Tracing the origin of consumers' mind


A Tale of Chinese Consumers in New Zealand

Trace Research is an independent full-service market research and consultancy company based in Auckland, New Zealand established by Dr Andrew Zhu in 2011. The company is also consisted of an academic advisory board with four university professors who provide academic assessments and validations for our empirical works - a full integration of theory and practice.  Trace Research is a member company of the Research Association NZ.

In the early stages of the company’s development, Dr Zhu has focused mainly on providing contract based research and consultancy for other major domestic research agencies and business clients. The company has also worked for global businesses that have establishments in Asia Pacific, such as Chevron/Caltex, AIA, Huawei and Bank of China. Political polling analysis for Newshub Reid Research Poll has been one of the most exciting projects in the company’s portfolio, and the results have received considerable public attention (the MOST accurate poll in 2017)

With Dr Zhu's substantial research background in Chinese consumer behaviour and trend, Trace is the first Chinese business focused research establishment in New Zealand. Trace has the largest database of immigrant Chinese consumers in New Zealand. In 2016, Dr Zhu was motivated by the safety concerns among the Chinese community in NZ, and conducted the ground-breaking social polling among 11,675 Chinese, which was the first ever large scale social polling conducted among Chinese in NZ’s history. The results attracted public attention and reported by more 20 mainstream media domestically and internationally, which impacted on government’s policy making significantly. In 2017, Trace conducted 1st Asian leaders survey among New Zealand Asian Leaders' (NZAL) members and the results were presented by Mai Chen to the Prime Minister Bill English; 1st political poll among Chinese communities for WTV (WTV-Trace Chinese Poll), the polling results were reported in both mainstream and Asian media in New Zealand and 1st Chinese immigrants life and work survey for the University of Auckland.

Trace has a strong ability in conducting research in NZ Tertiary Education sector for both domestic and international students, and it has access to one of the largest Chinese international students panels in New Zealand. All surveys conducted among international students are in their mother language, which enable the reliability and validity of the research outcomes. Trace is also one of the service providers to the High-Value Nutrition - A National Science Challenge (2016-2017).

Our Research Team

Dr Andrew Zhu

Company Director

Dr Andrew Zhu has undertaken both academic and business researcher roles in New Zealand, which were strongly underpinned by advanced knowledge in statistics and consumer psychology. In 13 years of his market research career, Dr Zhu has completed over 175 projects, to over 70 clients in many different industries and countries. His areas of expertise include quantitative research methods, multivariate data analysis, statistical modelling, brand positioning and tracking, political polling and strategic marketing etc. Dr Zhu is also one of the leading researchers in Chinese immigrants research in New Zealand.  Other than his role as a business researcher, Dr Zhu is also a regional trust board member for a charity organisation.

Donella Parker

Research Associate

Donella Parker is a market researcher with more than 20 years experience in designing and implementation research programs to provide businesses and organizations with facts, priorities and focus for action. She held multiple research effectiveness awards, international conference presentations and an ad-hoc reviewer for the American Marketing Association's Journal of Marketing.

Sindy Xian

Research Associate

Sindy Xian is an unconventional market researcher with research experience across APAC markets, including several years working experience in China. With solid experience of both quantitative and qualitative, Sindy’s interest later evolved into the online research field. Her specialty includes using innovative online research tools to collaborate with consumers and providing engagement contents to facilitate internal business communications.

Joanne Chen

Research Associate - Digital & Social Media

Joanne Chen is a data-driven marketer full of innovative ideas and execution skills. Her nearly 10 years marketing experience spreads in premium automobile, real estate and finance industries in both New Zealand and China. Equipped with traditional marketing methods and methodologies acquired from global 4A agency as well as cutting-edge technologies mindset, she always thinks in advance and ultimately brings the results through a series of marketing practices in social media, apps, website, search engine, e-commerce platforms, customer relationship management systems, etc. She predicts, she solves, and she conquers.

Miya Li

Research Associate - Digital & Social Media

Miya Li has developed skills as a market researcher, with experience managing the construction and operations of social media channels for companies across Chinese and western markets, such as Cisco, CCCNZ, and the Institute of Golf. She has degrees in both Cloud Computing and Commerce and is familiar with both IT industry and social media management.

Loic Li

Research Associate - Social Research

Loic Li is currently a doctoral candidate in the department of marketing in the University of Auckland. His research interests focus on the interplay between negative and positive customer engagement on online and offline service platforms. His expertise involves applying longitudinal case analysis to provide business insights, and using multivariate data analysis to solve business problems. He has publications and serves as an ad-hoc reviewer in leading marketing conferences and journals. He is the member of AMS and ANZMAC.

Our Research Partners & Key Clients

Trace Aims to Build Collaborative Economy with Industry Partners & Clients

Just list a few recent ones

  • Air New Zealand
  • Bank of China (NZ)
  • BenthamLawrence Consultancy
  • Brand Magic Group
  • Chevron (Caltex)
  • China Travel Service (NZ)
  • Director & Editor Guild NZ
  • Fresh Info
  • High Value Nutrition
  • IAG (NZ)
  • Incisive Research 
  • Marketing Minds
  • New Zealand Asian Leaders
  • Plant & Food Research
  • Reid Research
  • Research Now
  • Sharing Shed
  • St John
  • Survey Sampling International
  • Swiss Deli
  • Touchpoint Group
  • Tourism Industry Aotearoa
  • TV3 Newshub
  • The University of Auckland
  • VISA
  • Winston Nutritional
  • World TV Limited
  • World Vision

Areas of Research Expertise

  • Fuel & Lubricants;
  • Power & Energy;
  • Food & Beverage;
  • Banking & Insurance;
  • Telecommunications; 
  • Political & Social Polling;
  • Social Media;
  • Tourism;
  • Airline Service;
  • Education;
  • Retailing & FMCG;
  • Cross Border E-commerce.