Cultural Anthropology studies patterns of culture. The definition of culture covers a range of everyday activities such as dining and dressing, and general human conditions such as life and death. Culture is a system of rules and beliefs by which people engage in through everyday activities and the world. Human beings learn these rules through unconscious repetition in their everyday life. They are entangled in the web of culture.

Rhizome is the first consulting company in China to feature applied anthropology. We excel at Culture Decoding, Consumer Demands Positioning, Trend Analysis, Product Scene and Experience Optimization. We assist brands and businesses in establishing localized strategies and developing leading positioning in the aspects of culture, marketing and innovation.

Our core team members include anthropologists, social scientists, data scientists, branding experts and marketing experts. It is our passion for research that brings us together and allows us to leverage the diversity of our areas of expertise. We believe that systematic research should be applied to solve practical problems. With such passion and faith, we have been exploring the market, constantly pondering on how to meet our clients' challenges in brand development.

Rhizome has successfully applied ethnography, cultural and semiotic analysis to both market and consumer research and have creatively combined these methods to develop a series of research products including the In-depth Consumer Index System “Qianji”, Culture Code, Contemporary Life Database, Context and Experience Modeling and "Qianji" Big Data. These tools allow us to establish brand concept systems, consumer profiling and segmentation, all to efficiently optimize consumer experiences. This is how we support clients to better understand consumer behavior and to further develop systematic, specific and leading brand and marketing strategies.

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Ethnography is a unique methodology system that belongs to the domain of cultural anthropologists. It is formed by the “three core concepts” (Daily Routine Theory, Aggregate Theory and Situational Theory); the “on-site ethnographic field research methodology”; and the “analytical framework of “individual – society – culture”. Ethnography can comprehensively identify consumers varied behavioral expectations, motives, and needs. It can build behavioral models that correlate consumer values, emotions and motivations. In addition, it can identify the criterions and factors that generate each unique situation, while placing these behavioral motives and situations in a larger integrated societal and cultural system for further analysis and interpretation. From there, we are able to precisely explore consumers' needs and their transformation on a deeper level, thereby predicting associated consumer trends.
On-Site Observation: Researchers immerse themselves into the daily lives of informants, hang out with them, understand their lives, contexts and habits, and uncover the underlying demands and tensions that go beyond words and consciousness.
Relaxing and natural atmosphere: In the process of observation, researchers transform into companions and participants to reduce the informant’s alertness and prevent them from acting fake.
Real and Immediate: On-site observation captures the “present moments” and unconscious behaviors of informants. Accompanied by real-time interviews, researchers are able to obtain first-hand information. This can help informants to avoid overly concluding, distorting or beautifying their memories.
Rich and Comprehensive: Through on-site conversations and discussions, we use notes, audio and video recordings to restore informants’ behavioral habits (what they eat, how they dress and where they live), social networks, work contexts, media consumption contexts and experiences, etc. We capture a massive amount of vivid, fresh, real and influencing stories and contexts.
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Made by the people

Culture Code

People's behaviors and opinions are always influenced by the social and cultural structures they live in. Economic conditions, local traditions, public consensus and popular discourses all contribute to this larger structure, and its influences are manifested in all life aspects. This includes decisions regarding food, clothing, living space, and transportation. Hence, in order to comprehend and predict people's behaviors and motivations, it is crucial for brands to understand “Culture Code”. “Culture Code” has an vital impact on how brands spread themselves and convey brand values into consumer's heart.
The structures of culture and society are not static. In China, they are undergoing rapid changes, causing a huge transformation in consumer’s consumption behaviors, perceptions and preferences. We keep up with the changing rhythms and trends, decode and leverage them into strategies for brands, to further establish a deeper connection between brands and consumers in the aspects of emotions and values. This is the unique value of culture code.
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Made by the people

The In-depth Consumer Index System “Qianji”

Rhizome employs the In-depth Consumer Index System “Qianji” to precisely profile consumers with eight dimensions. Analytical dimensions can be adapted according to different objectives. “Qianjita” can be applied to effectively identify key needs and differences. It constitutes the knowledge foundation for consumer segmentation, branding and marketing.
As an analytical framework, the unique “Qianji” develops eight analytical dimensions to profile consumers from a multi-dimensional perspective. The eight dimensions go beyond traditional demographics (gender, age, etc.) and social attributes (occupation, social identity, etc.), further crafting the lifestyles, consumption patterns and values of consumers.
Made by the people
Made by the people

Contemporary Life Database

Contemporary Life Database is a qualitative database developed and owned by Rhizome.The diversity and depth of the data guarantee the promptness and reliability of the insights and strategies.
More than 10 provinces across the country
More than 100 cities involved, ranging from tier 1 to 4
High diversity of demographic data
Real-time observation and growing record of people and cities
2000+ individual life stories thoroughly recorded, including life style, consumption, family and self-development, demonstrated in rich formats of texts, videos and photos
The contemporary life database is based on a diachronic study by observing informants in their real-life context over a longer period of time. It enables researchers to well combine historical records and future trends, to explore differences between types of people and the key drivers behind it, and to identify the emerging needs and cognitive changes as they take place, which provides a solid basis for decision-making. 2-panel databases:
“Mom Panel” includes women of different occupations and family sizes, covering the whole process of parenting ranging from preparing, pregnancy, nursing and raising.
This database captures user's habits and perceptions in terms of parenting, family, education, entertainment, personal care etc. This panel aims to collect behavioral patterns which can allow us to dig deeper into consumer’s self-awareness, life expectations, life plans and pain points.
“Elite Panel” includes dozens of high net worth groups with more than 60 million RMB of family assets and strong influence in their industry or field. Being the core seeds of our database, they are able to connect researchers with this very elusive social group.
Via regular visiting, researchers immerse themselves into elite’s social contexts to study their lifestyles, consumption habits, wealth allocation strategy, self-awareness and value orientation. The study will cover all aspects of life, in order to get direct insight into high-end lifestyles, consumption ideas and trends.
Via regular visiting, researchers immerse themselves into elite’s social contexts to study their lifestyles, consumption habits, wealth allocation strategy, self-awareness and value orientation. The study will cover all aspects of life, in order to get direct insight into high-end lifestyles, consumption ideas and trends.
“China Middle-Class” Panel”Based on Chinese statistical data, we are able to provide an accurate definition for the middle-class in China across tier 1 to tier 3 cities. In order to comprehensively portray different middle-class typology, we carefully analyze their occupation, income, family structure, consumption habit, and leisure and entertainment patterns. Via accumulative knowledge, we are constantly uncovering the changing trends of the middle-class in their consumption patterns, brand preferences, lifestyle upgrades etc.
“China Youth Panel” Over the past 10 years, we have continuously conducted cross-generational research and tracking of the “youth” in China, specifically from the post 85 to 00. We continue to accumulate in-depth knowledge of different generations in both their uniqueness and typicality, with a focus on their lifestyles, pain-points, and quality life aspirations. Additionally, we follow the trends of their demands and preferences towards consumption, brands, entertainment patterns, social group culture etc.
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