Partner, ABM Research, Toronto
Charles Leech is a partner at ABM Research, a global qualitative boutique that delights in the more muscular strata of consumer insights. Since his PhD in Applied Semiotics & Media Studies from QUT in 1999, he’s contributed to ABM’s triangulated research approach on projects from AB-InBev to Nestlé to Unilever on everything from light beer packaging in Xiamen to tampon design in São Paulo.
Charles has been involved with Semiofest from the very beginning, when his plaintive cry for fresh commercial semiotics inspiration helped galvanize the Semiofest Steering Committee into action.
“Semiofest always promised to straddle that boundary between the theory that we’re really interested in and the practical applications that give us tools we can use in our work to achieve client objectives. It has really re-inspired my creative and my semiotic imagination on how I can use and apply things.
Semiofest quickly fulfilled and exceeded that expectation, and it remains to this day the best way to discover new ways to ponder the ultimate research question: “no, really, why is that?”. Not a single Semiofest has closed without me learning about some super-cool new way to look at or listen to the world, and our efforts to communicate. And on the social side of things I’ve heard from a number of people that they’ve never been to a symposium where people were so genuinely interested in and welcoming to each other. So I’m honoured to be a member of Semiofest’s Advisory Board.”