We all see the world through our own lens

As much as we’d all like to say we review our market situation objectively, most of us pretty much just notice what is in front of us.

And, sometimes this means we are missing the insights lurking nearby because our thinking is limited by what we know so well.

Nitty Gritty is an insights consultancy that uses research and creative thinking to shift the focus back on the consumer.

It’s our business it is to help you find and pinpoint those elusive insights

We help you keep your outlook fresh – encouraging you to look at the ordinary, differently

Start asking yourself some questions about your brands and business…


Are consumers really as we imagine?

 Is our brand what we believe it to be?

Is our offer relevant to consumers?

Are we not seeing something obvious that could prove to be a game changer?

 Is our offer being heard as loud as we think it is?



Getting your head around new ways of thinking invariably leads to whole new opportunities you might not have ever considered




By providing the fresh lens on your project

Our strength is to offer perspectives that refresh how you’ve been thinking about the challenges and opportunities.

We will provide the food for thought that will open up some other avenues or some different ways of attacking the project.

We ask questions that throw you into a different mind space


We will help you…

  • See a clear vision for your brand
  • Explore what is limiting progress
  • Define the new consumer landscape
  • Provide you with unexpected and refreshing strategies
  • Succeed with new opportunities
  • Develop creative communications and marketing

All of this means you will have more options, ideas, and potential to explore than you initially thought

Then you are much closer to really connecting with your consumers and pinpointing where you need to focus

Julie Houston – first port of call for Nitty Gritty advice + ideas

My philosophy is that insights are always available…
if you know how to look for themA1154_JDHS 408_Final_2

My role is to hunt down insights for clients but also guide them to think in a way that continuously reveals new insights they build on. 

Why take a single look when you can use a wide angled lens to think of other ways of coming at an issue?

Loads of curiosity is what has lead me to and kept me interested in marketing and consumer psychology – there is always a new angle to consider, and it’s great to have the opportunity to dive into uncharted territory.

Before Nitty Gritty 

My first foray into consumer behaviour was a national study of 23,000 children’s smoking behaviour which made me appreciate big data well before it became trendy. I somehow managed to emerge unscathed after conducting this survey in person in around 30 Victorian schools with groups of 80 teenagers per session. It gave me a healthy respect for both social research at the coal face and the importance of including lie scales.

I began Nitty Gritty in 2010 after over fifteen years in the traditional research agency world including founding Researchwise a market research agency.  I  consult across private and public sectors marrying psychology and marketing which definitely helps  get an extra perspective on projects.   

  • I’m published as a psychologist and researcher in  research and medical journals
  • worked as organisational psychologist where I developed a stress test for train drivers
  • been  a health educator, a rehabilitation counsellor, once manned the ‘Quit line’ for the Cancer Council  
  • honed my interviewing skills with Australia’s politicians and shock jocks
  • did I mention I oversaw a highly confidential sheep nutrition trial for a pharmaceutical giant ? Well a long time ago when wearing a lab coat was a key motivation

What is clear is that research runs in my blood right throughout my career and continues to flow. I have lead hundreds of projects speaking to thousands of consumers at length about their lifestyles, habits, values and aspirations which in turn amounts to many insights.

These days

Keeping busy in keeping on top of all that is shifting in technology, the working world and with consumers in general including…

  • enjoying writing  about creativity and have programs and tools in the works in this area. I just need more time to….think it over myself.
  • reading widely  and drinking up anything that purports to be about creativity, ideas, and mindset despite  knowing that I shouldn’t be taking work home.
  • enjoying Melbourne with my family – great spaces, food, arts, retail therapy and ideas – all of which fills my bottomless ‘to-do’ list.
  • fascinated by social media and a sometime tweeter (very lamely according to my teenage daughter) about a range of things but usually about anything that contain a good insight to marinate further  @lattemarketer

Our think tank

Nitty Gritty teams professionals with particular expertise in more complex areas such as social research, market segmentation, data potential, IT solutions and forecasting models.  

We partner with Brand Beagle which is run by a creative marketing specialist, Liz Eades who supplies the marketing frameworks that help contain insights we discover for clients. We are very experienced at what we do and use our cross intelligence to make new inroads for our clients. 

  • I personally design and conduct research from the ground up including our Fresh Lens Thinking Workshops and Programs on how to obtain insights that will set your business off on a new path.
  • While I am definitely the lynchpin on all projects, I link in with a large network of specialist services and professionals – most of them are local gurus with particular bents for things like segmentation, immersions, infographics, spiffy presentations, data analysis packages and survey tools.
  • I source the best thinking and expertise to ensure you get the best outcome.


Up for some insight?

I’m always pleased to chat over what you might be thinking of doing to help you get going with your next venture.

  • Some of the best projects I have worked on evolved out of rough ideas that I was approached about and was able to take a lot further than we’d thought was doable.
  • So feel free to get in touch even if you are at the early stages of ‘putting it together in your head’.