Why ‘Simple Human Truths’?


At Quirk, we talk about being discoverers of ‘simple human truths’. Which, I admit, may come across as a bit wanky. But there are good reasons why we talk this way…

Why ‘simple’, given how complex people are? Because we are in the business of helping our clients effect change, and that usually means changing a specific attitude or behaviour (buy my brand more often, give this a try, stop texting while driving, etc.). And that requires strategy and strategy needs focus. We see our job as helping our clients understand and focus on what matters most, ‘simplifying’ the complex if you like, so they can act on it.

Why ‘human’, not ‘consumer’? Well, we conduct research with ‘consumers’, ‘shoppers’, ‘clients’, ‘users’, ‘members of the public’, ‘stakeholders’ and so on, so we need a word that covers all of these. More importantly, it just feels a bit narrow to define people only as a ‘consumer’ or a ‘user’. If we think that way, we risk being blinkered, too narrow in our search.

Why ‘truth’, rather than ‘insight’? For starters, that simple, useful nugget we uncover is not always an ‘insight’. Sometimes it’s the articulation of a problem, or its causes, or the identification of a new opportunity, that goes beyond an ‘insight’. Is ‘truth’ too grand? We don’t think so. When we use it, we aren’t talking about absolute indisputable truths. We know that absolute certainty is never attainable, that information is imperfect, and all manner of biases can cloud things. When we talk ‘truth’ we are talking about an individual’s version of the truth, or our interpretation of observable behaviour, and how those things are like other people’s. The truth we are after lies in the commonality of the experience. The stuff we know clients can influence to bring about desired change. And we like the power of the word ‘truth’.

Why ‘discoverers’? Because research is always a bit of an adventure, you never know what you’ll find or where you’ll find it. That’s why we love it.