Company Overview

Ethnographic Insight is a research, training and strategy firm specializing in consumer anthropology, ethnography and customer centricity. It was founded in 2001 by Norman Stolzoff, Ph.D., a pioneer in the field, who imagined how anthropology and ethnography could transform the way businesses understand and engage with their customers. With this vision in mind, he assembled an experienced team of cultural anthropologists, designer thinkers and affiliated research partners. Ethnographic Insight is a leader in guiding institutions, agencies and companies toward excellence and innovation.

Meet the President

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Dr. Norman Stolzoff is an expert in the study of culture and consumer behavior with over 15 years of ethnographic research experience. He received a B.A. in anthropology from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from University of California at Davis in Cultural Anthropology.

Prior to forming Ethnographic Insight, he taught anthropological theory and methods at San Francisco State University and Bowdoin College. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book Wake the Town and Tell the People: Dancehall Culture in Jamaica. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, universities, bookstores, and on the radio.

Pursuing his interest in the commercial application of anthropology and ethnography to the technology sector, he became a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations (CRITO) at the University of California, Irvine. At CRITO, he conducted in-depth ethnographic research that examined the adoption, use, and impact of personal computers on households in the U.S, Sweden, and India. (Read Article).

After leaving CRITO, Stolzoff became the Director of Qualitative Research at King, Brown and Partners, a market research firm in the Bay Area where he honed his research skills in technology. He founded Ethnographic Insight in 2001 in response to the tremendous opportunity in the marketplace for ethnographic research.

Dr. Norman Stolzoff has a successful track record in leveraging strategic research for transformative consumer experiences. He has deep expertise in understanding people in the context of everyday life, synthesizing insights, and translating opportunities to stakeholders to ignite passion and activate the innovation roadmap.

Meet the Executive Director

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Tiana Melquist is the Co-Owner and Executive Director of Ethnographic Insight. She has been with the company since its inception in 2001, and has worn many hats over 14 years in development, marketing, management, and research operations.

Much of Tiana’s professional experience has involved work outside of the continental United States, including the United Arab Emirates, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Native communities in Alaska. Her distinguished background in program development, grant writing, teaching, and counseling both within and outside of the United States has proven her well-suited for utilizing anthropological research techniques, such as cross-cultural analysis, videography, and depth interviewing in the marketing research setting.

She has a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a Master’s from Inter- American University of Puerto Rico. She is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Meet the Vice President

Donna Romeo - Human Experience Expert

Dr. Donna M. Romeo is a nationally-recognized human experience expert. With a PhD in applied cultural anthropology (University of South Florida) and over 15 years as an applied corporate anthropologist, she is considered a pioneer in her field. She has built deep expertise through her roles as director of strategic insights within Fortune 500 companies, and also as an applied researcher, decoding and interpreting people’s behaviors, emotions, wants and needs.

Dr. Romeo’s extensive background in the social sciences allows her to see the big picture, approaching complex topics including health and wellness, aging, multi-cultural diversity, and sustainability from a holistic, context-based perspective. With a wide range of methodological expertise, including ethnographic and observational research, cultural immersions, and consumer encounters, Dr. Romeo has a proven track record of unearthing and translating deep strategic insights and converting them into action for innovation, marketing communications, shopper experience, customer service, and sales force development.

Prior to joining Ethnographic Insight, Dr. Romeo directed insights for top firms across key industries such as manufacturing (Whirlpool Corp), retail (JCPenney Co.), and CPG (Frito-Lay/Pepsico).

When not wearing her consumer anthropology hat, she enjoys traveling and celebrating the spectacular beauty of everyday life.