The paper sets out to show the unique role that carefully executed qualitative research can play in providing a detailed understanding of consumer behaviour within a given market, and of the attitudes, imagery, wants and needs which underlie and determine that behaviour. The contribution that qualitative research can make is illustrated through a case history of research carried out for a regional brewery group operating in the North-West of England: The Greenall Whitley Group. The paper describes the company and its history and outlines the reason why research was initiated. It goes on to describe the research method used (group discussions), the research findings at each stage of research (there were two stages of research separated by an interval of one year), and the recommendations which were made to the client. The research brief was wide open: to explore consumer drinking and pub-going behaviour in the clients marketing region, and to provide information about consumers attitudes towards pubs and beers generally, and towards Greenall Whitley pubs and beers in particular. The objective of the research could also be stated quite simply: to help an already successful brewery group to increase its success and profitability. The paper indicates the type and quality of data gathered, illustrates how these have been translated into marketing and advertising action, and demonstrates the success of the project.