Market Research 101: Introduction to Kelton

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Whether you’re scrolling through your smartphone, turning on the TV, or stepping out for a quick coffee, it’s hard to get through a day without being somehow influenced by brands. Why is it that certain brands are cool or fun and others are cheesy or outdated? What influences us to shop in one store but not another or buy a particular product?

Market research firms employ a wide array of people to get to the bottom of these questions—and apply that information to their clients’ products and brands.

We caught up with one market research firm, Kelton, to learn more about what they do, who they work with, and how you can get a job in market research. Sophie Meharenna, Senior Associate in Marketing & Business Development at Kelton, provided the answers below.

What is a market research firm? What types of projects and clients do they generally take on?  

Market research firms work to collect data and analyze consumer behaviors and attitudes, market needs, trends, business opportunities and the competitive landscape that brands play in. This market information is extracted in various ways, including:

  • Quantitative research (which is grounded in statistical and mathematical techniques)

  • Qualitative research (which leverages storytelling and observation)

  • Secondary research (which includes the analysis of existing research as opposed to the collection of new and fresh data)

What types of services does Kelton offer?

Kelton helps brands navigate change. It is a strategic consultancy with deep roots in research and provides innovative business solutions that are inspired by the stories, trends, and behaviors of consumers. Some of our services include:

  • Focus groups

  • One-on-one interviews

  • Customer observations

  • Trend scans

  • Online surveys

  • Product development

  • Ad testing and creative development

  • Brand health tracking

  • Marketing strategy

  • Innovation

What is Kelton’s structure like? What departments does it have, and how do they work with each other?

Kelton is made up of five core disciplines:

  • Qualitative Research

  • Quantitative Research

  • Strategy

  • Design

  • Communications

At Kelton, we combine researchers, strategists and designers on each project to create optimal teams, ensure that our recommendations are well-rounded, and create engaging work products that non-researchers look forward to diving into.

Our team takes a fresh look and approach to every client and our deliverables effectively articulate the narrative framing our clients’ business issues and opportunities.

Can you walk us through each of the stages of a project?

Step 1 – A client provides an RFP (request for proposal)

At this stage, clients express interest in working with our team and provide high level context on the business issue or opportunity they want explore.

Step 2 – Methodology design

After digesting the client’s request, Kelton custom designs a research approach that addresses the objectives of the engagement. Our team determines the best mix of research and strategy techniques to leverage based on the goals coming out of the project.

Step 3 – Client approval and project kickoff

Once the engagement has been approved, the designated Kelton team leads a kickoff with stakeholders on the project. We discuss key hypotheses, get foundational background from the client, and align on logistics for the project moving forward.

Step 4 – Consumer research

After regrouping with our clients, we design the necessary questionnaires, discussion guides, and creative exercises for customer research. Upon getting sign off on the topics of exploration, we begin fieldwork with target audiences.

Step 5 – Data analysis and synthesis

Once we’ve gotten the necessary inputs from research, our team processes and analyzes the data to identify key themes. We then create visually appealing, storytelling-driven deliverables to communicate the findings to our end client.

Step 6 – Dissemination of recommendations

At the project’s end, our team reads out the key insights learned—and provides unique coloring on the implications for the brand at hand.  Through a mix of reporting, infographics, HD-quality short films, and creative workshops, we download our clients on the findings, discuss the best (and most opportune) strategies for their business, and collaborate with them to implement these new solutions.

What are some clients that Kelton has worked with? What did the client want and what did Kelton offer?

Kelton’s work spans across many industries or offerings. For instance, we’ve partnered with TOMS from the beginning. Our ongoing work for them includes product development and testing, brand extension explorations and optimizations, global brand tracking, and success measurement studies. We’ve helped TOMS venture into new product categories, including eyeware. Our insights keep a finger on the pulse of TOMS’s position in the marketplace, and help grow the company in a sustained fashion—all without losing the brand’s magic.

We also regularly work with Target, Bloomingdale’s, Domino’s, Pfizer, The Coca-Cola Company, MTV, and many more of the world’s fastest moving brands and agencies.

Think you’d like to work at Kelton? Check out open Internships and Jobs in Kelton’s Los Angeles, New York, and London offices. Or just find out more by following Kelton on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


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