The Northstar Research Team

Moderators: We work within a network of senior moderators, all of whom are members of professional organizations such as the Qualitative Research Consultants Association and the American Society of Trial Consultants. This network allows us to manage large, multi-moderator projects. We are also able to offer the benefit of extensive experience and expertise across many industries.


Client List: Northstar has worked with a diverse range of corporations and firms for 18 years, providing custom-designed research that is tailored to meet the needs of each client. Some of our larger clients include:

Anderson Publications
Ernst and Young
Florida Power and Light
General Electric
Special Counsel
Visa International

Don Saunders, Ph.D.

Don Saunders, founder of Northstar Research, has been conducting marketing research since 1984.  Don's research experience spans product development and ideation, brand management, customer satisfaction and needs assessment, trial strategy research, competitive analysis, and product positioning.  He manages global projects, conducting focus groups and triads across Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and the Middle East.  As a skilled ethnographer, Don moderates qualitative sessions that are engaging and comfortable for participants, as well as being relevant and insightful for clients. He has worked with numerous participant segments, including scientists, business executives, attorneys, children, the elderly, and professionals from a variety of fields.

Don's foundation and interest in qualitative interest is based on the training he received while an M.B.A. and Ph.D. student at Arizona State University.  During his doctoral program, Don worked with leading scholars to develop a new qualitative methodology based on cognitive anthropological methods.  Don has served on marketing faculties at three universities, teaching capstone strategy courses.  He has also published articles on implementation, service quality, and innovation.

Direct Line: 636-922-7027

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Stacey Saunders, J.D.

Stacey Saunders has been conducting marketing research for over six years. Since joining Northstar Research in 1996, Stacey has completed focus groups and one-on-one interviews for a wide range of industries, including public utilities, financial services, legal service providers, and pharmaceutical companies. Her research projects have focused on brand positioning, product development and marketing communication and have been conducted both domestically and in Asia and Australia. As Director of Trial Strategy Sciences for Northstar, Stacey applies both her marketing research experience and her skills as an attorney to litigation-based research projects. Her litigation research has spanned areas such as utilities deregulation, racial harassment, and complex product liability. Stacey has earned a J.D. from Cumberland School of Law (Birmingham, AL) and a B.S. in Marketing from Miami University (Oxford, OH). She has also completed Burke Market Research's "Training for Focus Group Moderating," and is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the American Society of Trial Consultants.

Direct Line: 636-922-9470

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Client Comments


  Our clients consistently remark that we surpass their expectations by providing top quality, issue-driven research.  

In working with Northstar on a fast-paced,  multi-organization
qualitative investigation, we found they were 100% dedicated to walking in the client's shoes by first understanding the decisions that we were struggling to make and that the research would directly support.
Additionally, they demonstrated agility and flexibility  repeatedly during the project development and fielding."                        


Hewlett-Packard Co.
Network Peripheral Solutions Divi sion
Market Intelligence Manager

"I worked with Don Saunders on a series of Youth Internet focus groups.During the project I saw him relate with teens and children on theirlevel.  His agility at working the internet and creating web site examples was phenomenal... allowing us to develop new ideas on the spot. I found Don to be willing to listen and try client ideas, and yet heacted as an expert consultant steering us in the right direction."
                        Director of Interactive Marketing
                        Johnson and Johnson


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"Over the years we have worked with Don Saunders on a wide variety of marketing research projects and have been delighted with our experience. Don has the ability to quickly grasp complex subjects and delivers outstanding customer insights for our most critical issues. He has an uncanny ability to isolate key issues with focus group participants and will modify his approach to research to fit any given situation. His take on our company's strategic issues and goals has always been outstanding and he consistently keeps our goals in mind when moderating. This of course is a real value for us. When there is a project that requires the best of the best, we'll take Don any day of the week!"

Market Analyst
Florida Power and Light