types of research

Nearly every study we conduct involves some level of exploring motivations and typologies. So often, these provide new ways of looking at your marketplace and your customers. While the objectives, products, people and topics change from project to project, our passion for research and drive to discover the emotional drivers does not.


Every brand has a personality and brand research is about thoroughly exploring that personality. This often requires a blending of methodologies and techniques. Brand personality is the culmination of emotions, words and images. What does your brand mean to them and how does it connect to their lives? More importantly, how closely does the brand personality perceived by your customers match the brand personality intended by your team?

Our approach to brand research explores how your best customers perceive you, why those customers choose you and how to best communicate those reasons to others. More than just providing the depth of insight around your brand, we also specialize in understanding how to build and strengthen brands.

advertising concept testing

A personal favorite of our president, there is significant richness and depth that can be gleaned from a concept testing study. Regardless of stimuli format or platform, we provide more than which idea "wins." You'll understand the associations respondents have with the language and the images. You'll understand why a respondent emotionally connects with certain concepts and how to leverage those connections moving forward. Our approach to concept exploration provides continual refinement of the foundational understanding you have of your audience, your product and your competitive landscape.


Brainstorming is one of the best research tools for generating ideas. It is highly effective way to hear about new product ideas or new solutions to current problems. Customers build on each other's ideas in the group setting and creativity is spontaneous. Brainstorming isn't necessarily about developing the ideas but about free-thinking in an atmosphere where respondents are comfortable to offer any and all thoughts.

Brainstorming is an effective tool with customers but also for use internally. It fosters teamwork and will strengthen your team in addition to generating great ideas. We have conducted on-site brainstorming sessions with clients on topics such as message generation, branding and positioning.

message testing

We firmly believe that message testing must link to motivations and behaviors to have real value for you and your client. Therefore, more than simply exposing respondents to a set of messages and finding out which one they like better, we are constantly using psychologically-grounded, intuitive probing to circle back to the whys and hows. You'll understand why certain messages work for respondents, how they link to creative executions, to your brand and to decision-making.

new product concept testing

Often, product concept testing is the first exposure your potential customers have with the new idea. We work hard to bring that product to life so you get a good read on the perceived benefits and liabilities, on both the functional and emotional benefits perceived. Our approach provides insight into how to optimize your new product ideas to ensure market success.

positioning exploration

Positioning Exploration is an excellent example of why rational expressions aren't enough for strategic decision-making. Positioning is designed to address both rational and emotional needs. We make attempts to capture a brand’s positioning with words but respondents often struggle to evaluate positioning statements. They don’t understand what they are or how they are used. We are highly skilled at getting beyond the superficial or fictionalized responses, to provide context and insight into the associations and emotions evoked to help your team understand, test and strengthen your brand's positioning.

psychographic research

Our researchers are very conceptual thinkers and frequently, personas, typologies and archetypes are part of the final deliverable. The result is a thorough model, grounded in reality, which reflects the deeper motivations and emotional perceptions of your target audience. These perceptions ultimately impact their decisions, their relationships and their acceptance of products and brands. Another benefit to in-depth, emotional psychographic exploration is that your brand team gets a first-hand perspective into life of your customers. This perspective will continue to serve as a solid foundation as you move your brand forward.

There is no easy way to predict what the final output will look like prior to getting out into the field. The findings of the research drive the design of models, our reports and presentations. There are no standard solutions at Pinnacle Research Group.

sales force excellence

Companies do research every day of every year to better understand who they serve and why customers make the choices they do. Your Sales Force is the direct link to your customers and is often an overlooked research subject. The key objectives of a Sales Force Excellence study are:

  1. To determine the characteristics that make for a great sales force and more importantly, be able to identify those within an individual.
  2. To use those learnings to enhance the development of current members & facilitate hiring future sales people who are destined for greatness.
  3. To shed light on why current trends in sales occur and why sales force behavior exists as it does.
  4. To expand their comfort zone and optimize the territory.

buying / decision making process

The goal of process research is to understand the steps people go through from start to finish. In a Buying Process study with patients, for example, we explore origination of symptoms, to diagnosis, treatment decisions, brand choices and persistence. What hoops do sufferers have to jump through and what obstacles are erected along the way? In Process Exploration, the goal is to identify what you can do to remove the barriers or shorten the journey to your brand. We explore the expressways, the detours and landmines customers pass along the way. The final result is a set of visual "maps" that depict the key ways people move through the process to your brand.