Brenda Hurley is an Executive Vice President and Managing Partner at C+R Research. She has more than 25 years’ experience providing custom research solutions for her clients.
Brenda’s career has been mostly focused on developing quantitative research solutions for her clients, spanning online and offline methodologies and various consumer and shopper targets. More recently, a significant portion of her time is spent consulting with clients on large strategic initiatives and solving unique business and research issues involving multi-modal approaches and incorporating non-traditional methodologies.
Brenda also oversees C+R’s multicultural division, CultureBeat. Her passion for understanding different consumer cultures and perspectives has been a common thread in both her professional and personal lives. Having traveled to 50 countries and spent over two decades conducting research with multicultural consumers in the US, Brenda is often sought out to help clients better understand how to connect with specific consumer segments.
Brenda’s clients represent a wide variety of industries including consumer packaged goods, durable goods, entertainment, retail and the restaurant industry.
What's your favorite thing about Market Research? What do you enjoy about Market Research?
Being on the supplier side, I love the variety of projects and clients. I also like being a bit of an investigator, trying to understand consumer behavior and decision-making and digging into the data to figure out what’s going on. It’s impossible to get bored in this profession, you’re always tackling new issues and industries, and looking for better ways to do it.
What's the best part about working at C+R?
I know it’s cliché, but the people. I truly believe we have some of the smartest and most innovative people working here, from analysts to operations. They enjoy being challenged and coming up with solutions that address our clients’ needs. And, so many people keep chocolate at their desk that they’re willing to share!
How did you get into the market research industry?
Like so many people ‘back in the day’, I sort of fell into this industry. I was in college and needed a job and found a posting for a focus group facility. I had no idea what a focus group was, but the afternoon/evening hours were perfect for me since I was in college and most classes were in the morning/early afternoon. And I was never a ‘starving college student’ because there’s always leftover food at focus group facilities!
What's the best piece of advice you ever received?
I don’t know if this is the best advice ever, but I was recently in Morocco and had a tour guide (who’s also a professor and human rights activist) who gave us this advice: When you meet someone different than you, you need to immediately recognize that you’re as different to him/her as they are to you. If you don’t, your natural response tends to be that you’re better than that person. Then he said, if you don’t do that, you get constipation of the brain and that turns to diarrhea of the mouth!
If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?
A client at Cartoon Network once compared me to the Powerpuff Girls character Buttercup. I read that her personality ingredient is spice and she’s a tough fighter. But personally, I’d prefer to be Wonder Woman – she has her own jet!