Brilliant offers market research and audience insights for the world’s most innovative brands by understanding their customers inside and out. Through qualitative and quantitative research, we unravel the “why” behind your customers’ behavior. You’ll get fresh psychological insights that drive your strategic direction and help you envision radically intuitive experiences. How many customers have you lost because you didn’t know them well enough? With Brilliant by your side, you’ll never need to ask.


We are an agency of fearless thinkers, creators and builders. Our multidisciplinary group is made up of researchers, cognitive psychologists, anthropologists, UX/UI designers, brand strategists, and marketers. We explore, tinker, and find precisely what works for you and your customers.

Brilliant’s FOUNDER

John Whalen, PhD

John Whalen is Partner, Psychological Insights & Innovation at Brilliant and author of Designing for How People Think: Using Brain Science to Build Better Products (O'Reilly). While his PhD in Cognitive Psychology helps him to dive deep into the minds of customers, it is John's unique blend of psychology, design thinking, and lean methodologies that delivers success to mission-critical innovation projects. Through psychographic profiles and market segmentation, John uncovers strategic market opportunities for companies. For over 15 years, John has led product and service ideation, prototyping, and user testing, and continuous monitoring to determine how to use limited CX resources and build internal UX teams. John is a former President of UX Professional Association (UXPA) DC. He also speaks at conferences internationally including UXPA, Modev UX, and O'Reilly AI Conference.

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We believe that the best way to discover your optimal experience is to do it with you. Experience design is often a journey, with a number of possible solutions. We get into your customers heads and find out what they need, but you know your organization. Our goal is to create an experience that's going to last—one that not only captivates your customers, but is also supported by your organization. Let's create winning experiences together. With Brilliant, we work with you to create deep insights that lead to action. Companies like Google, PayPal, Capital One, and more hire us again and again to: 

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Our Philosophy

Brilliant thrives based on a set of core beliefs. This is our why: our raison d'etre. We find that our best clients are the ones who believe what we believe. So, if you're on board, contact us. We were made for each other.


Know your audience deeper: there's always more to learn.

The vast majority of today's biggest business challenges can be solved by examining and building upon human cognition. That's why our expertise in cognitive psychology, neuromarketing, and user experience is so valuable. Understanding the "why" behind your customers' behavior means helping you craft precisely the right experience at the right moment for that customer.

Design the system, not just the product.

Design-led companies always win. Crafting experiences your customers that resonate is non-negotiable for sustained success. Our structured practice of design thinking enables us to innovate and test rapidly, each time getting closer to matching your customers' native mental models. Every touchpoint where your brand and customer meet is an opportunity for an experience. We can help map this holistic service—and set you on the strategic path to get there.

Understand the trends of tomorrow.

We are an insatiably curious bunch. To identify the customer needs of tomorrow, we have to understand the trends in upcoming generations of customers (hello, Generation Z) and cutting-edge tech trends that will lead us into the future. Next generation user experience is about bringing together customer needs and technology to craft new experiences that thrill your customers while meeting your business goals.  

Always do right by your customers.

Call us old-fashioned, but we truly believe that if you promise something to your customers, you have to deliver. If your website talks about your top-notch customer service, we shouldn't see expletives about your brand littering social media. We'll help close any gaps you have between your customers' experience in reality with the experience you want for them. We will set you up for a win—as our customer, that is our promise to you.