We began working with Clientele in 2013 to deliver insights synthesised from extensive customer engagements. These insights led to action in terms of product and channels to market. They also led us to work with the Exec team to discover the Clientele purpose.

‘Safeguarding your world with compassion’ has become, in their words ‘Our North Star’.

We continue to engage with the market to check product concepts and elements of the customer journey.

Most recently we were asked to design a process that would reflect and improve the experience of people the call centre – the engine of the business. Following our four-question survey to assess employee experience, we engaged with call centre agents to explore challenges and opportunities, in-depth. A team, representative of the call centre, was established to develop actions and recommendations that address agents’ needs, through the lens of  Clientele’s purpose.


Homechoice began 35 years ago as a catalogue- driven homeware business with attractive payment  terms, offering many South Africans access to credit, for the first time in their lives. Catalogues have  been supplemented with online offering and showrooms. Now HomeChoice, in their quest to be customer-led, asked Freedthinkers to gather actionable insights

A series of group discussions revealed shopping and financial behaviours. Current and lapsed customers gave clear reasons as to why they buy in, opt out, or hover somewhere in-between. Facilitated workshops with HomeChoice teams guide thinking on customer experience, product choice and communication. This led to interrogating internal processes that enable or inhibit optimal experiences.

The next step is to work with leadership to uncover their purpose, and how it will shine through in everything HomeChoice does.


Totem started as a family business, designing and manufacturing, schoolbags that protect kids’ backs.

At this stage of business growth and as new lower-priced competitors make their mark, it became necessary to explore market dynamics and shifts in customer behaviour.

A multi-stage process was recommended, that started by engaging with Totem customers. We had in-depth conversations with independent and group retailers, across the country. These generated a set of insights that will guide Totem business processes, including product design and supply, manufacture and channels to purchase.

Clarity of insights lead to clarity of action.

Pippa Kapelus, Mike Freedman, research team


“The freedthinkers team were quick to understand our needs going into the project. Their approach was hands on, practical and generated valuable insights for us. We look forward to a long partnership with the team.”

Zach Oster, CEO Totem Bags