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Robin Research Group is a Connecticut-based qualitative research firm serving clients nationwide.

What is qualitative research?
Qualitative research is conversational, in-depth research with relatively small numbers of people. It is used to get beneath the “what” to the “why” (or “why not”) of how people think, feel, and act. There are as many ways to conduct qualitative research as there are ways to talk to people. Classic qualitative research techniques include focus groups, in-depth interviews, and ethnographic observational research. Often conducted in person, qualitative research can also be conducted by phone (voice or text), internet (email, blog/bulletin board formats, or live streaming) or combinations of any or all.

More information about qualitative research and its uses can be found at, the official website of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association.

Robin Research Group key info
For over 20 years, Robin Research Group has provided qualitative research to clients ranging from local non-profits to Fortune 100 companies, working both independently and in frequent collaboration with leading research, branding, and strategy consulting firms.

Every Robin Research Group project is custom designed to address client insight needs and business objectives, on time and on budget. See (GUIDING PRINCIPLES).
Deborah Robin is the founder and principal of Robin Research Group. With Deborah as thought leader and lead researcher, Robin Research Group taps and assembles teams of top professionals (e.g., additional researchers, facilities, recruiters, transcribers, videographers and video editors) to deliver insights that matter.

Before Robin Research Group, Deborah Robin was a research analyst at Quaker Oats, then a management consultant specializing in marketing and market research at Mercer Management Consulting.

Deborah received her BA from Yale and MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.

Professional Member:


Robin Research Group designs and conducts research for clients of all sizes and shapes, from small local agencies to huge Fortune 100 companies. We also work collaboratively with a range of market research firms, non-profit institutions, branding and strategy consulting firms.

Consumer Goods & Services

  • DSW
  • Staples
  • Polaroid
  • Boehringer-Ingelheim

Business to Business

  • W.W. Grainger
  • Siemens Building Technologies
  • Staples
  • Polaroid
  • Harvard Business Publishing

Collaborative Engagements

  • Bain & Co.
  • Brown University Center for Healthcare and Gerontology Research
  • Greenleaf Associates
  • HawkPartners
  • Prophet

Examples of qualitative work Robin Research Group has designed and executed in collaborative engagements:

  • Consumer packaged goods concept, product, packaging, and messaging/communication
  • Pharmaceutical direct to consumer value proposition and message development
  • Premium home appliance feature development and positioning
  • For-profit senior living residence positioning and strategy
  • Telecommunications and entertainment bundling and branding
  • Restaurant and hospitality product development and communications
  • Retail banking customer satisfaction and value proposition development
  • Regulated utility message development and communications effectiveness


  • Brand positioning and value proposition development
  • Category/product optimization
  • Competitive insights
  • Concept testing
  • Customer journey mapping
  • Customer persona development
  • Communications, advertising, messaging development and testing
  • Customer service, satisfaction
  • Channel use and optimization
  • Employee attitudes and engagement
  • Pricing perceptions, sensitivity
  • Supplier research


  • For-profit, non-profit, public sector constituencies and stakeholders
  • Across industries (e.g., human services, arts, manufacturing, business services, retail, entertainment, real estate and property management, building trades, education, medical)
  • Business owners, C-Suite and VP/executives, management, and employees
  • Product/service end users, buyers, and influencers (consumer and B2B)


  • Focus groups (traditional, mini)
  • IDIs
  • Dyads/triads
  • Phone and web interviewing
  • Ethnographic/observational research

Typical deliverables:

  • In person presentations
  • PowerPoint reports
  • Toplines
  • Video summaries

To get to insights that matter, Robin Research Group works hard to:

  1. Set clear objectives and revisit early and often.
    Robin Research Group works with clients to identify research-able and actionable objectives. We don’t start digging – or even designing our research instruments to do so – until we know what we are looking for and what we think we will do with what we find.
  2. Know and leverage what you already know.
    Robin Research Group encourages clients to include a formal or informal “internal insight audit” – what do you and your colleagues already know or think about this topic, quandary, issue? – at the outset of any new qualitative explorations. Invariably this leads to deeper insights and more actionable results.
  3. Pay attention to everyone involved.
    Along the research journey, lots of people are involved – clients, respondents, collaborators, contractors, end users and audiences, to name a few. Robin Research Group works to help everyone involved feel comfortable and engaged – through genuine interest, honest questions, great listening, and a deep appreciation for the privilege of studying and reporting on how people and organizations think, feel and act.

Key Research Partners

As needed, Robin Research Group turns to a network of top-notch specialists, including those listed here, to ensure that every project is expertly staffed and supported.

Recruiting and Project Management – FOCUSCOPE, INC.
For our larger or more complex research studies, Robin Research Group often turns to Focuscope, Inc., to manage respondent recruiting and the many critical details involved in ensuring great research, engaged respondents, and happy clients.

Focuscope is a company that knows the qualitative research business inside out, and continues to adapt to keep it relevant and valuable. Founder Ann Rooney, launched Focuscope in 1980 as a pioneer focus group facility in Oak Park, IL (Chicago suburb). Under the leadership of her son, Kevin Rooney, Focuscope has grown to serve Chicagoland with three state-of-the-art focus group research facilities, as well as recruiting and project management services to qualitative researchers nationwide, including Robin Research Group.

Robin Research Group relies on Focuscope for many traditional studies, but also to help us design, recruit, and execute customized qualitative research through other channels, such as ethnographies, usability labs, bulletin board or on-line communities, mobile apps, telephone in-depth interviews, or web-based interviews.
Focuscope, Inc.



Video Production, Editing, and Reporting – MOTION, INC.
In addition to traditional deliverables like written reports, verbal debriefs and presentations, clients are increasingly commissioning professionally produced video reports culled from our research, often for internal socialization of key findings or focused topics we cover in our exploration. Using actual footage from research, we script, curate, and annotate video reports with custom graphics and music, to tell compelling video stories that bring the people side of the research vividly to life.

For our video reporting deliverables, we work with Todd Sanderson and his crew at Motion Inc., a New England-based video production company located in the Hartford, CT area. Motion Inc. brings 30 years of experience creating TV spots, web video, corporate video and documentaries for clients who, like Robin Research Group’s, span small local non-profits to Fortune 100 companies.
Motion, Inc.


Working with Deb is a delight. She is not a cookie cutter researcher, instead she is adept at customizing her process to include any form of creative stimuli that can illicit profound and actionable insights. Deb’s group recaps go beyond mere reporting back notes toward making the huge and often difficult leap to sound strategic direction.
– Strategic Creative Director, Brand Studio

There is no one better at moderating and digging deeper into the issues, and the insights gleaned are always the best, and most strategic and thoughtful.
– Senior Director, Customer and Competitive Insights, WW Grainger

A good researcher is adept at quickly connecting with respondents to draw the most out of them; Deb is a great researcher who uses that connection to see the strategic inferences, insights and implications that bring real meaning to her work.
– Managing Partner, HawkPartners

Deborah has been a long-term trusted partner of Bain & Company when our teams need deep qualitative customer insight. She always comes through for us.
– Partner and Head of Customer Insights, Bain & Co.


Find out how Robin Research Group can help your company or organization dig deep to bring insights that matter to your organization and business decision making. Call, email or use the convenient contact form below to drop us a line.

Robin Research Group

West Hartford, CT
(860) 206-1137
[email protected]