Welcome to Clarity Research

In 2002 we sat in a meeting for several hours while a well known management consultancy, supported by a lot of research, presented their findings. We and the client left knowing it had cost a lot of money, but with little insight into how the business could use the information or what to do next. That day Clarity was conceived.

Why We're Different


In a cluttered, competitive and confusing world we are determined to keep things simple. Our objective is to peel back layers to find a simple truth. We do this through:

  • Clarity of understanding
  • Clarity of thought
  • Clarity of implementation

Asking obvious questions and questioning obvious answers.

Looking at it Differently

Achieving Clarity is about looking harder, but it can be about doing things differently as well. Conventional research methodologies can give you conventional results. We have approaches like Sonar that are more human, engaging and intensive that can protect ideas and bring us all insights.

Fleet of Foot

Compared with the research giants we’re small, so we can be flexible to your needs. We have structured ourselves so that we can operate without layers of people or bureaucracy. We make decisions fast and focus on the research.


  • Deliberately we are a senior group of researchers and strategic planners. You won't have junior researchers working on your business
  • We have a huge breadth of experience across sectors and business issues
  • Most of us have worked on the client side as well as agencies and clearly understand the exigencies of business
  • Unlike many research agencies we also understand how creative agencies work
  • And we are experienced working with big companies and the demands of being a roster agency

What We Do


Talking to a few people well. We look for real decision makers who we can have an intensive dialogue with in an intimate environment and find real insight.


This all about skimming for direction; talking to more people with less depth. Its role is to find a starting point, establishing a perspective that sets the agenda.


Unlike some we love business to business research. It provides a great counterpoint to our consumer work, and we know how to make the difference.

Who We Are

The team - a deliberately diverse group from many backgrounds all bring a rich experience. We encompass business strategy, research, sales, training, operations, design, advertising and finance.

Importantly we all have a ‘can-do’ approach to the world and a desire to achieve. We are all committed to our principle of always ‘adding value’. Meet some of us:

Roddy Kemp

Tania Lewis

Andrea Berlowitz

Chris Mitchell

Julian Feneley

Julie Caller Hunter

Clarity Thinking

The world runs on big numbers, but they won’t help you to understand it. People are the key and that’s what we focus upon. We believe people are being lost in the ‘process’ of consumer research. We do everything we can to reach out to them, disarm them and encourage them. In return they are more likely to show us the truth. Here’s some more Clarity thinking:


Repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result is madness. Creativity is the key. It's about looking at things differently, or out of context, while suppressing the fear of unconventionality. It's where inspiring ideas come from and for us this is Clarity.

Real World

Research needs plenty of reality checks. Do we really understand how these people live, behave and believe? Do we really understand what our client’s needs are? Who else is an interested party to this research? What is the impact of this research really going to be? If you can’t answer these questions it’s not valuable research.

Topic Guides, not Discussion Guides

People don’t talk in order, or to order. Research shouldn’t fight with human nature. Topic guides have everything in, but allow room for all the stuff we don’t know we want to talk about. We want to have a conversation with people and give them a chance to tell us what they really think and how they really feel.


For us environment is very important. You can’t engage with people fully in sterile rooms. The old style researcher would say that they could cope with any environment and you can to a degree, but why make it more difficult? This research is important isn’t it? We don’t like viewing facilities because of their artificiality – sometimes they are essential, but let’s keep them to a minimum. Instead we look for interesting venues. Somewhere that inspires, provokes comment and fosters security.


Keep it simple. Over creative stimulus is often used to make up for lack of creativity on the part of the researcher. It doesn’t. For example in ad development use very neutral cartoon characters and let the idea come through. Don’t oversell; it simply distorts and suffocates the insights.

More One-to-Ones

Interviewing people on a one-to-one basis really works and you can get more depth as well as breadth from this approach. People love it too! We are very keen on methodologies like 'Sonar' – read more about it in What We Do.




Here are some recent blogs and articles from Clarity. Click on the title to see it all.

Smile for the Debrief

Time for Some Clarity

We hope the last research debrief you were in made you smile or even laugh. If it didn’t then we believe it was unlikely to have been a very good debrief.

Binge Drinking

Time for Some Clarity

Young people are drinking and fighting less and taking fewer drugs, so there are fewer of them ending up in A&E.

Two Angry People walk into a Cafe

Time for Some Clarity

These two people seem to you and me to be reasonable, but they are worried and frustrated and they engage in an argument.

CSR Isn't Just Logo Publishing

Time for Some Clarity

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) seems to have become part of the business landscape. Often there is more than a hint of tokenism about the implementation, however.

The Truth is Face-to-Face

Time for Some Clarity

We have a good friend who runs Strand News. You are unlikely to have heard of Strand News, but you will definitely have read their stories.

Beware the 'Hallelujah' Chorus in Focus Groups

Time for Some Clarity

Focus research groups can be great for the right purpose. We use them a lot when we are looking at broad topics, exploring attitudes, searching for direction, often in the early stages of a project.

Listening Isn't Enough

Time for Some Clarity

For management there is an underlying assumption that they should lead. Leading means that they have all the answers and of course they don't, prompting frustration and failure.

The Rich Are Opening Their Doors

Time for Some Clarity

Notwithstanding a financial crash, over the last twenty years the rich (and the well-off) have got richer and the gulf between the haves and the have-nots has widened.

Why 'I Will' Shouldn’t be On Record

Time for Some Clarity

The power of myth remains very powerful even in our modern world.  The passing of Nelson Mandela demonstrates this very clearly.

A High Price for No Emotion

Time for Some Clarity

What happened in the Scottish Independence Campaign looks to be coming home to roost in this year’s general election.

Anyone for Snake Oil?

Time for Some Clarity

Recently on ITV’s The Agenda, Peter Oborne accused all advertisers of being ‘snake oil salesmen’. It got us thinking; are there virtues in being a snake oil salesman?

Social Media – A Brave Old World

Time for Some Clarity

Our ability to assimilate and normalise so rapidly a world where social media is integral to a lot of people’s lives, has been seen as surprising.

Surfing the Trough

Time for Some Clarity

Three months ago we asked; what was the UK going to feel like on June 24th? We worried that the referendum campaigns by both sides were highly divisive and negative.

Researchers Only

The Inside Track - Here are our ten top tips for qualitative researchers, (just don’t tell the clients):

  • 1
    If you ask people what they want, they will tell you what they want. We know what they want is for it to be ‘better, cheaper and quicker’. Shuffling the order of these wants is not enough to justify your wages.
  • 2
    There is no such thing as creative research, only creative researchers.
  • 3
    Most creative development research is really strategic research done too late to do much good. So make it work to both briefs.
  • 4
    What is the secret of a good research debrief? Brevity.
  • 5
    Sometimes people in research reject creative ideas because they are simply too challenging and different to what they are accustomed to. It is really important to have this possibility in mind.
  • 6
    Also bear in mind that most of the time if people reject an idea it is because it is patronising, derivative crap. This is particularly likely to be true if that’s what they are actually saying about it whilst looking at it.
  • 7
    In debriefs about creative work say 'challenge' every time you want to say 'problem'. Trust us, it still works.
  • 8
    Don’t kid yourself that participants behave and react normally in viewing facilities. They’re not stupid and know they are being laughed at behind the glass.
  • 9
    Think positively about your client's objectives even if you disagree with their means of attaining them. As two clients at Allied Carpets used to say; “We're just a couple of blokes trying to sell a bit of mat”.
  • 10
    In the old days the messenger with bad news was often shot. At least as a researcher you get to explain the bad news first. And you get paid. You may want to shoot yourself of course.
  • 11
    If you give your client a bit more than is expected you may work again.



We’d really like to hear from you so please:

Freephone 0800 027 4425
International +44 800 027 4425

e-mail roddykemp@CLARITYres.com


Clarity and Clarity RES are trading names of Clarity SMC Limited Liability Partnership. ‘Clarity’ is a registered trademark

Work With Us

If you’re looking for a new challenge, have a genuine breadth of experience, a can do spirit and are basically a happy person we’d love to hear from you.

Privacy Policy

We are Clarity SMC LLP.

You can contact us at info@claritysmc.com. We are the controller of the information that we obtain from and about you. We understand and respect the importance of your privacy and we are committed to the fair and transparent processing and safeguarding of your personal information. In providing our services to you, we must sometimes collect personal information from you and make subsequent use of it as detailed below.

How Will We Collect Information?

We will only collect personal information from you in your capacity as a representative of your company or organisation:

• When you write, telephone or email us When you register with us to receive newsletters or email updates; and when you enter competitions run by us or take part in surveys or customer feedback.
• When we provide products or services to you and your company or organisation.

What Information Will We Collect?

We may collect all or some of the following information relating to you or other parties on your booking:

• Names and contact details (including your telephone number, email and postal address)
• Special requirements such as those relating to any disability or medical condition which may affect how we work with you.

How Will We Use the Information You Give Us?

We will use the postal and /or email address you give us to send you information about products or services we are providing to you and your company or organization, and to share with you our insights on the world. If you notify us of any special requirements you have (such as those relating to any disability or medical condition), where appropriate and with your specific consent, we will use this information to help provide a product or service to you. Where relevant we will pass it on to any person or organization who is helping us provide a product or service to you.

Will My Information be Disclosed to Third Parties?

We will pass selected information to organisations who act as “data processors” on our behalf, in order to provide you with our products or services. These functions include direct marketing, third party review services, administration, customer care, website hosting and the re-organisation / structuring / sale of our business. These third parties have agreed to confidentiality obligations and to use any personal information we share with them or which they collect on our behalf solely for the purposes of providing their service to us. We may share information with our sister businesses where such disclosure is necessary to provide you with our products and services or to manage our business, or subject to your marketing preferences, to provide you with information about products or services provided by our sister brands that we consider may be of benefit to you. We may also need to use your personal information to comply with a relevant legal or regulatory obligation that we have. We will never share information about you with third parties for their own marketing purposes without your consent.

We’d Like to Stay in Touch

We value your custom and we would like to use your details to contact you from time to time with information about providing you with products or services, new products or services, forthcoming events and our insights on the world. Generally speaking, we will use your information on very limited occasions for marketing purposes to contact you, even though you have not given that consent. That may be because we have been in contact with you in the past and we need to use your personal information to contact you for our legitimate interest as a commercial organisation. In such cases, after full consideration of all relevant facts, we have concluded that using your data for the purposes of communicating with you without specific consent is a legitimate purpose, our communication with you is necessary for that purpose and your individual interests do not override our legitimate interest in using this information. However, if at any time you would like us to stop communicating with you, you may click to unsubscribe from our emails or contact us at info@claritysmc.com

What Other Rights Do You Have?

In the first instance, please talk to us directly so we can resolve any problem or query. You also have the right to contact the Information Commissions Office (ICO) if you have any questions about Data Protection. You can contact them using their help line 0303 123 113 or at www.ico.org.uk
You may ask us in writing for a copy of the information we hold about you (for which we may charge a fee if your request is excessive) and in some circumstances to delete, rectify or block the information we hold about you, to complete and restrict its use and to port it to another organisation. You have the right to request additional information about the handling of your personal data and to object to the processing of your data in some circumstances. Where we have asked for consent to process your data, you may withdraw this consent. Please note that we may not be able to provide some of these services if your request requires disproportionate effort on our part and any information that we do hold may already have been destroyed in line with our data retention policy (see below).

Security and Retention of Information

We will take all necessary steps to make sure that the information we hold about you is kept secure at all times against unauthorised or unlawful loss or disclosure. We will retain it only for as long as it is needed for its original purpose or to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements. Any information no longer required will be deleted or disposed of confidentially and completely. We also have appropriate contractual obligations with our ‘data processors’ to ensure that they comply with the requirements of UK law. However, outside the European Economic Area, controls on data protection may not be as wide as the legal requirements in this country.


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Links provided on our site can lead you to access sites outside Clarity's control. Personal data provided to Clarity will not be transported to other sites by clicking on the links. Such links are provided because they may be of interest to you or allow you to access complementary products or services provided by third parties. Clarity is not responsible for the way these sites use personal data.

Updates and Changes

As our privacy statement may change due to developments in the law we encourage you to re-read this from time-to-time, so you are aware of any changes in how we gather and use your personal information.