Consumer Opinion Services Inc. (COS) has provided clients with market research and data collection services for more than 50 years. Founded in 1960, the company conducts qualitative, quantitative, and hybrid studies, with executive offices, focus group facilities and call centers located in Seattle, Portland, and Las Vegas.
Where it all began…
Dorothy Carter founded Consumer Opinion Services on her kitchen table in the early 1960’s. She had started working part time for a friend who was fielding telephone and door-to door market research projects in the late 50’s after the birth of her fifth and final child.
The projects were mostly home use tests of prototype consumer products: breakfast cereal, laundry soap, canned soup and other packaged goods. Consumers were often recruited in a door-to-door manner, placed with products to try, and then follow-up surveys were conducted about the products either in person over via telephone.
After a couple of years, the supervisor/friend she was working for had to move out of the Seattle area to follow her husband’s employment, and Dorothy assumed her role as a field supervisor. (The family’s perspective is that the company was actually her sixth and final child.)
“Kitchen Table Supervisor” is actually vintage market research terminology, but the work was not just from the kitchen table. The living room was the conference room, the dining room was operations, the family room was accounting, and the shipping department was in the basement.
The company operated out of the family home during the 60’s, quickly outgrew the residential setting and moved into commercial office space in the early 70’s. The company continued to thrive and grow, with Dorothy Carter retiring from Consumer Opinion Services in 1995.
Consumer Opinion Services is currently owned and operated by her two sons, Jerry and Greg Carter.