Mind your language in the Rainbow Nation

Last week I presented a paper at the QRCA Worldwide Conference for qualitative research in Vienna, which I knew would have relevance to researchers and clients in South Africa (the 'Rainbow Nation'), even though it's likely to open some cans of worms! Interestingly, it also clearly resonated strongly with researchers in many other markets where they conduct research for clients from other countries.

As qualitative researchers we know that it's essential that our respondents are comfortable so that they can share their deeper thoughts with us, and one way we have is by using language. But in South Africa, a multiple language country, some qualitative researchers are not being as sensitive to language as an issue as they should be, which in turn will have an effect on the depth of our learnings. 


The social responsibility of the qualitative researcher

Much has been said about the responsibility of the researcher in setting up/running qualitative research with integrity and sensitivity to the comfort of our respondents, and I was reminded of this again today in a different context.


I have just been to a very relevant and thought-provoking talk by Professor Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University, that was organised by my children’s school. He is an academic, activist, renowned political media commentator and columnist, and the topic was ‘how should we respond to the challenges currently facing our country?’. One of the themes he touched on was the need to fix public schools in South Africa, in order to improve levels of education. 

In Focus website launch

Over the past two months we have worked with the team from Yellow Door Collective to create a new website for our brand. Our vision was for it to be both informative and engaging, and we have worked hard to create something that reflects who we are at In Focus.

Yellow Door Collective has spent time redesigning our In Focus logo, as well creating a new look and feel for our established brand. Our single page scroll down website is clean and user friendly, and hopefully something our prospective clients will be able to use to find all there is to know about our company. 

Some thoughts on LSMs, SECs, whatever socio-economic classification we use to segment and differentiate…

When recruiting for qualitative fieldwork, we have the obvious criteria of brands purchased/used/lapsed, age, gender, working status, etc. But LSMs/SECs are usually another important layer of selection, and are critical to the research and marketing process. We do need some means of differentiating consumers, for segmenting/targeting/consistency in ‘the kinds of consumers’ who we are talking to and about….but we know that these classifications are by no means perfect and can indeed be quite controversial, particularly when people have very specific views of how an LSM XYZ look/talks/dresses/travels around/eats/shops, etc!