The Arabian Gulf region is unique in its near isolation from even rudimentary marketing efforts until the early 1970s. Over the last three decades, particularly the last ten years, the region has seen momentous changes, fundamentally impacting the lives and values of Arabs. Dramatic increases in education levels (especially for girls), exposure to media and new cultures, the recent advent of real economic hardship and rapid urbanisation have combined to inexorably shift the market from Commodity selling towards Customer Driven Marketing. However, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the largest market in the region, continues to remain a challenge to marketers. As the birthplace of Islam, Saudi is a conservative society. Whilst not unaffected by the winds of change, socio-cultural restrictions keep any real change in consumer attitudes and behaviour hidden from casual observation. This paper reviews how Unilever Arabia, in partnership with NFO World Group, has set up innovative ways of consumer understanding in this market. This consumer contact programme has successfully built an intuitive feel of the consumer within brand teams and delivered real consumer insights, leading to an improved innovation rate and business growth.