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Humans, culture and data

As strategic partners, we bring together intricately distilled human, cultural & data maps, delivering you a fuller picture.
Using AI & technology, augmented by smart humans, we give you cut through faster, and our clarity of thought and advice delivers direction with confidence.



Being human is being a lot of things at the same time. Instead of simplifying the complexities down to the basics, we do something different: we understand what they mean for you. Often, only by embracing the entire qualitative messiness can we make sense of it.

We don’t just uncover what people think, feel and do, but also why, when, how and with what implications. By forensically connecting human understanding to the needs of a business - the problems and opportunities, causes and implications, barriers and solutions – we help make better decisions, faster for competitive edge.

laser light show at a night club with a crowd enjoying the music and atmosphere


Cultural values, beliefs and behaviours are what inspire us, mould us and determine our decisions. In today’s fast-moving and fragmented media landscape, they’re subject to rapid, and sometimes bewildering, change. While complex, we believe that cultural strategy doesn’t need to be. It’s all about finding your people and understanding what shapes them.

Through trend analysis, semiotics, experts & digital scanning, we identify the cultures people live in to better understand them and their influence. We apply this to your brands to help create meaning, build engagement and navigate change. Because culturally meaningful brands are powerful brands, and brands that last.

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There’s a lot of data out there and it isn’t always clear or connected. We focus on bringing out the humans behind it, bringing it all together to uncover valuable connections and patterns, and helping you gain a fuller picture of your business and markets, to make more informed and effective decisions.

From 1st and 3rd party data, to finding fresh, new insights that drive growth, we have the power to get you there. From surveys to search, social to sales, we deploy the latest in quantitative insight generation and predictive analytics to tell powerful, data-led stories that inspire change and action.


Our Centres of Excellence

Focused on our intricate understanding of how insight, strategy &

execution work together across the planning cycle.

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Global brand & communications tracking

A leading, premium fashion brand asked us to assess how their marketing is affecting their brand and how they could improve and optimise it over time. To do this, we put together a tracking programme that ebbed and flowed with the market and marketing communications needs, rooted in our Brand AURA principles. 

Covering 15 global markets, we incorporated a long-term core quantitative tracking hub and in-depth deep dives to ensure their activity was captured for key markets, whilst providing vital performance diagnostics. We delivered & interpreted monthly reporting dashboards which fed into business planning, campaign evaluation, and an annual debrief which helped bring current learnings to life, highlighting strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.​

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Getting closer to real sex 

Most of Durex’s previous research was based on claimed or reported behaviour and so they came to Firefish to really understand what happens between the sheets in the UK & US, to unlock insights that would inform and help to shape their future comms, product and innovation strategies. 

We found people who would film their sexual encounters, across sexualities, having them record a video diary as they watched it back, to capture the full experience and reactions. Done with the greatest sensitivity, we delivered incredibly candid results that would not have been possible any other way. The global team were amazed at not only the method’s success but also the strategic direction we delivered for them, and the project was shortlisted for 2 research effectiveness awards.

people cooking at home together


Developing the recipe for authenticity

With no universally recognised definition of authenticity in culture – only subjective and inconsistent interpretation – we sought to ‘tame’ this highly complex topic, making the intangible tangible, and simplifying the concept into a globally relevant meme, that would pervade all elements of the Knorr business, eliminating the need for guesswork and eradicating inconsistency. 

Through a mix of cultural insight, expert interviews, and primary research ethnographic research across global markets, we provided a universal, company-approved definition of authenticity in food that has led to greater confidence, consistency and accuracy across all areas of decision making. We also delivered an “authenticity compass” to help assess all future brand and comms activity and won Unilever’s Most Transformational Insight award.

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Conquering the content opportunity

A leading musical instrument brand came to us to help them define the content opportunity and provide inspiration for their socials. We scanned music industry reports, conducted trend analysis on approximately 200 music and audio-based products, and synthesised content from key competitors to uncover interesting territories with energy in culture, set to permeate the music world in the next few years.  

We explored the most relevant in-depth, bringing them to life visually with brand examples and guidelines on creating inspiring, engaging content for each. We rounded our portion of the research up with a provocation – to reframe what they think of as ‘content’, in turn allowing them to stretch beyond their comfort zone into a whole new world of consumer engagement.

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