Insights + Ideas.

Our point of view about humans, technology, business, marketing, and a few other odds and ends.

In The Pyramid Puzzle: Igniting Transformation with the Power of Trust, everything changes when a struggling company brings on a new CEO, Skip Collinsworth, who teams up with a business professor, a student Olympic athlete, and a philosophy doctoral candidate. Together, they draw on proven social science principles, ancient Indian wisdom, and modern-day management approaches, to transform the company culture and inspire employees, customers, and suppliers, to bring the struggling company back from the brink.

In Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday, a #1 Amazon Sales and Marketing bestseller, Zain has scripted a guidebook full of wit and hard-won wisdom that shows how truly understanding a brand’s core customer and getting back to basics is the way to conquer complex environmental problems to survive and thrive in the Insight Economy™.

Brand Rituals: How Successful Brands Bond with Customers for Life proves how companies, and their brands can drive significant business impact by creating a bond with their most loyal customers. In this book, also a #1 Amazon marketing bestseller (for over 6-weeks), Zain discusses how it’s no longer about consumer beliefs; it’s all about customer behavior. He challenges the five existing marketing myths that no longer serve us and provides a clearly defined four-stage approach to developing a Brand Ritual™.

AI for Market Research Part 5

AI for Market Research Part 5

In this article, we will explore how you can use GenAI at different stages of reporting. We’ll provide specific examples of prompts that you can use to leverage the power of AI to enhance your reports.

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Double the Impact of Your Communications

Double the Impact of Your Communications

Did you realize as many as 95% of campaigns underperform in the marketplace. That says something about modern marketing, but it may say even more about the state of today’s communication research and evaluation methods. How could that many pieces of communication get...

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AI for Market Research Part 3

AI for Market Research Part 3

Data Collection Instruments In the first and second installments of this series, we explored how generative AI tools, including ChatGPT and Claude, can be employed early in a research project to come up to speed, refine research objectives, develop hypotheses,...

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AI for Market Research Part 2

AI for Market Research Part 2

Using GenAI for Methodology Selection and Participant Screening In the first installment of this series, we explored how generative AI tools (GenAI), including ChatGPT and Claude, can be employed pre-project to come up to speed, refine research objectives, and develop...

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Why Human Insights Will Decide Life Insurancers’ Fate

Why Human Insights Will Decide Life Insurancers’ Fate

Like many of the industries we serve, the life insurance industry is facing a pivotal moment. Several converging trends present both challenges and opportunities for life insurers to reinvent their business and remain relevant in a quickly evolving landscape. We believe the companies and brands that will emerge on top are those that seek not just to understand their customers today, but to develop deep human-centered insights that will allow them to shape the future of the industry.

But first let’s take a step back. We see three critical forces that are converging on the industry right now.

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AI for Market Research Part 1

AI for Market Research Part 1

The advent of generative AI has injected high-voltage electricity straight into the market research ecosystem. Established software providers are infusing their products with this elixir, while new startups storm the field. Market research software vendors are...

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Cutting Through the Noise: The Power of a Single-Minded Message

Cutting Through the Noise: The Power of a Single-Minded Message

When it comes to qualitative research impact, it takes the combination of innovative methods and skillful talent to unlock breakthrough insights. This is especially the case in research studies such as Drivers & Barriers, where it’s often not easy to deliver true breakthrough insights that go beyond the typical functional, financial, and logistic aspects.

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Developing Multi-Dimensional Segmentation to Inspire Action

Developing Multi-Dimensional Segmentation to Inspire Action

When it comes to qualitative research impact, it takes the combination of innovative methods and skillful talent to unlock breakthrough insights. This is especially the case in research studies such as Drivers & Barriers, where it’s often not easy to deliver true breakthrough insights that go beyond the typical functional, financial, and logistic aspects.

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Crafting Empathetic, Actionable and Inspiring Journeys.

Crafting Empathetic, Actionable and Inspiring Journeys.

When it comes to qualitative research impact, it takes the combination of innovative methods and skillful talent to unlock breakthrough insights. This is especially the case in research studies such as Drivers & Barriers, where it’s often not easy to deliver true breakthrough insights that go beyond the typical functional, financial, and logistic aspects.

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Techmanity: Human Inspired. Tech Empowered.

Techmanity: Human Inspired. Tech Empowered.

When it comes to qualitative research impact, it takes the combination of innovative methods and skillful talent to unlock breakthrough insights. This is especially the case in research studies such as Drivers & Barriers, where it’s often not easy to deliver true breakthrough insights that go beyond the typical functional, financial, and logistic aspects.

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Power of Perspectives

Power of Perspectives

While it’s generally true that the only constant thing is change, there are some timeless truths. The power of perspectives is one of them. Whether it’s the parable of the seven blind men and the elephant originating from ancient India, or The Guardian’s 1986...

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Sharpening Breakthrough Communications

Sharpening Breakthrough Communications

Today, the market research industry’s approach to evaluating the impact and effectiveness of brand communications leaves a lot to be desired. It primarily relies on measuring attitudes such as "like" or "uniqueness," and not on the potential impact on behavior in the...

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Accelerating Business Success through Grassroots Advocacy

Accelerating Business Success through Grassroots Advocacy

Advocacy or ‘word-of-mouth marketing’ is one of the most powerful ways to impact behavior. We all know that consumers trust their family and friends’ recommendations far more than they trust any other source. This is also true for highly credentialed professionals. ...

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Squeezing the Juice from Your Existing Research

Squeezing the Juice from Your Existing Research

The second important principle for Agility is to Squeeze the juice from your existing research. Every company has data from research done for their brands over time. Unfortunately, this data is consigned to the past and very rarely used. As teams attempt to become agile, their biggest opportunity is to leverage their existing longitudinal data because the experience of the past has the power to inform the present and inspire the future.

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Tough Times Call for the Best Measures

Tough Times Call for the Best Measures

The multiple headwinds and tailwinds anticipated for 2023 will make for another year of high uncertainty. When even the WSJ’s first podcast episode of the year – titled ‘What Will the Economy Look Like in 2023?’ – ended with a range of vastly different scenarios, it’s...

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Navigating an Erosion in Consumer Trust

Navigating an Erosion in Consumer Trust

It’s no secret; we are living in uncertain times.

Today’s news is filled with stories of inflation, interest rate increases, layoffs, (especially at tech companies), the reality of a recession, and the impact of our latest mid-term elections. That’s a lot for anybody.

At Shapiro+Raj, we decided to take a ‘pulse of the American Citizen.’ We reached out to a representative sample last week, to get their perspectives on a wide range of issues – from their economic outlook to the biggest stressors in their life. What behaviors they will continue and what will fall by the wayside.

In all of this, one theme stood out to us. Trust.

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Upping the Odds of Success with the Power of Inclusion

Upping the Odds of Success with the Power of Inclusion

We are the largest Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) insights consultancy in the U.S. It is a badge of honor, but even more so, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of who we are.

The times we are living in today require every person and every company to stand for what is right and give everyone – no matter who they are – the opportunity to live up to their full potential. In other words, it’s not just about improving the valuation of our Fortune 500 clients, but also upping the odds of success and the dignity that comes with it for our fellow minority business owners and their employees, and for many underserved communities.

It is with this conviction that we proudly join Chicago United at the Bridge Awards Celebration tonight, honoring excellence in diversity, equity and inclusion in business, united by The Power of Inclusion.

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Insights to Activation Principle 4: Articulate and Activate the “Now Whats”

Insights to Activation Principle 4: Articulate and Activate the “Now Whats”

The fourth most important principle in Agility is Point insights toward actions and outcomes. The biggest single point of failure we see is the inability of marketers to activate insights. This is mostly because of the way insights are currently framed and presented. Shapiro+Raj brand strategists work closely with researchers to clearly articulate the “now what’s” so that our clients get market-ready insights.

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Insights to Activation Principle 3: Picking the Right Tech Partner

Insights to Activation Principle 3: Picking the Right Tech Partner

The third most important principle in Agility is Leveraging the right technology stack. We all know that technology is one of the biggest enablers of agility. However, with the plethora of apps and tools out there, it is very difficult to know which one is right for the job at hand, and which one will perform as billed.

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Insights to Activation Principle 2: Make the Most of What You Have

Insights to Activation Principle 2: Make the Most of What You Have

The second important principle for Agility is to Squeeze the juice from your existing research. Every company has data from research done for their brands over time. Unfortunately, this data is consigned to the past and very rarely used. As teams attempt to become agile, their biggest opportunity is to leverage their existing longitudinal data because the experience of the past has the power to inform the present and inspire the future.

read more
Agility Today: Four Key Principles That Deliver Better Strategic Outcomes

Agility Today: Four Key Principles That Deliver Better Strategic Outcomes

At Shapiro+Raj, we have evolved to become a new agency for this new normal. With a curated technology stack for agility and efficiency connected with deep social science rigor and battle-tested brand strategists. All built to spark transformative outcomes for our clients. As we have evolved, we have identified four key principles for agile research that deliver high quality outcomes with high velocity.

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Bring Your #1 Business Challenge to the World’s #1 Strategic Insights Consultancy

Bring Your #1 Business Challenge to the World’s #1 Strategic Insights Consultancy

It’s a huge validation for us to be voted by our clients and peers as the #1 Global Strategic Insights Consultancy in GRIT 2022, a big jump from #6 just last year and beating much bigger firms like Deloitte, BCG, Accenture, and Bain. This honor is in addition to being voted as a Top 25 Most Innovative Global Market Research Agency for five years in a row! Call us with your #1 business challenge and see how the #1 Strategic Insights Consultancy can spark transformative outcomes for you.

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Looking for growth? Integrate Technology with Humanity.

Looking for growth? Integrate Technology with Humanity.

The way the market research industry often evaluates brand communications can be problematic​ and, as such, may leave brands falling short of their goal of building deep, lasting brand relationships with their consumers.

At Shapiro+Raj, our unique philosophy on brand communication is inspired by the perspective that our CEO, Zain Raj, expresses in his breakthrough book Brand Rituals: How Successful Brands Bond with Customers for Life, along with our decades of experience​. We know brand communications shouldn’t just deliver a message – they should forge an attachment and build a relationship.

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Sharpening Breakthrough Communications

Sharpening Breakthrough Communications

The way the market research industry often evaluates brand communications can be problematic​ and, as such, may leave brands falling short of their goal of building deep, lasting brand relationships with their consumers. At Shapiro+Raj, our unique philosophy on brand...

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‘Diversity’ Is More Than a Catch Phrase – It is Who We Are

‘Diversity’ Is More Than a Catch Phrase – It is Who We Are

Our diversity makes us one of those rare research companies that brings human empathy as well as a varied set of talents to every project – social scientists, data analysts, brand strategists , creatives, business operators, and technologists – so that we are better able to understand issues and find unique solutions that deliver on true business and marketing objectives. This has allowed us to build a future-forward insights consultancy. One that has led to a lot of success for us, but more importantly, has helped our clients consistently win in the marketplace.

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Stand-Out Science: Empowering Medical Affairs to Craft Winning Scientific Stories

Stand-Out Science: Empowering Medical Affairs to Craft Winning Scientific Stories

At Shapiro+Raj, our scientific story research plans produce insights that sharpen all aspects of the scientific story – resulting in an actionable IMA refinement plan and human-centric information to set MSLs up for success (e.g., HCP areas of interest, what they may want/not want to hear, and other tips for ensuring receptivity of the data). Learn how we can help identify the narratives that can best shape your business and drive advocacy to deliver transformative outcomes.

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