About SunResearch

Deep dives to illuminate the increasing complexity of consumer lives, emotions, and behaviors






To observe key stages of their journey and discern breakthrough consumer truths to guide marketing initiatives, SunResearch provides innovative qualitative research to corporate teams to figure out the ever-increasing complexity of consumer lives. Our research helps you discover need states, strategic breakthroughs, develop concepts, create products, and reposition brand identities that achieve and heighten marketing success. Our mission is to generate deep insight, understanding, illumination, and breakthrough for every qualitative project we conduct. Depth of insight is a result of our creative group dynamic process, our intuitive methodologies, and our passionate pursuit of potentially profound emotional subtleties that form the underpinnings of resonating new ideas, products, and advertising. Our authentic ethnography, creative focus groups, archetypal brand process, and creative ideation shed light on participants’ internal relationship with themselves and their external relationships with family, work, and community in order to discern new dynamics of need states and decision making on products, brands, technology, shopping experiences, values, and life stages. Our research provides you with a more holistic understanding of customers’ deepest perceptions, motivations, and aspirations.



We train marketing and research teams in authentic observation of behaviors and identification of compelling archetypes, encourage beginner mind to seek unexpected white space, and emphasize openness to customer paradoxes, double binds, repressed feelings, controversy, and unmet aspirations. Not only consumer delight, excitement, and satisfactions but also emotional dilemmas lead teams to recognize what is changing in customer lives, leading to more viable creative, messaging, and product solutions. Each project features multiple debriefs during the process. Besides innovative reports and presentations, for ethnography, real-life photos and videos bring our findings to life.

Ava Lindberg, PhD

Depth psychologist, cultural anthropologist, and president of SunResearch

Ava Lindberg is president and founder of SunResearch, making waves and bringing light to the research and marketing world for over 20 years. Ava heightens research innovation and understanding with creative groups, psychological depth interviews, and live and digital ethnography taken from cultural anthropology, depth psychology, penetrating projective techniques, role plays, expanded ideation, and training in observation and archetypes…helping marketing teams discern, prioritize, and activate the right innovations, concept creation, product development, and compelling branding. Ava’s experience spans some of the world’s top brands at ConAgra Foods, Hilton Worldwide, Unilever, Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, and International Data Corporation. Her research collaboration with marketing has received two David Ogilvy Awards.





She and her teams specialize in:

  • Archetypal branding sessions
  • Authentic ethnography, live and in-person
  • Digital ethnography, bulletin boards, mobile
  • Innovation, concept development, and testing
  • Archetypal drivers of consumer motivation
  • Shopper insights
  • Customer journeys and path-to-purchase decision making
  • Brand mapping
  • In-depth psychological interviews that expand behaviors, emotions, benefits, and need states
  • Training in ethnography, innovation, and archetypes

Curriculum Vitae (CV)



1995 – Current. President, SunResearch, New York, NY


Qualitative research consultancy using methodologies based upon cultural anthropology and depth psychology for corporate insight, consumer segmentation, and brand strategy. Clients include Hilton Worldwide, McDonald’s, McCafe Canada, rheingold salon, International Data Corporation, Unilever, ConAgra Foods, Kraft Foods, Kodak, Ocean Spray, Publix, Bayer 

Powerpoints, papers, and articles on approaches by Ava Lindberg

Here is a detailed powerpoint on the fundamentals of authentic ethnography.​

Here is a detailed powerpoint on creative approaches when facilitating live idea sessions. The workshop Facilitating Consciously was given to the 2011 AQR conference in Prague and a 2012 webcast for Q-Cast by the Qualitative Research Consultants Association. It’s complex or a fast primer depending upon the level of the facilitator and need in facilitating sessions.​



"Ethnography Revealed, Part 1: Is Authentic Ethnography Right for You? Lessons from 15 Years of Consumer Ethnographic Experience."

This is the first in a series on ethnography for the Qualitative Research Consultants Association quarterly journal, Views. The truths behind this 2006 article on authentic ethnography remain strong and usable.


"Ethnography Revealed, Part 2: The Nuts and Bolts of an Authentic Ethnography Project."

Along with Part 1, you can send this double set to research and marketing teams in advance of participating in an ethnographic training or conducting in-person observation for authentic ethnographies.”





"Working in the Mythic: Transformative Archetypes and Their Place in Ethnographies and Focus Groups."

A review of Ava's archetypal workshops, authored by Rupa Ranganathan and published in QRCA Connections.


Ethnographic Research: What Does the Term 'Ethnography' Mean to You?"

An article by H. Grace Fuller in Quirk's Market Research Review. See pages 2 and 3 for references to Lindberg approach using authentic ethnography.





2020, Ph.D., Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Department of Depth Psychology and Jungian Archetypal Studies, Carpinteria, CA


Dissertation: Archetypes and Mysterious Opportunities: Conscious and Unconscious Underpinnings of Self-Initiated Expatriation to Ecuador 


2017—M.A., Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA 


1995—M.A., Cultural Anthropology, Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, New York, NY 


1982—B.A., English Literature, School of General Studies, Columbia University, New York, NY



Podium Presentations 


November 14, 2018—Ava Lindberg. “The Seven Principles of Authentic Ethnography: Preparing Your Qualitative SWAT Team.” University of Georgia Masters of Market Research Fall Conference. Athens, GA. 


October 23, 2016—Ava Lindberg. “Advanced Archetypal Branding.” McDonald’s Corporation Insights Conference. Toronto, ON 


October 8, 2015, Ava Lindberg, Antonella Fabri. “The Gaze: How Clients Impact Qualitative Research.” Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) Annual Conference. Orlando, FL. 


May 15, 2014—Ava Lindberg. “Combining Authentic Ethnography and Depth Psychology to Identify Snacking Wants and Needs among Hispanic Immigrant Populations.” ConAgra Foods Research Conference. Chicago, IL 


Training Workshops (Two Hours to Two Days in Length) 


November 13, 2018—Ava Lindberg. “Archetypal Branding: A Primer on Uncovering Hidden Motivations and Aspirations.” Education Day, University of Georgia Masters of Market Research Program Fall Conference. Athens, GA 


March 26, 2015—Ava Lindberg, Antonella Fabri. Pre-Conference: “Secrets of Observation.” Marketing Research Intelligence Association (MRIA) Annual Conference. Toronto, ON 


October 2011—Ava Lindberg. “Facilitating Consciously.” Pre-Conference: The Association for Qualitative Research and Qualitative Research Consultants Association (AQR-QRCA) Biennial Conference. Prague, Czech Republic 


September 2011—Ava Lindberg. “Sharpening Your Observational Skills.” Southeast Chapter Meeting of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA). Atlanta, GA 


April 2011—Ava Lindberg. “Empower! 15 Ways to Empower Creative Team Performance.” Atlanta Creativity Exchange (ACE) Annual Conference. Atlanta, GA 


March 2011—Ava Lindberg, Ligia Buzan. “Finding Your 8Dreams and Manifesting Your Destiny.” Theatre Arts Center Workshop. Boston, MA 


October 2006-March 2007—Ava Lindberg. “Discovering Powerful Mythologies and Archetypes in Consumer Research.” Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) Annual Meeting followed by specialized QRCA chapter meetings in Beverly Hills, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Toronto, and New Haven 


Panels Organized 


October 2017—Ava Lindberg, Antonella Fabri, Derek Newberry, Neri de Kramer. “Secrets of Ethnographic Observation.” Hilton Worldwide Insights Conference. McLean, VA 


October 2013—Ava Lindberg. “Roundtable: Marketing Research as International Intrigue.” Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) Annual Conference. Montreal, QC 


Papers Presented 


April 18, 2012—Ava Lindberg, Jan Lohs. “Tale of the Script: A Global Qualitative Adventure.” The Association for Qualitative Research (AQR) Annual Conference. Rome, IT 


May 2011—Ava Lindberg. “Truth or Dare? Exploring Cultural Relativity and Absolutism in Research Knowledge with Cultural Anthropology.” Double Conference of Accelerated Learning and Problem Solving. Baltimore, MD 


April 2010—Ava Lindberg. “Changing Minds at the Top: Shifts in Consciousness from Authentic Ethnography in Corporations.” The Society for Anthropologists of Consciousness (SAC) Annual Conference. University of California, Berkeley, CA 


Invited Lectures 


September 25, 2018. Ava Lindberg. “Ethnography and Management Practices.” Seminar on Qualitative Research, Doctoral Management Program. Webster University, St. Louis, MO. 


October 2009. Ava Lindberg. “Qualitative Research in Marketing.” Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management Class, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY 


October 2005, March 2004. Ava Lindberg. “Creativity and Qualitative Research in Design.” Studio in Narrative Class, Parsons School of Design, The New School. New York, NY



Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles 


Spring 2016—Ava Lindberg, Carole Lindberg. Which Craft: Sharing a Collaborative Alchemical Dreamwork Process for Inner Knowing. Quadrant: Journal of the C. G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology. Vol. XLVI:1, pp. 39-65. 



June 2014-April 2015. “Performing Beyond Fear: Understanding the Needs of Musicians with Stage Fright and Injury.” Methodology: Indepth Interviews and Live Observation at Piano. Golden Key Institute, New York, NY 


September-October 2004. “Exploring Voter Perceptions of the Role of the Secretary of State in Connecticut.” Methodology: Focus Groups and Creative Sessions. Campaign for Miles Rappaport, Hartford, CT

Professional Organizations and Certification




An organization of anthropologists in business dedicated to exploring ethnographic methodologies and the "mindset around the intersection of theory and practice, the basis for the kind of innovation ethnography provides”




A not-for-profit association of consultants involved in the "design and implementation of qualitative research—focus groups, in-depth interviews, in-context and observational research"


C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology


A depth psychological organization dedicated to the growth of “conscious awareness of the psychological realities in themselves and society” to increase depth of meaning, purpose, and relationships


Creative Problem Solving Institute


University of Buffalo, NY

Certification in Springboard, Leadership Development, Team Building, and Creativity Training, Osborne-Parnes CPS model


Synectics Inc.


Cambridge, MA

Certified Advanced Synectics Practitioner, Team Building



David Ogilvy Research Award, Winner


2011, SunResearch/Kraft/Ogilvy/Maxwell House Team for “Brew Some Good” Maxwell House ad campaign


2003, Runner-up, SunResearch/Kraft/Ogilvy/Kool-Aid Team for “Mix It Up” Kool-Aid ad campaign



The following is a representative selection of qualitative research field projects conducted between 2019 and 2011 by Ava Lindberg under the auspices of SunResearch. 


January-March 2019—As Research Team Member. “Gerolsteiner USA: Behavioral- Conceptual Exploration of a German Spring Water.” Methodology: Indepth Interviews, New York City and Los Angeles. rheingold salon. New York City and Los Angeles 


June 2018-January 2019—As Chief Researcher. “Mereltä Scalp Care Brand Development: Phases I and II.” Mixed Methods: Indepth Interviews, Online User Testing, Focus Groups. Waltham, MA 


August 2017-March 2018—As Chief Researcher. “Amplification of Psychographic Segmentation for Hilton Portfolio Properties.” Mixed Methods: Focus Groups, Ethnography, Online. Hilton Worldwide. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, McLean, Memphis 


November 2017—As Research Team. “Identifying Marketing Opportunities for a Parisian Organic Skin Care Line (Cattier Paris) in the United States.” rheingold salon. New York City 


July 2016-September 2017—As Chief Researcher. “Positioning Rackspace Managed Cloud Solutions Against Key Competitors.” Focus Groups and Facilitated Creative Session. International Data Corporation. New York, Chicago, Boston 


October 2015-June 2016—As Chief Researcher. “Discovering Insights on Current and Future Fast Food and Coffee Psychographic Segments: Phases I and II.” Mixed Methods: Focus Groups, Live Ethnography, and Facilitated Team Archetype Brand Sessions. McDonald’s and McCafe. Toronto, New Brunswick, Edmonton 


May-June 2016—As Research Team. “Understanding the Integral Moment of Lindor Brand Chocolate Bliss Balls with Consumers Loyalists.” Psychological In-depth Interviews. rheingold salon, Hartford, CT 


July-October 2014—As Chief Researcher. “Archetypal and Behavioral Dimensions of Hispanic Immigrant Snacking Experiences within Two Levels of Acculturation.” Mixed Methods: Focus Groups, Live Ethnography. ConAgra Foods. Chicago and Los Angeles 


July-August 2013—As Chief Researcher. “Exploring South Asian Immigrant Usage of Deodorants and Antiperspirants for Dove Brand in Canada.” Mixed Methods: Focus Groups, Live Ethnography. Unilever Canada. Toronto and Vancouver 


September-November 2013—As Chief Researcher. “Differentiating Consumer Needs and Perceptions of Five Sub-brands of Becel Brand Portfolio and Buttery Spread Category.” Mixed Methods: Indepth Psychological Interviews, Live Ethnography. Unilever Canada. Toronto and Vancouver 


August-September 2012—As Chief Researcher. “Creating a New Positioning with Consumers for Alka-Seltzer.” Bayer Company. Metro-NY, Chicago, New Orleans 


July-December 2011—As Co-Researcher. “Developing the Optimum International Archetype to Reposition a Digital Imaging Brand.” Focus Groups. Eastman Kodak Company. Chicago, Paris, Hamburg, Warsaw, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Mumbai 


February-March 2011—As Chief Researcher. “Transforming the Traditional Price-and-Item Positioning into an Emotional/Lifestyle Repositioning for Publix Brand.” Publix Supermarkets with West-Wayne Advertising. Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami 


April-June 2011—As Chief Researcher. “Repositioning and Differentiating the Retail Brand Ann Taylor from Loft, Banana Republic, Chico’s, Talbots, and Bebe.” Projective Focus Groups and Creative Sessions. Ann Taylor. New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles 


Case histories of other research studies conducted prior to January 2011 through June 1995 are available upon request.