If you are involved in a qualitative study in Romania, expect to meet young and enthusiastic researchers. This implies a fresh, creative spirit, always looking for new and better ways of approaching market problems.

One such problem is the reluctance of Romanian respondents to take part in groups. Our former education system did not encourage people to come forward, to express their thoughts and feelings freely. As a result, people tend to reveal only what they consider to be socially acceptable. It can undermine attempts to reach deep and genuine consumer understanding. The challenge for moderators is to overcome communication barriers.

As a qualitative research supplier, you not only have to design the research and to moderate, but also to organise recruitment. And talking about recruitment, I remember being surprised by one of the screener conditions requested by a foreign client: young adults should not live with their parents. Discussions with my client revealed that in countries like the UK or US, only immature, emotionally dependent offspring stay at home past their eighteenth birthday. In Romania many young people find it virtually impossible to branch out on their own.

But more generally, from our experience as moderators, however, consumers in Romania are optimistic. They still hope for a better future, with better products and better brands.