Last week Apple unveiled the latest version of the iPad—thinner, lighter, faster, as you might expect. But hidden amongst the normal fanfare was a pretty incredible statistic that 170 million iPads have been sold since the tablet launch three and a half years ago. That success was built on a stellar insight that there existed a space between the smartphone and the laptop.

The recently revealed fourth annual Global Brand Simplicity Index by the brand strategy company Siegel+Gale shows that customers’ demand for simplicity as a key brand attribute, is glowing. The report also explores how simplicity drives revenue, and the relationship between simplicity and employee innovation.

We’ve spoken to Stuart Costley, Senior Vice President of the recently opened U.S. office of the design research company The Big Picture, about why a good design research is not just a ‘pack research,’ and why the recognition of the value of good design has increased among clients.

An unusual study “Secrets and Lies” by Y&R reveals unconscious views and values of consumers that can be hardly ever learnt from ‘regular’ surveys. Conducted in April 2013 among 900 online respondents from the U.S., Brazil and China, the survey combines two methodologies: traditional survey research to reveal what people want others to think of them, as well as indirect questioning, a so-called Implicit Association that sheds light on consumers’ unconscious, hidden motivations.