Ben Rudolph

Research Associate

I love people. I'm always thankful for the chance to connect with others through communities. My own community centers on outdoor adventure—climbing, surfing, and spending nights outside—and it's defined by the empathy exchanged among the group. When you're having fun with the ones you love, life rocks.

What's something that people are surprised to learn about you?

People know that sports and outdoor recreation are my passion, but they often don't realize that those used to be much more on the backburner for me, and I was a very serious musician for a long time. I went to a music conservatory for my first two years of college, and I thought I was going to be an opera singer. People know me as the guy who surfs and rock climbs and goes camping, so adding opera singer to that list is probably the most jarring thing that people can learn about me.

What inspires you?

People inspire me. And I realize that is really general, but people are crazy. They're so complex; there are so many elements of what a person is. And then it baffles me when I think about how people interact with the world around them, and how we all do it in our own way. And so many of us think that we're doing it the way we should be doing it, but then everybody else does it differently. I think that that is the single coolest thing—that we all cohabitate on this planet, but we're all unique, and we all provide so many awesome and enriching things to the world. I just think that is unbelievable.

Do you have a hero?

My dad is my hero. He's the man. And he's really different than I am. I talk a lot, am really social, love being around people, and love trying new things, and my dad is a lot quieter and, by choice, more isolated. But he is really, really, really calm under pressure and is not influenced by other people. I've always looked up to him for that. He's different from other people—and he's proud of that fact—but he's also really respectful and understanding of them. I think there's a fine line between being proud of yourself and being empathetic toward other people. When you are social and outgoing and outspoken, it's hard to be aware of yourself enough to be both confident but also empathetic. Some people navigate that very seamlessly, and my dad is one of those people.

What's one thing you love about working at Bovitz?

I love that Bovitz wants to be a megaphone for how people feel about things. The fact that we have taken a stand and said, "This is who we are—we are an advocate for how people feel about the world," is unique and exciting. It feels honest. It feels like we're providing for clients and for consumers. It's cool to serve that dual purpose and create harmony between them. As researchers, we are the liaisons—we are in the thick of it, learning how people feel. It almost becomes a burden because we have all this knowledge about how people feel about our clients, and our job is to tell them that. But, at Bovitz, we advocate for that, and we prioritize that. It's a burden we want.

Why is being people-first important to you?

I think that empathy is one of the most important human qualities. We are all forced to cohabitate on this planet so we might as well watch out for each other. I think that this is essential in the way that we communicate with one other on a day to day basis but I also believe that it can and should bleed over into the business world. Imagine a world where companies exclusively built products that worked exactly how you wanted them to. Wouldn't life be so much better? I am so thankful to work for a company that is so devoted to being empathetic.

What's your favorite type of research project to work on?

Qualitative. You're able to get so many nuances out of qual that you can't get out of quant—or, you could, but it would cost a lot more money and be harder to extrapolate. So much of people's purchasing patterns is emotional, and it's so much easier for me to pick up on someone's emotional connection with a product or an idea through qualitative work. It also allows you to think on your feet a little bit more to create a more fluid narrative. Qual is much more intuitive for me; it's more human.

Who's on your dream client list?

I really like the idea of working on product development, so my dream client list would be those who are creating products to make people's lives easier or better. It ties into my interests of putting people first. How much easier and more fun would it be to market products—and how much would better would the world be—if we created products specifically for the needs of people? And we allowed those needs to be what we marketed, rather than coming up with slogans and communication strategies that helped to sell products that aren't optimized? That's what I love about how research, marketing, and product development come together; research helps give the other two so much more of a factual basis for what people really need.

Tell me about one of your favorite people in the world.

My girlfriend is super awesome. I'm extremely thankful for her. She is so inspiring in ways that I didn't think I would be inspired by. She so actively strives to be empathetic toward other people and understand them to the best of her ability, and then uses that as fuel to grow in a relationship with them—a relationship that is meaningfully enriching. To be surrounded by somebody who so easily and so consistently brings positivity to people and relationships around her is so awesome.

Tell me about some of your colleagues.

I have so many nice things to say about so many of my colleagues.

I think Charlie is the man. I'm super thankful to Charlie because he thinks similarly to me and we do a lot of the same activities. I love that he's someone I can get up early and go surfing with, but I can also talk about work or my personal life with. He is a great sounding board for my life, in general.

I'm extremely thankful for Connolly. Having a manager who trusts you to take your own approach to problems is invaluable. It's the kind of thing that people always want in management and don't get. We're friends, and we also respect each other professionally. It's really fun because we're able to collaborate on a level that I've never experienced before.

I'm super thankful for Emmeline. She is a really positive person and floods the office with positivity. Her and Amy do that together in the area they sit, and it's really fun to watch. They bring a lot of fun to the workplace despite having to work really hard and work a lot. I just love to see that, even thought things are hard at times, Emmeline still brings that positivity and it affects other people.

I think that Colleen is such an asset in what she does, but also such a positive influence on our culture here. It's just fun to see how she tends to be a kind of glue that holds people together. She's really inclusive and positive and open, and I think that extends so far and to so many people.

And everybody else not mentioned—their ability and desire to make this place the best place it could possibly be is so, so cool. Everybody wants Bovitz to be a great place, and that inspires me and makes me want to be here.

What's your idea of the perfect Saturday?

Saturdays are my days. I live for Saturdays. Not that the rest of the week isn't great. My life is driven by my activities: primarily surfing and climbing. My ideal Saturday would involve being active with the people that I love the most. The day would kick off with the early morning sun streaming through my window. I would get up feeling rested and alive. Coffee would be a must—good coffee. I'd have a quick breakfast and head to the beach. Of course, the waves would be pumping and the only people out there would be my best friends and family. We would surf all morning and then enjoy a meal together, probably burritos. Climbing would consume the afternoon. We would climb high in the mountains as the light softened and shadows lengthened. The day would conclude with a huge group dinner at my house—the more the merrier. Of course, we would be in bed early so that we could do it all again on Sunday. Sundays are awesome too!

In the Industry: Since 2016

At Bovitz: Since 2016

Education: BA in Communications from USC

His best quality: Caring