• Who We Are
  • Mission
  • History
  • Structure


For 30 years, ABM has been developing insights that have been instrumental in developing some of the best-known and successful brands in the Americas.

    • ABM is a leader in the field of strategic consumer research
    • The company comprises a cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary team of social scientists
    • Whether employing qualitative or quantitative methods, each project is undertaken with the expectation that a breakthrough in knowledge will be delivered.

ABM offers clients the flexibility of selecting the team members best equipped to deliver those breakthroughs, depending on the objectives and subject matter as well as the disciplines and language skills most required.


ABM is a multi-national market research company with a global client base. We offer consumer insight solutions world-wide with the flexibility and creativity of a boutique research agency.

We define our mission as the elevation of our clients' strategic vision through the uncovering of realities that create opportunities.

We achieve this through cultural versatility, intellectual depth, and passion. We have the multi-cultural experience necessary to enable trans-cultural interpretation between countries and continents. We have the sensitivity to local and national issues to provide guidance in optimizing local and national as well as global initiatives.


Since its foundation in 1979 ABM has drawn inspiration from both the qualitative and quantitative worlds in which the company operates.

These two worlds come together in the discipline of Gematria which accords numerical values to letters. According to Gematria:

A = 1 the number that represents the ultimate reality that ABM researchers seek

B = 2
the number that represents the duality of external vs. internal/conscious vs. unconscious and the expectation that ABM researchers will explain the signifieds as well as the signifiers

M = 40 the number that represents change that is the end goal of insights delivered by ABM researchers.

ABM has offices in New York City, Miami, Toronto and Buenos Aires with 20 employees engaged in the search for those realities that, once explained, will guide clients towards positive change.


ABM operates on a flexible matrix system, the two main parameters of which are first language and primary discipline:

  English Spanish Portuguese French
Qualitative ? ? ? ?
Ethnographic ? ? ? ?
Semiotic ? ? ? ?
Quantitative ? ? ? ?

Whenever the scale of a project allows, more than one cell is employed to yield the benefit of investigator triangulation.

  • Qualitative
  • Azure®
  • Helix®
  • DoubleHelix®
  • Vernacular®
  • Brand Emotives®
  • Communications
  • Packaging
  • Quali-Quant Studies


ABM's qualitative research team employs a full range of exploratory approaches including:

  • focus groups, from flash groups through two and three hour groups to all-day workshops
  • depth interviews - individual, dyadic and triadic interviews as well as altered consciousness interviews enabled by an Ericksonian hypnotherapist
  • innovative variations - parallel interactive groups, consumer-observed multi-stage interviews, and call-back groups
  • extensive use of projective techniques including storytelling, cartoon completion, portraits chinois, concassage
  • ethnographic research
  • micro-semiotic, macro-semiotic and discourse analysis
Each member of the team is challenged to bring at least one "chidush" to every project i.e. an insight that leaves clients agreeing that "We were there. We saw and heard it all. We just didn't make that connection. But now that you have, the path forward becomes so clear."
  • Azure is ABM's product that enables the development of new products in white space
  • Azure uses a combination of narrow aperture and wide aperture methodologies to define "red ocean" from "blue ocean" territories
  • A macro-semiotic approach is combined with anthropology and, where appropriate, altered consciousness interviews, in order to create new paradigms
  • This is the product that will stimulate your Innovation Team towards winning new product ideas
  • Helix is ABM's product that provides a deep understanding of the DNA of brands
  • Helix combines two or more of the following methodologies: projective focus groups, ethnographic research, semiotic analysis
  • It involves a process which enables brands to be positioned on the Helix Positioning Grid which crosses universal human needs with consumption need states specific to the category
  • Helix is an essential step before understanding brand positioning in order to move in the optimal direction without overlooking important but hidden equity
  • Double Helix is a development of ABM's tried and true Helix product for use in markets where there are two dominant players
  • It utilizes Parallel Interactive Groups in order to highlight the differences between brands and brand users
  • The confrontational nature of Parallel Interactive Groups, when combined with an ethnographic or semiotic component, enables identification of the dominant vs. submissive brand
  • Double Helix provides a road map for converting dominance to dominion
  • ABM's product that provides an understanding of potential positioning territories from a consumer perspective
  • This methodology uses extended groups and applied semiotics to enable consumers to create positioning territories that are personally meaningful on the basis of stimulus materials that they themselves supply
  • It works at a category or theme level e.g.:
    • category level: dark chocolate, energy drinks, luxury watches, etc.
    • theme level: social recognition, peak performance, wellness, etc.
  • The resulting territories are dimensionalized in sensogram and imagery terms
  • Now there is a consumer-based and theoretically-sound alternative to brainstorming positionings with an internal client agency team
Brand Emotives
  • A product developed by ABM on the basis of the Global Emotive Positioning Grid developed by Ron Beasley and Art Katz
  • The Global Emotive Positioning Grid is the result of the pioneering work of Paul Ekman, the acknowledged leader in the psychology of the emotions
  • Brand Emotives recognizes that emotional responses are at the core of brand choices; and that these emotional responses are linked to the 29 core emotions - 19 positive and 10 negative - that all human beings, regardless of language and culture, experience
  • The product uses projective focus groups, micro-semiotic research and, where appropriate, altered consciousness interviews to determine the core emotions that lie at the heart of a brand and distinguish it from the category
  • Essential before making any decision on the emotional benefit your brand should offer


  • ABM offers advertising development that combines consumer reactions obtained via individual depth interviews with semiotic analysis
  • Rather than evaluating creative concepts and giving them a "pass" or "fail", ABM's approach to advertising development provides direction for optimizing ideas with potential before subjecting them to the rigors of communication testing
  • ABM's qualitative team works to ensure that clients' creative is optimal by helping their agencies to develop great communications rather than by simply saying "fail" to potentially great ideas that are not yet fully developed


  • ABM offers packaging development that combines consumer reactions obtained in focus groups with semiotic analysis
  • While consumers can tell us how they react to packaging alternatives, they are generally incapable of telling us why
  • Semiotic analysis explains why consumers react the way they do by explaining to package designers the effects created in chromatological, iconographic, stylistic, proxemic, chronotopical and related terms
  • ABM's packaging development research takes the mystery out of packaging by explaining the cultural codes underlying consumer responses


These studies combine the structured format of a quantitative study sample with the probing and in-depth analysis of qualitative research.

Most useful in coming to grips with customer reactions to new product concepts/ideas, these studies will typically involve measures of reactions to a product concept based on completion of a questionnaire in a class-room setting, followed by focus groups with selected participants where their questionnaire responses are probed, questioned and expanded upon.

  • Facilities
  • Global Network


ABM's facility partners in the company's home locations are:

Focus Focus
2 Bloor St. East
Toronto, Ontario
Suite 2218

Advanced Focus
373 Park Avenue South
8th Floor
New York, NY

Rife Market Research
1111 Park Centre Blvd
Miami, FL
Suite Number 111

Sala Gesell
Demaria 4670 50
Buenos Aires


ABM regularly conducts projects in the following markets via a network of like-minded organizations:

Global Network

  • Canada
  • U.S.A.
  • Mexico
  • Colombia
  • Chile
  • Argentina
  • Uruguay
  • Paraguay
  • Brazil
  • Venezuela
  • Puerto Rico
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • France
  • U.K.
  • Belgium
  • Sweden
  • Ukraine
  • Russia
  • China
  • Korea
  • Japan
  • Australia

U.S.A. and Worldwide Ron Beasley
T: +1.305.424.1458 x2222
M: +1.416.879.2897
E: Ron.Beasley@abm-research.com

Charles Leech
T: +1.416.961.5511 x2232
M: +1.416.804.1075
E: Charles.Leech@abm-research.com

If you live in Toronto and wish to register to participate in a focus group, please contact Consumer Vision