to get efficiently to the other side without having to wade, swim, or float across, or walk, bike, or drive around. They create opportunity—without them no connection at all between the two sides is a distinct possibility. They create advantage—linking people and businesses from both sides for mutual benefit.
Market and opinion research does the same thing. We connect our clients with their constituencies, by helping clients understand the needs of those constituencies. We help our clients solve problems, by gauging customer concerns and identifying ways to address those concerns. We help clients embrace opportunities, by determining how to retain customers and attract prospects. We help clients create advantage, by sizing up their competitive strengths and weaknesses, and how best to build on the former and turn around the latter.
We build bridges between our clients and those who matter most to them.
Research-as-a-bridge also has great metaphoric stretchability. Just as there are different bridges appropriate for different crossings—a log across a small stream, a stone footbridge across a narrow pond, a rope bridge across a chasm, a wooden bridge across a train track, a steel suspension bridge across a wide river—there are different research approaches, different methodologies, appropriate for different needs clients have to connect with their constituencies. The best research organizations have a variety of tools to assist clients with their research needs—most broadly both quantitative and qualitative approaches, but within each, a full range of methodologies tailored to the specific client need—whatever it might be.
Finally, if you think of it, from that perfectly placed log across that small stream all the way to that elaborate steel suspension bridge across that big river, bridges are models of ingenuity, beauty, and value. In their variety, they speak to the human pleasure in solving a problem that is universal, yet profoundly sensitive to local conditions.
Our clients come to us with a common goal: to more effectively understand the needs and interests and concerns of those who matter most to them—their customers, their prospects, their employees, their shareholders, etc. Why? So they can take effective action toward gaining competitive advantage. The bridge to that goal is different for every client, every project. We help our clients build that bridge.
A personal note: If you have a bridge that you love, and you’re willing to send us a photo of it and a note on what makes it special to you, we would love to see it. Our goal is to populate our site with bridges that we love, and that you love. What you see now is just the start.