Thinkpiece specializes in complex
qualitative market research for technology,
and finance innovators.
Simply put: Thinkpiece specializes in complex qualitative market research for technology, healthcare, and finance innovators. But what you get from us goes well beyond raw research.
As your strategic partner, we’ll challenge and inspire you to look at your products, services, and audiences deeply and differently. That’s where you’ll find the invaluable insight you can use to go from decision maker to difference maker. See our story. And learn how we do research differently.
In the editorial world, a think piece refers to an in-depth, analytical article with a forceful point of view — written to inspire and provoke thought and discussion that delve beneath the surface.
Thinkpiece builds on this concept and applies it with a focused lens to the world of qualitative market research. More than simply serving up raw research for our clients to decipher, we reveal the deeper meaning hidden beneath the surface.
With moderators who came from within the industries we serve, we bring an insider point of view that doesn’t shy away from complexity. With award-winning branding experts, we understand that importance of connecting your complex products and services to your audience. And with analysts who specialist in human behavior and relationships, we add context that illuminates that connection.
We dive relentlessly into the research, exploring and interpreting it from every angle and multiple perspectives: as industry peers, research experts, branding professionals, and insatiable learners.
We take apart the research, examining each piece on its own without bias. Then we put the pieces back together to reveal the whole picture that tells a cohesive story. Ultimately, we challenge our clients to think deeply and differently about their products, services, and audiences. We provoke new ideas and innovations. And we provide the insight to power better business decisions that better the world.
Thinkpiece is proud to be a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WEB).
Meet the collaborative, insatiably curious team
who’s ready to dig deeper with you.
With decades of cumulative research experience, we’ve learned that
there’s always more to learn. And no matter how much we know about your
industry as professional peers, there’s always more to uncover. Meet the
collaborative, insatiably curious team who’s ready to dig deeper with you.
Bonnie launched Thinkpiece in 2013 with $600 in seed money and a desire to show clients there’s a better way to do research. She’s been busy doing just that ever since. Before she hung out her shingle, Bonnie started working in healthcare at the age of 17 while attending college (inspired by the movie “Flatliners,” she admits). As a medical assistant, EMT, phlebotomist, lab assistant, and lab consultant liaising with medical offices, Bonnie learned how to find common language and human connection in a complex and clinical world.
This experience served her well as she shifted from the medical world to market research. Quickly realizing that researching paper towels and pudding cups was not her cup of tea, Bonnie leaned into her healthcare background to focus on moderating complicated, highly clinical studies and creating understandable reports. After launching her own research firm, Bonnie knew that she wanted Thinkpiece to continue focusing on the industry sectors that other researchers shy away from: namely, healthcare, technology, and finance.
To that end, Bonnie has surrounded herself with a team of multi-disciplinary experts who, in her words, are smarter than she is. Bonnie and her team excel in revealing and communicating the human stories behind their clients’ complex products and services. She’s made it her mission to help companies think about research differently — not just as raw data on a report but as living, breathing intelligence that provides guidance, clarity, and confidence.
Fun fact: When not digging deep into research, Bonnie gets her hands dirty uncovering dinosaur bones on paleontology digs.
“Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.” — Winston Churchill
John still remembers his first computer fondly: a TRS-80 Model, circa 1978. He taught himself BASIC then TRS-80 Assembly Language programming, in the process learning about the inside workings of computers. Thus his fascination with technology was launched, and it’s never stopped growing.
Before joining Bonnie in building Thinkpiece, John built his technology and financial chops as a trading analytics programmer and software engineer. After running out of funds to finish his PhD in theoretical physics, John completed his bachelor’s in computer science with a (prescient, we might add) emphasis in AI. John worked for several financial services technology companies until his wife and collaborator Bonnie announced that she wanted to start her own market research firm. John stepped in as the technology lead who’s equally comfortable talking with software engineers and c-level executives.
Though he tends to downplay the title, John also serves as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. While helping clients extract maximum value from market research to move their products and services forward, John also helps with the day-to-day tactical running of Thinkpiece. And when the team has any computer issues, he still gets a kick out of solving them.
Fun fact: A man of many talents, John has worked as a professional chef and a semi-professional poker player. He also brews his own beer, and is happy to send you a sample.
“Our clients are smart, hard-working, passionate, and sometimes saddled with square pegs that they need to fit in to round holes. They deserve success. I want Thinkpiece to make a difference in our clients’ pursuit of that success.” — John Dibling
Our resident branding expert, Kip started out as a sales guy who quickly learned the value of understanding customers’ needs before trying to sell them something. He carried this knowledge with him as he transitioned into the world of advertising, at a time when the concept of “branding” was just finding its footing.
As a marketing director for The Martin Agency, Kip worked on nationally recognized and Effie award-winning B2B brands built on insights gleaned from research. After 20 years on the agency side, Kip made the leap from creating campaigns to researching their audiences. To this day, he still gets excited about diving into the nitty-gritty of what makes brands — and people — work.
Over the course of his career, Kip has seen that great research coupled with a deep respect for the customer experience lead to breakthrough branding. After helping his colleague and friend Bonnie launch her research firm Thinkpiece in 2014, Kip officially joined the team as a moderator who brings a unique brand perspective and extensive B2B experience. He also brings a rare talent for asking the right questions, listening carefully to the answers, and ensuring clients hear those insights as well. If his work reveals opportunities and helps his clients act on them, Kip knows he’s done his job.
Fun fact: Along with his Effies, Kip has also won two best actor awards for theater roles he played as an 18-year-old and as a 65-year-old.
“I get energized by what I do. I love branding. I study it. I believe in it. And I want to continue to humanize it so that it is really understood by people everywhere.” — Kip Brown
Chris views qualitative research as the process of naturally connecting with someone to better understand how they see the world. By combining this understanding with a practical knowledge of the subject, he believes it’s possible to craft a picture from the respondent’s perspective.
Chris applies his background in systems engineering and his understanding of the relationship between technology and business to help him find the story that’s hidden in and between every answer. For him, successful moderation means knowing where you’re going and how it will look when you get there, while also acknowledging that every respondent will reveal a new, different way of getting there. Chris views every project as a unique picture that needs creating; respondents add color to give this picture depth as he applies his own expertise to guide conversations and better understand what shapes those colors are forming.
A former head nurse responsible for treating open-heart surgery patients in the ICU, Nancy pours her own heart into her work as Thinkpiece’s lead healthcare moderator and account director. Her previous nursing career spanned multiple specialties, including cardiac and neurosurgery intensive care and burn care. Along with leading clinical departments, training nurses, and building the UNC Burn Center, Nancy also managed to earn her MBA at UNC Chapel Hill. Bedside manner meets business acumen.
Nancy’s familiarity with the science and the humanity required in caring for others serves our healthcare clients well. Her skill at communicating and connecting with physicians, nurses, patients, families, and allied health personnel gives her the unique ability to ask all the right questions, and even better, understand the responses. She then makes sure our clients understand them as well, with C-suite-ready reports they can confidently act on.
Nancy was drawn to market research for many of the same reasons she was drawn to healthcare. She enjoys solving complex challenges, interfacing with individuals from all backgrounds, and finding ways to help people thrive. She also knows that connecting healthcare clients to better insight allows them to continue innovating the products that improve people’s health and wellbeing.
Fun fact: Nancy always choses the less-traveled road, including hiking trails in Morocco and Slovenia.
“I have great respect for providers and patients. Rather than following a script, I have conversations. I recognize when to speak and when to listen.” — Nancy Miller
Don’t let her title fool you: Kristen may sound super left-brain on paper, but her creativity and insights into human behavior are what make her reports such a big hit with clients. Kristen’s research bootcamp started at the University of Chicago, where she earned her MA with a focus on narrative and autobiography, philosophical and religious thought, and served as a writing mentor. In the process, Kristen learned the importance of gathering, interpreting, and communicating evidence to make an effective argument.
Which is essentially what she does for Thinkpiece clients. As the Senior Analyst (and Thinkpiece’s first official employee way back in the day), Kristen works side-by-side with our moderators to craft the right questions; shape the research design; extract the maximum insight from respondents; gather, track, and think through the collected data; then weave the findings together in a comprehensible report that generates action instead of gathering dust.
For Kristen, one of the many rewarding aspects of her role at Thinkpiece is the process of clarifying the messy realities of the audiences our clients are trying to understand. She embraces this mess, enjoying the plethora of unique voices, experiences, and motivations respondents bring to each study. She thrives on piecing these different perspectives into a clear, accurate, and honest narrative that the client can trust and use to make better business decisions. For Kristen, the goal isn’t to water-down the complexity of the research, but rather to make it accessible and applicable.
Fun fact: Kristen has a creative side, which she expresses by signing, gardening (sometimes both at the same time), and cooking without recipes.
“Answers are often complex. Good research communicates that complexity without dumbing it down, skewing it inappropriately, or opening the door to misunderstanding.” — Kristen Balisi
For Liz, research is at its core about truth-telling. That includes providing clients with honest answers to research questions — even if those answers aren’t always the easiest to hear. At the same time, she strives to deliver insight that clients can grasp and use to make progress toward their business goals.
Liz’s love of tell-it-like-it-is research started in graduate school, while earning her master’s degree in sociology. While a grad student, Liz was trained in the scientific process, including both qualitative and quantitative research methods, which embraces the exploration of observations in the quest to answer questions. She honed both her analytical skills and insight into human nature working on grant-funded academic research projects investigating therapies for depression. This experience taught her the value of paying attention to details, as well as being objective and aware of any potential bias.
Liz took these lessons with her as she moved from the academic to the business research realm. As Thinkpiece’s analyst, Liz takes the lead on writing the final reports delivered to the client. That includes making sure every step of the research project puts the team on the right path to create a usable report. To that end, Liz works alongside the moderators while developing and designing the research plan, recruiting respondents, and collecting the data. She’s an integral part of the team, and helps keep us all honest.
Fun fact: Liz is a die-hard Duke basketball supporter, so don’t be surprised if you find blue face paint in her desk drawer.
“Measure twice — or three times — and cut once.” — Liz’s favorite quote
Cori has connections, and they serve our clients well. Over her 20+ year career as a research assistant and field manager in market research, she’s built excellent relationships with recruitment partners who are more than happy to help her quickly find and recruit just the right respondents for our clients’ needs.
As Thinkpiece’s field manager, she juggles multiple responsibilities with skill, grace, and aplomb — including managing, monitoring, and communicating all field logistics, strengthening vendor partnerships, keeping everyone in the loop about project status, and making sure the recruitment process goes smoothly. Along with finding recruits, she excels at finding solutions.
Luckily for us, Cori is extraordinarily well organized and detail oriented. Seriously, you should check out her checklists. Her ability to find order in chaos may be the reason she thrives in fast-paced environments with lots going on. A great communicator, she’s also a wonderful collaborator with our vendors and clients alike.
Fun fact: Unable to resist a sugary or salty treat, Cori wanted to be a candy taster when she grew up. Which explains her sweet nature.
“I want to provide the best possible service to our clients, so they trust us to do our job and have a worry-free experience.” — Cori Bussetti
Every office should be lucky enough to have a Laura. A multi-tasking mastermind, Laura calls on her diverse experience as an event planner, salesperson, and customer service representative to help Thinkpiece run smoothly and efficiently. Her role as office manager encompasses myriad responsibilities, including human resources, accounting, client relations, and occasional miracle worker. And Laura embraces each one with enthusiasm.
While keeping the Thinkpiece team well cared for, Laura also makes sure our clients enjoy a positive experience from start to finish. Clients know they can always reach Laura with any questions or concerns, or even just to say hi. Since joining Thinkpiece as one of the first employees in 2016, Laura has become the heart and soul of the company. The team appreciates her efficiency, competence, flexibility, and can-do attitude just as much as our clients do.
Fun fact: A participant in over 20 marathons (including the Boston Marathon — twice), Laura keeps her running shoes with her at all times. Because a good run always clears the mind.
“I really enjoy interacting with clients and my co-workers. I love building relationships and helping others find solutions.” — Laura Szuberla
See what matters most to us, and
what it’s like to be part of Thinkpiece.
Unlike 99.9% of research firms, we’re not all that interested in your research experience. We’re more focused on your ability to listen, talent for asking the right questions, the depth and breadth of your curiosity, and desire to improve lives.
Our team includes a former nurse, a couple of PhDs, a software engineer, a reformed ad exec, and a soccer enthusiast. We offer great benefits, remote-friendly flexibility, plenty of room to grow, interesting and challenging projects, and a culture where people love to come to work. We’re doing big things — with even bigger things on the horizon. See what matters most to us, and what it’s like to be part of Thinkpiece.
Thinkpiece isn’t about one person; it’s about all of us working collaboratively to support our clients and champion each other. Every one of us is vital to our mission, and every voice is valued. We don’t grow unless all of us have the opportunity to grow.
We know what our clients do — and what we do — has the potential to change lives and the world for better. It’s inspiring and humbling to help companies launch and improve their transformative products and services, and we never lose sight of the impact we can have.
Every day is an opportunity to learn — from our clients as well as from each other. By being curious, we help ourselves and our clients dig deeper, ask and answer tough questions, and find new ways of seeing and thinking about the world.
There’s nothing “as usual” about us. From the uniquely experienced people we hire, to the insightful reports we deliver, to our uncommon business model — we do things differently. And we’re always looking for ways to do things better.
Research is what we do, but people are who we do it for. The people whose stories we learn and share. The people we partner with to improve lives. And the people on our team who put their heart into their work. Every person we interact with is treated with respect, empathy and honesty.
Every member of our team is committed to seeing our clients succeed and our organization thrive and grow. As advocates for our clients and ambassadors for our brand, we all have an important role in helping more companies improve more lives with their innovative products and services.