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

Cultural anthropologist, depth psychologist, 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



Pacifica Graduate Institute

Santa Barbara, CA

Doctoral Program in Depth Psychology with emphasis on Jungian and archetypal studies. Ph.D. candidate

Completion of Ph.D. in 2019


Master of Arts, Depth Psychology, 2016


Columbia University

New York, NY 

Master of Arts, Cultural Anthropology, Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1995


Bachelor of Arts, English, 1992


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” (https://www.epicpeople.org/about-epic/)



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"(http://www.qrca.org/?page=whatisqrca)


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 (http://www.cgjungny.org/aboutus.html)


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

Powerpoints, papers, and articles on approaches by Ava Lindberg



"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.”



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



October 2016, Advanced archetypes. Corporate fair, CPG, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


October 2015, The gaze: How clients impact qualitative research. Annual conference, Qualitative Research Consultants Association, Orlando, FL, with Antonella Fabri, PhD


May 2015, Secrets of Observation. Marketing Research Intelligence Association Annual Qualitative Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with Antonella Fabri, Ph.D


May and October 2014, Research training on authentic ethnography with immigrant populations using archetypes in concept development. CPG client fair, Chicago, IL


October 2013, Roundtable on International Intrigue, Annual conference of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, Montreal, QC, Canada


April 2012, Tale of the Script: A Global Qualitative Adventure. AQR annual conference, Rome, Italy, with Jan Lohs



October 2011, Facilitating Consciously. AQR-QRCA biennial conference, Prague, Czech Republic


September 2011, Sharpen Your Observational Skills. Southeast Chapter of Qualitative Research Consultants Association, Atlanta


May 2011, Truth or Dare? Exploring Cultural Relativity and Absolutism in Research Knowledge Using the Practice of Cultural Anthropology. Double Conference of Accelerated Learning and Problem Solving, Baltimore, MD


April 2011, Empower! 15 Ways to Empower Creative Team Performance. ACE/Atlanta Creativity Exchange, Atlanta, GA


March 2011, Finding Your 8Dreams and Manifesting Your Destiny. Theatre Arts Center, Boston, MA


April 2010, Changing Minds at the Top: Shifts in Consciousness from Authentic Ethnography in Corporations. Annual conference for the Society for Anthropologists of Consciousness, UC-Berkeley, CA


Speaking engagements, workshops, and fairs

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.​



"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.