Understanding people’s needs, behaviour, pains and aspirations are key for organisations that want to be relevant and create value.

At Maple we believe that truly understanding people requires spending time with them and keeping an open mind. That is why we conduct our research out in the real world. We talk to people, we visit them in their homes, we observe them perform ordinary tasks and routines and ask them why they do so.

We find out what motivates them, what they are ashamed of, what frustrates them and what makes them happy.

We translate these insights into actionable recommendations for our clients, and put great emphasis on communicating the results in a clear, visual way – with the use of photos, video and illustrations.


SOS Children’s Villages

Maple helped SOS Children’s Villages re-focus their approach to one of their key target groups. See Janda Campos (Director of Partnerships and Major Donors) and Andreas Honoré (Corporate Relations Manager) explain how Maple brought value and changed their perspective.


In depth interviews

In-depth interviews

The foundation of our work is qualitative face-to-face interviews in people’s home, at their work place or at other places of interest. We ask them about what motivates them, what frustrates them, how they use specific products and services, and their perception and knowledge of brands. The output is profound knowledge of their lives and needs.



Observing what people actually do (rather than what they say they do) is an essential method to gain insights into the reality of daily living, people’s preferences, dilemmas and strategies to make things easier. Also observing the physical aspects and layout of homes, work places, shops etc. is central in understanding real life.

Ethnographic tools

Timelines and user journeys

We often ask people to visualise their experiences, for example by illustrating a day in their life, a user journey or decision-making process. This is a good way to prompt them to reflect upon routines and choices, and it gives us a useful a visual output for further analysis.

Digital Ethnographic tools

Digital ethnography

Digital ethnography allows us to gain insights into parts of people’s lives that we otherwise seldom get access to. For instance we ask them to take photos, briefly answer questions or make small videos.

Test of visual material

Often we bring our clients’ campaign-, sales or communication material to the interviews, and we ask the informants to comment and evaluate the material: what is their perception of the materiale, what is relevant and easy to understand – and what does not make sense? Feedback on actual material gives valuable direction to the further development of it.


Colour drawing exercise

With colour drawing we give space to a more explorative way of expression. When asked to draw e.g. a situation or experience with oil pastels, people often start to sense, reflect and associate in new ways. Afterwards, the drawing constitutes a great tool to ask further and more detailed questions about objects, shapes, choice of colours etc. This gives us unique insight into the thoughts, considerations, feelings and reactions of the people we visit.