Inspiration From Research


We have so many questions.


A child asks 40,000 questions between ages 2 and 5.  

And every 100 questions or so, the kid looks up at you and says something that makes you go “Hm, I’ve never thought of this like that.”  

This is the kind of reaction we aim for in our research.

Our research sparks, informs, and validates new product ideas, branding approaches, and advertising concepts. 

We, too, ask many questions: in interviews, surveys, tests, and experiments.  And because one doesn't get new answers from the same old questions everyone else is asking, we have developed a whole stack of new and better ones.   

And because we ask different questions, we will help you come up with answers nobody else has.

So when you start working on your next assignment, give us a call.

We have a lot of questions for you.


Research that sparks, informs, and validates creative IDEAS

We are researchers...
who help companies make something people want, position it correctly, and promote it effectively. 

We work with start-ups,
and innovation, branding, content, creative and digital studios; design and UX shops; ad and PR agencies; media and communication planners; client-side marketers. 

The end justifies the means.
Thanks to our model, we are skilled in a broad range of methods, from projective interviews to big data analysis.

☎   (857) 452-1648


Strategic Creative Research

End-to-end research tracks to help you develop a complete strategy.



Companies die when they fail to find a product-market fit. In other words, they make things everyone says they like but nobody really wants. 

Who are your next customers? What drives them? How do they pursue their goals? What is important to them? How are they different from one another? 

Product Blueprint maps a path to consumers' heart and provides a foundation for informed product design, feature set, pricing, and segmentation. 



Strong brands shield you from competitive pressures. They increase repurchase rate. They create intangible value that justifies a price premium.

Strong brands are based on four pillars: an understanding of the customer, a commitment to solving the right problem, a promise that lifts you above your competition, and a memorable expression. 

Brand Compass delivers a guide to developing a complete brand system. The Compass provides a central, unifying blueprint and a filter for all behavior, actions, and communications. 



60% of people say brand content is irrelevant.  62% don't remember anything from native ads. 80% of the Super Bowl ads don't help sales. Sure you can do better.

Content Arc helps you build your business with content the right people will read, watch, remember, and pass along.

Ad Palette identifies advertising themes and elements that will help the brand break through the clutter and imprint the brand in viewers' minds.



We watch the shows because they make us feel a certain way. We play games and read books because they let us escape into a place we long for. We buy brands that help us craft a better version of ourselves. 

Media Motive helps you find programming and content that matches the emotional wavelength of your brand so that your media plan would pack an extra punch.  

Quest Map identifies the barriers to conversion on the way to consumer goals, and the media vectors with the greatest impact potential. 


Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and think what nobody has thought.




Firestarters are independent experts in the fields of research, data science, psychology, media, advertising, design, and strategy.  We come together to solve clients' problems as a virtual research department, yours when you need it.  

This model allows us to scale quickly to meet our clients' needs, and to provide clients with access to exactly the skills and talent each project demands.


Fire Keepers


Ilya Vedrashko
Director of Strategy

Before founding Firestarters, Ilya ran a consumer insights department that he had built at a big advertising agency where he worked with such brands as Bank of America, Chili's, CVS, MLB, Dunkin' Donuts, and many others.  Before that, he founded a brand research lab while pursuing a master's degree at MIT.

Ilya studies the evolutionary development of human motives and their role in influencing our consumption choices.


DIRECTOR OF research

Blair designs and executes strategic research that guides branding and communication strategies for Fortune 500 companies. She applies her background in behavioral economics to solve problems that range from identifying coffee drinkers' motives from their Instagram photos to driving early cancer screening by modulating the emotional intensity of ad copy. 

Blair studied psychology at Duke University and is a Senior Fellow at Stanford Lab for Behavioral Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 



Rob St.Louis
Director of Data Science

Rob is an expert in behavioral science, machine learning, and advanced statistical methods.

In his academic research at Brown, the University of Chicago, and UCSD, Rob has developed new Bayesian nonparametric learning models for partially observable Markov decision processes, identified how heterogenous effects bias psychological experiments, and explored new techniques for improving self-control.


Kate O'Connell
Director OF Health Behaviors

Kate has designed and implemented studies to develop, monitor, and evaluate health programs across Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. With a background in psychology, she has investigated a variety of behaviors to provide evidence to inform decisions and strategy. Some of her research includes understanding condom preferences among sex workers, measuring the performance of private and public sector medicine markets, and determining what constitutes a good quality of life among palliative care patients.
Kate holds a PhD and masters from the University of Bath, England and a masters from the University of St Andrews, Scotland.




☎   (857) 452-1648

Or use the form below, it goes to the same email address. We respond the same day.  If you would like to become a Firestarter, please tell us about yourself and your super powers. 

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