The Duke Group recently partnered with Instant Grass founder, Greg Potterton to launch Nude, a dedicated ethnographic, market research agency.
Congrats on the launch of Nude. Tell us more about the ethnographic, market research agency?
Nude is an un-research agency. We steer away from conventional market research methodologies and instead focus exclusively on ethnographic research. This is a methodology that, unlike traditional Q&A research, allows the client to step into the lives of actual people and watch how they live, how they make choices and how products and service fit into their daily routine, lifestyle and culture. This human-centric approach gets to the root of why people do what they do, versus what they say they do in Q&A research.
When and how did the idea come about?
The idea is a manifestation of Instant Grass International – South Africa’s first consumer collaboration agency, launched in 2003. With the global perspective gained from launching Instant Grass in Africa, North American and Asia Pacific markets, we realised that the Sub Saharan African markets were still relying heavily on conventional quantitative research methodologies which, due to the complexities of the continent, were expensive and unnecessarily protracted.
Whilst there will always be a role for big data, we identified the need for a more real-time and human-centric approach to understanding why people behave the way they do. We have infused global best practice with the latest AI tools in order to offer clients a more immediate and cost-efficient way to understand their consumers across the continent.
What is the core function of Nude?
Nude allows our clients to include the consumers “voice” into every stage of their business. We are not a traditional research agency – our output is consumer-driven business solutions in the form of new products, messaging and experiences as opposed to research reports.
Our mandate is to move beyond measuring consumers opinions and rather to focus on defining consumer perceptions. Nude will be using the latest video and mobile content creation platforms to deliver projects quickly and efficiently. We hope to eliminate the lengthy timing and budgetary constraints associated with traditional research.
What sort of experience will each of you be bringing to Nude?
Since 2013 Instant Grass has worked with a number of multinational brands over 22 different countries and whilst we have always focused on consumer-driven strategic solutions, the partnership with The Duke Group enables us to supplement this with strong creative solutions.
Equally, this allows The Duke Group to add a consumer collaboration tool to its arsenal. We believe in the power of collaboration and believe that both businesses share the mission of doing great business, with great people and in a great way.
What excites you most about launching Nude?
Whilst consumer research is not new, the technological innovation in the video and artificial intelligence space affords us the opportunity to access consumers in environments and places that were once-off limits. We are utilising cameras and editing tools that are so discreet that we can literally live with consumers around the clock without them having to adjust their natural behaviour in any way.
Equally, AI tools allow us to edit audio and visual content quicker and more efficiently than ever before. This is the first time in history that the tools have been so powerful and affordable.
What is the ultimate end goal?
There has always been a need to capitalise on the potential of the emerging consumer market in Africa, however clients have been prohibited by lack of infrastructure, resources and budget. We plan to be the vanguard of consumer behaviour in the African continent by continuously offering our clients the most innovative research methodologies and tools available. As a centre of excellence, Nude will also afford our clients access to the broader EMEA region