Spring 2012  
Information to InsightŪ  The Junicon Newsletter
Spring 2012 Editor: Aaron Lasher

In This Issue
Why Junicon?
Junicon turns 10
Four things to never do in a focus group
Junicon's Growing Global Team
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This Spring we proudly celebrate Junicon's 10th anniversary!


In this issue of Information to Insight, we make the case for why our clients choose Junicon as their trusted market research vendor, and give tips to potential Focus Group attendees. For more information, please contact us at info@junicon.net.



The Junicon Team

Why Junicon? Learnings from our Client Survey 


As is the case for most successful consulting firms, Junicon earns most of its revenue via long-term relationships with its clients. Companies that hire Junicon recognize the value that Junicon adds to their understanding of the market, which informs their business strategy and, eventually, impacts their bottom line.


Whenever we at Junicon begin doing business with a new client - generally introduced through a referral - we have to answer the natural question: "Why Junicon?" While there are many other qualified and diverse vendors, we have been led to believe through the feedback we've received over the years that we possess three distinct qualities that give us a competitive advantage over the competition.


The first quality is a deep niche expertise. We are a global healthcare market research firm. That means that we know why infusion pumps must be smaller in Japan, what French cardiologists think of Clinical Decision Support, whether UK hospitalists would accept a lab coat that wasn't white, why a 5 out of 10 in Germany is better than a 7 out of 10 in Spain, how much it would cost to interview 10 hospital CEOs, which drug-eluting stent the literature really supports, and why the term "happy birthday twice" makes US nurses smile nostalgically. We focus very hard on our chosen intersection of healthcare and market research with a global scope, and we enjoy letting our experience show through the conversations with our clients.


The second quality is an ethical one: that we proactively manage our client portfolio to avoid working for clients in the same strategic vertical. With a sufficiently large client base focused in the healthcare sector, it would be challenging for any company to achieve this goal with 100% success. But the fact that we observe the competitive landscape of our clients to scout for potential conflicts of interest is a differentiating attribute that promotes trust and accountability. We make sure that we can always answer "yes" to the question: "Are we fully able to root for the success of our client on every engagement?"


The third quality is the accessibility of our senior leadership to each and every one of our valued clients. Each of the 4 partners is involved at least indirectly with each and every project, with the goal of providing the support and expertise to make each client feel like our only client. Our partners work together within a novel "no account ownership" framework so that they can collaborate together in the client's best interest.


Since its founding a little over a decade ago, Junicon has enjoyed steady growth in terms of its client base, employees, and revenue. With every year that passes, we get more excited about answering the question: "Why Junicon?"


Junicon turns 10

Ten years ago, Rob Claar, Jeff Cocagne, and Stephan Eichholz decided to quit their jobs in market research and strike out on their own. Like many of the most reputable start-ups, Junicon was born in a garage in California.


However, unlike many other start-ups, Junicon was never designed for rapid growth. Instead, the partners focused their approach on building a positive corporate environment based on mutual respect among colleagues and clients.


Recognizing that most well-intentioned professional services firms can fall into the trap of internal budgeting politics and competing for clients, the partners installed a simple but innovative platform of equality and collaboration among senior leadership. Equally important, the partners felt strongly that career - work - should not consume one's life, and that making time for family and private pursuits should be a priority.


Today, the Junicon experiment has become a thriving organization, having picked up an additional partner, Dave Taggart, in 2010, as well as a few dozen employees who span the globe. The Junicon network has expertise in an abundance of healthcare related subject material, and operational fluency in over nine languages.


Constantly improving its portfolio and capabilities, Junicon looks forward to the years ahead.  

Four things to never do in a focus group 

Within every industry is the potential to create "Top #" lists. It seems that no matter how arcane the topic, that humans have a knack for listing things: the best, the worst, and the most unusual.


In the market research industry, we facilitate innumerable in-depth interviews and focus groups.  So in the name of levity (and education), without further ado, Junicon proudly presents a respondent survival guide: four things you should never do in a focus group. To make things more entertaining, we've been sure to choose examples that actually happened.


Rule #1: Don't speak on your cell phone.


Have you ever been annoyed by the loud mouth on his cell phone in the Starbucks line who seems to think that the world is interested in his personal life, or the careless individual in the concert hall who neglected to set her phone to vibrate? In a focus group, most transgressions can be forgiven, but answering your cell phone, and having a conversation at the group table is not one of them.


"The physician's phone began to vibrate on the table. When he picked it up, we all thought that it was to extinguish the noise, but to our surprise, he proceeded to answer his phone and strike up what was quite obviously a non emergency-related conversation. This continued for a full 30 seconds until I managed to get his attention long enough to request that he take his conversation outside."


- Junicon Project Manager


Rule #2: Don't be late


All of us can be made late from time to time by forces outside of our control such as traffic or inclement weather. But when there is no excuse to be late to a focus group, then you probably shouldn't come at all.


Focus groups are timed events in which the moderator has been given the responsibility of pulling as much information out of the respondents' heads as possible. Generally, the first 10 minutes or so are spent on introductions and an explanation of the purpose of the focus group. Every time that a participant arrives late, the explanation must be repeated in an abbreviated manner, wasting precious time and increasing the likelihood that the latecomer will be confused at some point during the discussion.


Also, respondents are paid for their time. It's disrespectful to the other members of the group when an individual doesn't attend the entire session but still expects full compensation.


Rule #3: Don't talk about anything private as you leave the room


This one could save you some potential embarrassment if you ever take part in a live focus group. Most focus groups are audio and video recorded, meaning that the microphones are fairly sensitive and can easily pick up sounds from down the hallway when the door is open. So be careful what you say out loud!


"When reviewing a session video, I overheard some pretty comical remarks from one of the participants about another participant's attractiveness."


- Junicon Project Manager



Rule #4: Don't clean your teeth in the mirror


Even though respondents are informed that there may be people watching them from behind the one-way mirror, some seem to forget this fact and find no issue with using the mirror as they would in the privacy of their own bathroom. Remember, not only will the people behind the mirror chuckle at your antics; you may also be immortalized on the video recording.



If you follow these simple rules, then your focus group experience should be smooth sailing. Ignore them at your peril!




Support for Education in Southern Mindnao


As part of its social responsibility programs, Junicon is celebrating its second year supporting a group of schoolchildren in Southern Mindanao in the Philippines.


Junicon sponsors 10 children in elementary and high school by providing the funds to cover their tuition, school uniforms, and other basics so that they can get an education.


Pleased with the results (every student studied hard and passed the grade), next year Junicon will double its commitment by assisting 20 students in the same fashion. The nature of the donation allows for the Junicon team to follow these students as they progress through their studies, providing the encouragement and financial assistance to put them on a path to a bright future.



Students being supported by Junicon Staff in Southern Mindanao

Junicon Supports Indigenous Peoples Education Center in the Philippines


The Philippines have more than 100 tribal communities that often live marginalized from the mainstream of society. The Pamulaan Center for Indigenous Peoples Education at Southeastern University of the Philippines is an institution that was founded in 2006. Its main goal is to provide higher education opportunities to members of indigenous communities in the Philippines. Today the center has close to 100 students that earn college degrees in a range of topics from Elementary Education to Agricultural Technology. The aim of the founders of the institution is to develop future leaders that go back to help strengthen their tribal communities. 


Through the Canadion NGO Hope International, Junicon is supporting the work of the Pamulaan Center and is sponsoring 5 students to attain their desired degrees. Junicon recently had the opportunity to visit the institution in the Southern Philippines and meet with representatives of Hope International and the Pamulaan Center. We were very impressed by the quality of the facilities, meeting the students and seeing the enthusiasm of the leadership of the center. Junicon is planning to continue its support of the Pamulaan Center in the coming years and we are grateful for the opportunity to support this cause via Hope International.


Junicon principal Stephan Eichholz with Hope International Regional Coordinator Erin Sakakibara and Pamulaan Center Founder and Co-Director Benjamin Abadiano


The Living Heritage Center of Pamulaan



For more information visit:





Junicon's Growing Global Team

Our growing business enables new roles for existing team members and opportunities to expand our team.
Shohei Nishihara AaronPic
Joins Junicon's Tokyo Office 


Shohei grew up in the international school system in Japan. After high school, he went to the US and earned degrees from Tufts University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Returning to Japan, Shohei gained experience in communications, public relations and IT before joining Junicon. Shohei is an author and illustrator of children's books, and in his spare time enjoys Capoeira and badminton.



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