What innovation means to us…

This week we were thrilled to learn that we were named one of the top 50 innovative suppliers in the 2021 Greenbook Innovation Trends (GRIT) report. So, what makes for an innovative supplier?

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July 16, 2021

What innovation means to us…

GRIT logo with test "We made the GRIT Top 50 Most Innovative Companies List!"

This week we were thrilled to learn that we were named one of the top 50 innovative suppliers in the 2021 Greenbook Innovation Trends (GRIT) report. We are particularly proud of our performance on 3 key rankings:

#34 most innovative research supplier

#15 top full-service agency

#12 top strategic consultancy

First and foremost, we want to sincerely thank those who voted for us, particularly our clients – many of whom we consider our long-term strategic partners.

GreenBook GRIT report logo with quote "Innovation continues to be a critical priority across the industry, and it is also a key brand attribute for both buyers and suppliers"

So, what makes for an innovative supplier?  The GRIT survey asked this question and identified several core themes.  The top 5 attributes (according to clients) are:

  • New thinking
  • Innovative solutions
  • Quick delivery
  • Thought leadership
  • Deep understanding

This prompted us, at RESEARCH STRATEGY GROUP, to reflect on the same question: what does innovation mean to us?  For us, 3 main factors come to mind…


One of the pillars of our research philosophy is to focus on the future; not the past.  This means we do not rely on traditional approaches (e.g. rating scales, standard concept tests, claimed behaviours, etc.), instead we use the latest techniques and platforms to help us uncover consumers’ complex (and often unconscious) needs.  It is this philosophy that inspired us to invest in our Strategic Foresight practice in 2019, to help our clients guide innovation and strategically navigate their future.  It is this forward-looking focus (which is embedded in our culture at RESEARCH STRATEGY GROUP) that helps us, naturally, to uncover new and innovative solutions.


Consumers are complex, and their needs are rarely easy to uncover. Because of this, we tend to design research that combines research disciplines.  For example, RESEARCH STRATEGY GROUP partnered with Egg Farmers of Ontario to develop communication and consumer messaging around eggs.  The multi-disciplinary research approach we used combined ethnographic immersion, behavioural science, and discrete choice modelling.  It is this pursuit of deep consumer understanding that leads us to design innovative research solutions for clients like Egg Farmers of Ontario.


We are extremely proud of our team of talented professionals – our team has such a diverse background (ranging from Statistics, Behavioural Science, Psychology, Marketing, Semiotics, Anthropology and more).  We find, the more diverse the team, the richer and more valuable the outcome. When everyone has something different to contribute, we all win.  And the evidence supports our approach – Harvard Business Review (and many others) have identified that “diverse teams are more innovative”.

We’re particularly proud to be one of the few “Top 50” suppliers with female leadership, Anne Coulter (Managing Director), who has been nominated for the 2021 RBC’s Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award.

In closing, we are immensely proud to be on the 2021 GRIT Most Innovative Suppliers list and we would like to thank all of our clients, partners and colleagues who voted for us.  At RESEARCH STRATEGY GROUP, we are constantly innovating.  If you want to hear more about the latest techniques and platforms that we are using to get at consumers’ unconscious needs, reach out to us here.

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