Company Overview

Ethnographic Insight is a research, training, and strategy firm specializing in consumer anthropology, ethnography, and user experience. 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, UX researchers, and designers. Ethnographic Insight is a leader in guiding companies, agencies, and nonprofits toward customer-centricity and innovation. EI is a Native American and woman-owned small business.

Meet the Executive Director


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 her tenure in business development, marketing, project 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 an enrolled tribal member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Meet the President


Dr. Norman Stolzoff is an expert in the study of culture and consumer behavior with over 20 years of insights, user experience, and design 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 customer 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.