Breakfast Briefing: A Year in the Life of 100 Freshers

Last Thursday PrettyGreen held a breakfast briefing to share the findings from our year long qualitative study with 100 Freshers.


We conducted the study using Grapevine, our in house qualitative research tool. Grapevine is born from a belief that traditional focus groups are becoming outdated. Practices such as observing consumers from behind a glass, spending half an hour on the ‘warm up’ and keeping the brand a secret until the last minute belong in an era when marketing was more of a dark art than it is today.


We treat our respondents as consultants, although they are never marketing people. They feed back to us in a number of ways, but if we were to run a focus group, it would be held as round table, sometimes with the client present. We’d be honest about what we were doing and invite their views and criticism. Many of our panelists are ongoing, meaning that we achieve huge levels of honesty from them, as well as the ability to access their lives at times when research is usually shut out (e.g. Christmas).


We began working with A level students in the Summer of 2015, following them on their journey through their preparation to leave home, the mayhem of Freshers’ Week, the emotional rollercoaster of Term one, the comfort of Christmas and all the way through until their ultimate return home this summer.


Through conversations, video diaries, photos and questionnaires they documented their lives, consulting with us on an ongoing basis, in order that we could appreciate, in depth, the experience of being a Fresher, and do so from multiple perspectives and multiple locations.




For the breakfast briefing our findings were supplemented with a quantitate analysis from Crimson Hexagon, the social analytics tool. With this addition we were able to show the conversations that are being had, online, throughout the year – the emotional highs and low, from what frustrated them about Freshers Week to when they felt homesick.


There were many interesting findings about how Freshers live and interact today, and, more importantly, the opportunities for brands, many of which are untapped at present.


If you work for a brand and you’d like to hear the debrief in full, do get in touch with our Planning team at: