Know what they want.
Feel what they need.

Strategic Research & Insight for Sustainable Futures.

Home to The Empathy Framework, a unique tool for understanding and changing behaviours through narrative and emotional needs.

Qual Research That’s Deeply Human

See The World More Clearly

Find the opportunities in front of you, know which path to take and deeply connect with your customers through actionable data that’s aligned with the emotional motivators and beliefs driving their behaviour.

Who we work with

Find the connections that matter most

Tell stories that resonate, create products that connect, buy media that's aligned with your audience's emotions. Find the signal in the noise that shows you what’s next. We get to the source of the problems you need solving. 

Welcome to Source Nine. A customer insights agency that shows you the world through your customers’ eyes. 

Reliable insights that are deeply human

Our qualitative approach is rooted in empathy, narrative and a systems view of life. Every project is bespoke, using focus groups, interviews and ethnographies that shine a light on the heart of your audience.

And we don’t just give you data - we provide actionable insights with clear recommendations to make achieving your goals and those of your customers, feel like pushing on an open door.

How We Do It


Emotion isn't a bias in an otherwise rational way of understanding the world. It's an essential input to a system of perception and projection that we all use to give everything its meaning.

That’s why we focus on the unique combinations of 7 universal emotional needs, narratives and core beliefs that are the source of most behaviour. 

Mapping emotional needs allows you to see through the eyes of your customers with exceptional clarity in order to communicate in ways that resonate and leave lasting impressions.

Our needs-based approach not only helps us to provide powerful insights, it informs our approachability too. We help participants to quickly feel safe enough to open up, share their stories and not hold back on topics that many researchers find hard to get at. Topics that are often personal, sometimes sensitive and always uniquely human.

Quantitative Research

We love taking large amounts of data and insights to draw out impactful, prioritised recommendations, tailored to your context because we take the time to know you and your business to find out what really matters. 

Whether we’re taking the qualitative insights and testing them at scale or auditing your existing numbers to help you find your focus, we take away the guesswork and bring confidence to your decision making about the things that matter most.

What we do

Know The People That You Serve

We unearth how consumers are thinking, feeling and acting, allowing you to see WHY they do what they do.

We dig deep to map the fundamental human needs, unspoken mindsets, beliefs and frames of reference that shape perception and motivate behaviour to discover segments and personas that are full of life. 

Develop New Products & Positioning

Take the guesswork out of decision making and make the calls that count.

We explore your category, identify key routes to awareness, define the jobs to be done and walk beside your customers to capture their needs from concept to packaging and everything in between.

Discover Messaging That Resonates

To create messaging that deeply connects, builds relationships and drives behaviour, information by itself is not enough.

Our unique emotional needs-state analysis inspires creative briefs and communications that are deeply human and hard to forget.

behaviour change for positive social tipping points

It's not just the climate that has tipping points.

Small changes in the right places in society can lead to tipping points and cascades that lead to systemic change.

We work with brands and advocacy groups in key areas to help create conditions conducive to the changes in behaviours that can accelerate our transition to a regenerative society.


“We loved working with the team for some early customer insights research. It was SO supportive to have you all galvanize around our business and feel the benefit of a bigger team!

We had a very short time frame for the research, but you went above and beyond to hit the deadline professionally and to a high standard.

The final report gave us so many useful insights to cut through our opinions and follow the data on which audience to speak with first and how to connect with them.

Natalie Peire


“To boost the growth of our citizen movement, we partnered with Source Nine to get better insights into our member base, improve our messaging and customer experience.

The team clearly understood the brief, captured the full essence of our requests, and offered a wealth of advice on how to strengthen our messaging and brand. 

They made themselves available throughout the process to address any concerns we had and most importantly, shared the same motivation in driving change at Big Oil.

On behalf of the Follow This team, we would like to thank Source Nine for their contributions” 

Harlee Richards

Follow This

About Us

Meet The Senior Team

Rob Harrison-Plastow

Whether it’s helping brands find more of their ideal customers, working out how to engage different groups for action on climate, or solving problems that unlock business growth, I love helping people know their customers and their business better. 

I spent almost a decade at the University of Exeter as a senior manager, designed the innovative MEng Engineering & Entrepreneurship Degree and led on University wide research and strategy briefs before moving on to start, scale and exit an ecommerce business.

I’m a keen advocate for Doughnut Economics, am guiding Source Nine through B Corp certification and love working with others to explore and shape what it means to be a regenerative business.

And when I’m not working or being with my family you’ll find me at the beach, weeding in a polytunnel or writing about nature for publications like Dark Mountain Books, Resurgence & The Ecologist or being a spokesperson for The Climate Majority Project.

Becky Harrison-Plastow
Head of Research

With a background in sustainable development research, I specialise in qualitative research  and love working with purpose-led businesses, helping them to increase their positive impact on people, planet and profit by providing clear insights.

I’ve handled all kinds of research briefs with corporates, charities and retailers that have taken me to Latin America, Eastern Europe and even beautiful Cornwall.

I also spent 13 years working with large institutions in the public sector researching wellbeing and the environment before making the move to the e-commerce sector and now focus on commercial problem solving where wellbeing and the environment are as equally valued as increasing profits.

When I’m not waxing lyrical about qualitative insights, I’m usually found at the beach with the kids, enjoying cake Tuesdays at work or jumping into the Cornish sea (any time of year and not in a wetsuit!).

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