Partner Profile

Starburst Insights

Following the launch of the Inlight Partner Network at the start of the year, we’ve already seen some fantastic opportunities created and conversations had, and as the network grows, we’ll be introducing each of the network’s partners one-by-one.

With both foundation partners in Optimising and WhyHive now introduced officially, it’s time to welcome the new kids on the block.

Located precisely 120 metres from Inlight HQ (according to Google Maps), Starburst Insights hasn’t just joined the network due to their geographical proximity - far from it in fact!

In a relatively short time, Megan Simpson (pictured below) and her growing team have made a big name for themselves working with some of the nation’s most exciting brands and businesses to uncover new ideas and opportunities through a range of research methods.

Over a coffee at our joint local caffeinator of choice, Megan chatted about what led her to start the business and the team’s passion for finding insight nuggets for their clients to latch onto.

What does Starburst Insights do?

To put it simply, we use consumer and cultural insight to help solve challenges for brands.

Whether it’s unpacking the new world of premium in beer, evaluating a new digital advertising campaign, or understanding what road safety issues matter most to drivers, we’re all about delivering actionable insights.

We use quantitative, qualitative, and experiential consumer research approaches to undertake things like brand and comms evaluation & tracking, category usage and attitude (U&A) studies, consumer experience, journeys & communities, and new product development & concept testing, to name a few.

Every methodology we design and every output we create is customised based on what our clients need (lots and lots of thinking goes into each project – even before they start!).

How did Starburst Insights come to be?

Starburst Insights was born just over 5 years ago, from a desire to do things differently (#andbetter) than traditional research agencies.

I’ve always loved research but at that time, had been feeling a growing sense of disillusionment with rinse & repeat style reporting and churn & burn agency culture. I wanted to create a place that was all about genuine connection; uncovering what truly matters to people to help brands (and people!) better connect.

Starburst is who we are today because of those connections, it really does come down to the people. The wonderful ‘Starry B’ team are truly invested in our brand and purpose, and we tend to attract those awesome kinds of clients who value insights that truly inspire breakthroughs.

What’s the team passionate about?

The Starburst Insights team share the same passion for uncovering ‘aha’ moments. We all get a kick out of finding the story from the data and connecting the dots for our clients, and there’s some healthy competition between us when it comes to extracting those insight nuggets!

While we take a lot of pride in what we do, we are also passionate about life outside of the day-to-day. We make time to give back, whether it’s a team volunteer day or pro bono work for not-for-profits. We are also big on celebrating the wins and making time for ‘play’ too, which has resulted in some very unfortunate karaoke renditions of Eminem’s Rap God (@Song Adamedes).

Are there any recent client projects you’re particularly proud of?

This is a tricky one! We have been fortunate to work across some fantastic projects with great people over the years! Some favourites have been helping to transform the retail environment for consumer tech, uncovering how to best message a ‘new to market’ property product and exploring what livability means to Victorians and the role of the home and accessibility as part of that.

Recently we worked on a rewarding project which explored feminist leadership i.e. styles of leadership anchored in equity and equality. I think this one had a lasting effect on us because of the incredible and inspirational young women we spoke to. While there are still a lot of hurdles to overcome, it was so heartening to see the rise of different leadership values and a desire among a younger generation of future leaders to re-write the rule book on what a ‘good leader’ should be and do.

What excites you about joining the Inlight Partner Network?

This partnership speaks to our philosophy of always doing what’s right by, and best for our clients. The network means clients are getting the best possible solutions and outcomes by leveraging the unique skills and offerings from different contributors within the network. We love that it puts the client at the heart of it all! A side benefit is that we, along with other partners, will be able to broaden our horizons and gain new inspiration too.

It’s great to be partnering with a company like Inlight that share our values and team culture.

For the area you operate in, what’s one trend or change you expect to see this year?

I think this is a valuable time for consumer-driven insights. The events of 2020 have created, driven, and accelerated new consumer and cultural trends; including fuelling a new pace of digital adoption, globally. This means not only a shift in people’s habits and behaviours, and attitudes and needs, it will likely also have an impact in the ways in which we undertake market research in the future.

I think another big focus this year will be on pre-empting what now matters to people as Australia recovers and rebuilds. Forward-thinking brands have already begun looking ahead and creating new products, services, and offerings to meet consumers’ evolving needs as we come out the other side of 2020.

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About the author
Tom Webster
Partnerships Lead
Tom Webster | Partnerships Lead

Tom has led business development initiatives across digital, marketing, and creative agencies for over 8 years and leans on this experience to manage the Inlight Partner Network, driving growth and collaboration for its partners, as well as Inlight.