I’m new to Norstat. Very new in the grand scheme of things, but I want to share with you a view of my new home.
Over the last 20 years, Norstat has grown from its Norwegian roots, branching out across Europe. We now have 12 offices servicing various local clients in a variety of methodologies. We’re quite a diverse bunch, but when you get us all together one thing is clear: there is a Norstat way. This Norstat way is the company culture which filters through and turns us from a smattering of offices across the globe, into a close-knit family and finely-tuned market-researching machine.
International research can be tough. 1-5 scales may be universal, but will only get you so far. It is fraught with potential pitfalls from lost-in-translation to shoulda-taken-a-left-turn-at-Albuquerque. (I know you’re all adults, but please take some time to go and watch Bugs Bunny – laughter is good for the soul especially given the quite horrible recent events in the UK).
So here’s the thing: I know a lot about the UK. I live here and I have done so since the day I was born. I can tell you about brands. I can tell you about income and spending habits. I can tell you what you can’t ask and how you should or shouldn’t phrase things. However, there is a problem, when you ask me about Estonia. I don’t know how people get paid, or normally state their salary. I don’t know what percentage of people in Italy own their own home (or anywhere else for that matter). I don’t know anything about the education system in Latvia or the automotive market in Denmark.
Nor do I speak anything other than the English language. You only have to watch the look of confusion on my Norwegian colleagues faces when I try to pronounce even the shortest of names, to know the spoken language is not my strongest point. Google translate will get me so far; but I’m no linguist.
So while I sit here and ponder the fact that there is much in life I have yet to learn – I’m fairly sure I’m not alone. How many of you are confident about any market other than your own? Lithuanian use of E-Cigarettes anyone? What about Norwegian take-up of hybrid cars?
This is when I become very grateful for my new Norstat family and the Norstat way.
Norstat is all about people. Respondents, Clients and Staff. People, come first.
- Because the respondent experience is at the centre of what we do, our links are checked by our local panel managers before being launched. It catches those pesky grammar mistakes which makes your survey look silly and ensures we’re not asking anything we shouldn’t on a local level.
- Because our Clients and your Data Quality are paramount to us, the guys are also here beforehand to help nail your questionnaire in all markets. I, and by extension, you have a 12 offices full of local experts at your fingertips.
- Because the team are fundamental to our success, we interact every day and visit each other regularly. Oslo is fast becoming my second home.
International Research can be a challenge if you’re on your own. Luckily we’re a friendly bunch, with a wealth of experience, who like welcoming new friends and extending the Norstat family.2