We're relentlessly curious about what makes people tick.

Products have to engage people. They have to be not only usable, but also spark something within us. They have to satisfy, entice, thrill, inspire. How do you get there? Great research and thoughtful design.

The very best research and design starts with empathetic thinking—by imagining yourself as your user. With that mindset, ideas flourish. EmpathyWise offers custom engagements and workshops designed to grow your empathetic capacity, to optimize your design processes, and to guide your problem solving.


In a mobile-first, digital world, the best companies never stop conducting user research in an effort to make that emotional connection. We help companies dive deep into user insights, positioning, messaging, and product design—fueled to steer the course to success. We’ve worked with some of the biggest brand names in the world as well as alongside small businesses and startups. We’d love to work with you, too.


Learn more about the difference we’ve made for companies like yours. Then, let’s talk about what you want to get and how we can help you get there.


At EmpathyWise, we’re curious about everything that drives people to make the choices they do—and we’re excited about discovering with you. We bring deep functional expertise and professional experience in all aspects of our custom research and training to address your challenge.

catherine cooper1

Catherine Cooper

Founder, Lead Strategist

Equal parts entrepreneur and research guru, Catherine is the driving force behind EmpathyWise. With over 25 years’ experience in research design, fieldwork, consulting, and idea generation, she brings a perfect blend of fresh perspective and tried-and- true methodology to every engagement. The only thing Catherine loves more than delving into consumers’ minds is guest speaking: she’s sought out for business schools, corporate workshops, and conference engagements. She is a charter member of the Qualitative Research Consultants’ Association (QRCA) and holds an MBA in Market Research from University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Jean Watanabe

Research Consultant

Jean's superpowers are her open mindedness and keen ability to see and hear what users need. She brings to EmpathyWise over eight years of experience studying people and integrating research results into a user- centered design process. Jean has consulted for tech companies and startups in the sharing economy and education space, delivering user research insights that inform product and communications design and strategy.  Jean has a MS in Product Design from Stanford University, MS in Electrical Engineering from University of Texas, and BS in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.


Asha Parham

Research Consultant

Asha loves nothing more than talking to consumers, picking their brains, listening to their thoughts—and then making sense of it all for clients. An expert in qualitative research and a skilled moderator, Asha brings more than 12 years of supplier and client-side market research and marketing experience to her role at EmpathyWise. She’s worked with such companies as Humana, T. Rowe Price, and Aegon. Asha holds an MBA in market research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland-College Park.

Fotod2 (2)

Daniela Rubio

Research Consultant 

Daniela is passionate about the intersection and nuances between the Hispanic/Latin American and American cultures—and adept at navigating them both.  She brings a high level of qualitative market research expertise to EmpathyWise including over a decade of experience in ethnographic research, shop-alongs, and online qualitative methods.  In addition to her work with EmpathyWise, Daniel also runs The Intercultural Studio, her consultancy strictly focused on Hispanic/Latino-focused market research. Daniela earned an MA at Stanford University in International Education Administration and Policy Analysis and a BA from Tec de Monterrey in International Relations. 

IMG_2529 (1)

Sabrina Gershbein

Research Assistant 

The newest addition to the EmpathyWise team, Sabrina Gershbein comes to us from New York City. Sabrina’s early career focused on real estate customer relationship management. A Bard College graduate, Sabrina contributes Millennial perception and intuition to her research observations and investigations—critical perspective as this generation’s attitudes and behaviors drive ever more influence in the marketplace.