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Biography – Chris Barnham

Chris Barnham has worked in qualitative research for over twenty years. He began his career at Whitbread PLC in the 1980’s, worked in a number of agencies and then founded his own consultancy twenty years ago. He has gained a reputation for strategic thinking, impressive conceptual analysis and an enthusiasm for solving brand problems.

Philosophy has been Chris’s lifelong interest and he frequently uses learning from this academic resource in analysing marketing problems. In particular, he believes that brands operate as texts in modern media culture. This insight creates the opportunity to understand their structure and leads to new ways of thinking about brands which challenge conventional messaging models.

Chris has written a number of papers on this way of understanding brands and the impact that this has for qualitative research (see Philosophy and Approach). He has also presented on this area at international conferences in London, Barcelona, Toronto, Lisbon and Vancouver.

Chris sits on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Market Research and since 2009 has been a Visiting Fellow at the Kingston University Business School where he supervises MA Students.

In 2010 Chris won the MRS Silver Medal for the best paper published in the IJMR in 2009 (see Papers). Chris is also a full member of the MRS and the AQR and is the convenor for the AQR Analysis Course. In 2016 Chris was made a Fellow of the Market Research Society.


Two decades of experience conducting qualitative research for some of the world’s leading brands:

Baxter’s, Colman’s of Norwich, Müller Corners, Müllerice, Müller Vitality, Anchor, Ragu, Hershey’s, Terry’s, Burton’s, Wall’s, Matteson’s, Loseley, Slimming World, Northern Dairies, Amoy, Warburton’s.

Carling, Grolsch, Caffrey’s, Staropramen, Tennent’s Lager, Bass Ale, Bacardi, Martini, Jack Daniels, Bombay Sapphire, Archer’s, Bailey’s, Fortant de France wines, Laurent Perrier, J2O, Britvic, Schweppes, Robinson’s.

Marks and Spencer’s, Asda, Tesco, Mitchell and Butler’s, Boots.

First Direct, M&S Money, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Legal and General, Nat West, Swinton Insurance, Gartmore, Old Mutual Wealth.

Colgate, Gillette, Orange, Yardley, several City Law Firms, Kingston University, AB Agri, The FA, Premier Nutrition and Primary Diets.

The Team

Vicki Raynor
Clare Mansfield

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