We draw on the tools of social science to look deeply into consumers' lives. Then we translate what we find into product, service, and strategy recommendations.


What we discover is often unexpected.

Featured Cases

How Dogs Live with American Families

Our ethnographic research with pet owners found that while pets have gained greater membership in families, pet food packaging has not reflected this shift. Dogs often eat in the kitchen with the family – the front stage of family life. But their food is stuck in the garage – the back stage of family life. Big bags of dry dog food resemble other back stage packages: charcoal, concrete mix, and potting soil—all products that would never be brought into the home. MORE


Micro-Moments Make a difference

For Chick-fil-A, it all starts with service. When a customer thanks a Chick-fil-A team member, the response is always, “my pleasure,” epitomizing a corporate-wide philosophy of service that is elevated, proud, and heartfelt. We worked with the Atlanta-based company to go beyond a customer service philosophy to create a customer experience strategy that reflected their values. MORE  

the Symbolism of the Pick-up Truck  

An automotive company approached us with an interesting question: what will happen to consumer interest in pick-up trucks as the US becomes more urban and reliant on services? In order to understand how consumer interest might change, we first had to learn what makes a truck a compelling vehicle choice in the first place. Here's a hint: it's not the hauling. MORE


Nurses need patient time

Kaiser Permanente conducted a time and motion study of inpatient nurses and found a concerning statistic: during each 8-hour shift, they spend only 90 minutes actually caring for patients. Working closely with Kaiser, we sought to understand why, explore the implications for nurses' work satisfaction, and re-imagine the systems that keep nurses away from their patients. MORE

The shape of Real estate inside the fridge

In a study of how people consume twelve-packs of can beverages at home, we saw a telling pattern. Families sometimes kept the 3 by 4 packs outside of the fridge because they didn't fit well. We saw them on top of fridges, stashed in laundry rooms, and hidden away in garages. We examined the insides of refrigerators and learned that available real estate had a particular shape: long and narrow. This got us thinking and voila, the Fridge Pack was born. MORE



New technologies have fundamentally changed the landscape of the retail industry. For Intel, the new era offers huge opportunities as well as an existential dilemma—how to continue setting the pace as a technology leader and at the same time get closer to consumers to understand their needs. We worked with Intel to examine shopping from both the consumer and retailer perspectives. MORE

Founded in 2001, Point Forward is a pioneer in helping companies understand the texture of human experience and why it matters to their business. 

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We like to begin our projects with big questions that cut to the heart of an organization's challenge. Questions like...

How can we create more memorable experiences?

How do people think about money in different contexts of their lives?

How can we make work more rewarding in occupations with increasing specialization?

How do new routines start and old routines end?

How do people build trust within virtual environments?

How do people form close bonds when technology allows for an abundance of fleeting interactions?

What is the role of curiosity as AI makes more decisions for consumers?

How can we tailor an existing American product to a foreign market?

Our Clients 

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