Cultural Expertise

We dive in to the real worlds of real people:

– What defines their tribe?

– What drives their community?

– What differentiates their family?

We explore how families communicate, problem-solve, influence each other, etc.

  • Dinner Time. For a food manufacturer, we observed different types of meal preparation with different types of menus in order to explore how family interaction (positive and negative) varies based on the kind of meal.
  • Family Tech. We interviewed all members of the household (parents and kids) about their everyday technology usage to inspire new product/design ideas for our technology client.
  • Napkin Rituals. For a company that manufactures napkins, we explored how various family members use napkins differently and how their family roles and rituals influence napkin usage behavior.
  • Minivan Connections. PortiCo traveled with families during road trips in their minivans, uncovering how family communication changes and deepens – and informing our client’s messaging for their new minivan launch.

Over the years, our clients have challenged us to help explore and explain various generations…and Gen Z is simply the latest challenge.

  • Gen Z Influencers. For an anti-smoking campaign, we conducted an extensive investigation of Gen Z social circles to uncover who are the “real” influencers within friendship groups and how they tap into the distinct values, aspirations and media channels of this generation.
  • Millennial DIYers. Our client (a home improvement retailer) commissioned us to profile this new generation of DIYers as they decorate and renovate their homes, to better connect to their aspirations as homeowners, their approaches to projects, and their attitudes about shopping.
  • Empty-Nesters v. Never-Nesters. Our automotive client had identified two distinct targets for their small hatchback – Boomers with adult kids and young adults without children – and hired us to help figure out how to create messaging that could work for both generations without alienating one or the other.

We have helped national and regional brands understand the particularities of different parts of the country (and the world) so they can tap into the specifics of local culture.

  • 50 Cities/9 Regions. We created city profiles for each of the 50 major markets of our automotive client, interviewing local families, and then created 9 regional “maps” that connected markets based on their values, lifestyle, etc. to enhance their regional marketing efforts.
  • Local Banking. We explored the local values of residents across the Northeast/Upper Midwest of the US for our client (financial institution), in order to ground their “local banking” messaging in real world specifics.
  • Local Cows. A regional dairy company with a long history in the Southwest felt out of step with the fast-growing population in its major markets. We helped them bridge the gap between their origin story and the values of “the new Southwest”.

A number of our clients have commissioned us to examine specific ethnic target populations with our eye toward understanding deeper values, beliefs and motivations.

  • Two Communities, One Suburb. When a big box store was considering opening a new location in a Southern CA suburb, they asked us to explore the two main communities living in this area (Chinese-Americans and Hispanics) in order to provide direction on how to create an environment both populations would enjoy.
  • Hispanic Families & SUVs. After conducting a general market study of SUV intenders, our client then asked us to dive into the more specific lives of Hispanic families (English and Spanish language) in order to develop a targeted media strategy.
  • African American Cruising. We explored the dynamics of cruising within African American families for an international cruise line, identifying the decision makers and their key considerations to help design targeted messaging.