Fundamental research means observing customers and listening to their stories. What moves them? What do they dream of? What do they feel? 

The insights you get from fundamental research are a great basis to design new concepts and the future of your business. This has a simple reason: deeper-lying customer needs are very constant. So when you build on them, your product will not just be relevant now, but for years to come. 

Do a diary study to warm people up — A great way to start off your fundamental research is by doing a diary study. It gives you a first impression of the world of your audience. And having your audience think about the concerning theme for a couple of days also gives more depth to the stories they share later on in interviews.

Get to know your audience through interviews and observations — For most people it’s hard to articulate their needs, goals, and frustrations. A great part of their everyday choices happens subconsciously. So simply asking what they want or need wouldn’t do the trick. Generative group interviews, individual in-depth interviews, or in-context research help discover deeper-lying stories and experiences. We use input from the diary study, do creative exercises, and trigger people with images and words.

Researcher watching a group interview from the observation room in our lab
Watching a group interview from our observation room

Make your insights accessible through customer journeys and stereotypes — Both stereotyping and customer journey mapping give you a deep and compact understanding of your audience and helps you connect your product to their world. It’s also easier to share your insights when you keep it short, sweet, and visual.

Quantify your insights to make sure they represent a larger audience — We can’t observe or interview hundreds of people face to face. However, when making big decisions, we do want to know if the insights represent a larger audience. So once we have an understanding of the most important needs, goals, and frustrations we put out online surveys to add priority and nuance to insights.


Once your fundamental research is done, you have a solid basis to come up with new ideas and explore them in more detail.

We know how to get to the bottom of things

We’ve been doing fundamental research for over a decade. We helped established companies like Eneco and PostNL rebuild strategies based on insight. But we also helped start-ups like Soulpicks create their proposition from the jump.

Ilja Groenewegen

Reach out

Ilja Groenewegen — Business & Operations

ilja.groenewegen@valsplat.nl +31 20 330 54 54
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