Credit: Thomas McCammon

Customised research for human-centred innovators

Square Holes provides customised research for human centred decision makers and innovators. From blue sky exploration, to concept testing and on-going monitoring. Primary and secondary data analysis and research, quick answers, to key performance indicator tracking, scaling to outsourced consumer insight teams.

Our 2,000+ studies since 2004, have explored Australia’s cultural pillars from government and policy, to education and community services. Square Holes provides ISO 20252 certified market and cultural insight for Australian brands seeking to grow locally, nationally and beyond, and global brands seeking to grow in Australia.

Start with immersion

Getting the foundation right from the start is essential to ensure strategy success. Square Holes works with clients to crystallise the mission and sub-objectives, explore early ideas and to ensure the team is supportive and excited. What is the strategic problem needing to be resolved? We reflect on lessons learnt in the past, and what is already known, then uncover new data and evidence, what was previously unknown. We analyse seeking patterns and insights, and build an engaging evidence based story to illustrate key findings and priority opportunities.

We love data!

BIG and small data

Small data >

Immersion with real people

Getting up close and personal, with the user, the audience the consumer, citizen. Where they live, work, play, holiday.  Focus groups, affinity groups with friends and family, intimate one-on-one discussions, ethnographic observation, videography and semiotic decoding.

BIG data >

A helicopter view of patterns

Market and population surveys, as well as shopping and behavioural data. High methodology standards to accurately measure and track patterns, and opportunities. Collecting data, analysing, and conceptualising consistencies, differences and opportunities.

Idea optimisation

Square Holes involves citizens, customers, users and audiences in concept testing and development for new products, marketing and other ideas. Permission to be brave with more than blind faith.

Impact monitoring

Square Holes also works with clients to define and monitor performance indicators, and identify priority strategy adjustments to enhance impact. On-going monitoring provides strategic reality and agility, precision in building flourishing cultures and growing brands.

Applied research

A few examples of how Square Holes' research is applied

Research to gain an analysis of the category and the relative brand health and positioning. This includes where opportunities exist, including market failings, key segments worth targeting and and optimal media strategy and positioning moving forward. Building on this understanding, development and testing of brand and marketing concepts, and monitoring the impact of the strategy on brand heath and where refinements will promote growth in sales.

Identifying where gaps and pain points exist for new products to find new markets and consumer segments. Using strategic insights to find the obvious and not so obvious omissions to grow sales. The pricing model, distribution, packaging and segment differentiation. Methodologies such as choice based conjoint or deep dive observational ethnography | semiotics can also be used to enhance bundling, identifiers of quality and other critical factors.

Square Holes matches emotions, information needs, drivers / barriers, pain points and opportunities to critical steps in the journey. The research helps identify consumer pain points and opportunities, invaluable to measure and explore opportunities. This will create journey maps and models to remove unnecessary friction, getting the journey fundamentals consistently right, adding surprising ‘joy’ when unexpected, and maximise profitability for key segments.

Research to allow for current and potential geographic markets to be measured mapped, the financial size of opportunity, including competitors and market shares, respective brand positioning and market gaps., as well as consumer needs and dynamics. Square Holes also explores markets deeply via qualitative research and ethnography to find the otherwise hidden quirks. We research the customer, distributors, influences and others to illuminate the market.

Square Holes has strong experience conducting research across of government. This includes data to understand cultures and communities, to liaise with key government and other stakeholders. We are comfortable managing trusted government relationships to evolve legislation, tech, citizen  and stakeholder engagement, population growth and behaviour change strategies (from health risk, to environmental care, population growth and road safety)

We have established relationships with arts and other major events to measure economic impact and inform future planning. The data collected allows for organisers to track the economic benefit over time. Square Holes also explores cultural impact of events (e.g. making the city a better place to live, work, visit). The research is valuable for organisers to identify opportunities, and government and other stakeholders as evidence as to why long-term commitments are critical.

Collaboration and co-design

As consumer voice advocates, we have acute appreciation of collaborative ideation and tapping into multiple sources of insight. From the mission workshop to project debrief, we draw on the wealth of our clients’ implicit and explicit knowledge about their business and connect it to the voice of their customers, audiences, or users. That is how our research drives positive change.

Research outputs

Square Holes reports are customised to the project and prospective readership. This includes tailoring to the immediate client project lead(s), core team, wider team(s), executives, organisation leaders, ministers, and wider stakeholders. The highest attention to detail, visual and text clarity. Illuminating the way forward.

Examples of how our reporting is tailored to clients

An easy to read 30-100 page report is typically provided, tailored with Square Holes contemporary aesthetic styling. This depends on the nature of the project, and can range from a brief executive summary, presentation, to more comprehensive reporting of multiple research methodologies and stages.

For tracking and data rich projects we also create interactive dashboard, data visualisation and other insight tools. This provides clients with dynamic reporting capabilities, real time tracking and enhanced sharing and engagement across teams.

Video and other media is also used where appropriate and budget permits by Square Holes to optimally communicate the research story and key insights to the team. We use both in-house, established freelance and film industry networks to suit all budgets, audiences and client needs, from highlight edits of focus group to more highly produced documentary executions.

Support beyond the research

Strategic frameworks

Building on robust research, strategic frameworks to guide planning and creative development.

Brief writing

Support in writing briefs building on research to send to designers, freelancers and agencies.

Concept testing

Involve users and audience in testing and refining new products, marketing and other concepts.

Strategic support

Project management and other support to help in implementation and optimising Kapow!

Highest standards

Square Holes abides to best practice data and privacy standards, working with many government and commercial enterprises with highly sensitive data and demanding rigorous data collection and storage standards.

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