as a client, you can expect...


A thorough analysis of results presented in a clear and concise way, to respect both your interests and your busy schedule  


1. An initial discussion with Vivian to clarify study objectives and goals.

2. A custom study design taking into account your objectives, your timeline, and your budget. 

3. Complete and responsive project management with Vivian at the helm.

4. Immediate confirmation of the study schedule to help you plan your workload and travel. 

5. Close scrutiny of recruitment results and frequent updates to your team.

6. Development of relevant creative exercises and projective techniques that are geared to exploring below-surface thoughts and feelings.

7.  Close attention to your on-site needs at in-person research. 

8. A flexible approach to moderating that can accommodate new learning and changes to stimuli.

9. Collaborative debriefs that ensure your perspective on learning is understood.

10. A thorough analysis of results presented in a clear and concise way, to respect both your interests and your busy schedule. 

As principal of VMHQ, Vivian Harris has employed qualitative methods to help clients answer a wide range of questions, including things like:

who is our target audience?

what motivates consumers in our category?

how can our brand stand out in a crowded field?

case studies

industry: retail

target: men in the building trades


To ensure a new clothing line meets the needs of target consumers and stands out in a category dominated by a behemoth. 

Study design:

In person focus-groups to explore and understand the needs of target consumers.

Real-life wear test, in which respondents were given several clothing items and one month to wear and document (through photos and text) their experiences.

Individual debrief interviews to catalog the winners and losers of the line, to understand opportunities to improve specific items, and to gauge the line's natural positioning relative to the competition. 


The client leveraged insights from the research to refine its offerings and to create effective marketing and promotions in time for the launch of its clothing line in 2015. Since then, the line has expanded its retail distribution significantly and has grown the assortment to meet a greater range of consumer needs.

industry: pharmaceuticals

target: patients


To communicate the unique properties of a novel treatment to patients who suffer from an embarrassing chronic condition and often limit their activities rather than seek treatment.

Study design:

In depth interviews to delve into the individual experience in an environment the patient would find safe and private.

Focus groups to encourage connection between patients suffering from the same embarrassing symptoms.

An online forum to elicit reactions to concepts from a nationwide sample of patients. 


The partner agency used the learning to create a high-touch campaign using TV, social media, apps, and live events, which was pulled through TV, web, print, social media, mobile, and point-of-care. This cross-platform strategy raised the level of awareness and openness about a challenging condition, increased the likelihood of women to seek medical attention, and helped to propel the client's novel treatment to a leading position in the category. 

The agency's cross-platform campaign received a bronze medal in the 2017 ARF Ogilvy awards. 

industry: media

target: vietnam veterans


To prepare for veteran reactions to a documentary about the Vietnam war, in advance of its premier and a national public engagement initiative.  

Study design:

A multi-day online community.


The community discussion gave the client the chance to hear veterans' needs and fears regarding the film, and it gave veterans an opportunity to connect and express their perspectives safely. In several instances, veterans told us stories they had not told their own families. 

With an average audience of 6.7 million viewers during its 10-night premier run, The Vietnam War represented the highest-rated public telecast of the year. This research helped shape outreach to and engagement with the veteran community at large around this major television event.

“When PBS embarks on the debut of a significant TV and streaming event and, hence, the creation of a national brand, like The Vietnam War, from Ken Burns, we do so with great admiration of and enthusiasm for the viewer. The consuming public, after all, will determine the success or failure of our efforts. And when we want to know people's thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviors about the subject of a show, we turn to Vivian. Managing a room, and a discussion guide, matter; paramount, though, is the ability to discern fact from fiction, talk from truth, substance from trifle. Few rise to the occasion like Vivian. Even fewer are as adept at communicating observations and conclusions.”