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Working with you

We are very proud of the relationships that we’ve forged and the problems we’ve helped our clients solve in the three short years we have been around. 

We focus on commercial challenges first and foremost, and use our product portfolio, which ranges from traditional methods like regressions, conjoint and structural equation modelling to newer approaches like implicit response testing and facial coding and includes our in-house suite of express and advanced techniques, to ensure that you get all the insights and usable recommendations you will need to solve your problems.

Click a subject area below to see summaries of some of our favourite projects, or get in touch if you’d like to us to tell you more about how we approached our clients’ challenges.
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    • Building a fresh consumer segmentation for a fashion brand.
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      Fashion and accessories trends change so often and unpredictably, that accessories brands – like our client – are more often than not at risk of losing their competitive edge and failing to keep their target consumers engaged with the brand. To help prevent this, our client identified an opportune brand space and positioning to support retention and acquisition. However, to implement their plans and maximise revenues for the business, they needed to identify targetable and manageable priority shopper segments, and understand their needs and wants in detail to support innovation and communication.

      We developed an accessible, meaningful, and opportunistic segmentation of real women, centred around their attitudes, needs and beliefs about themselves and their worlds and the spaces they occupy, which we drove using a combination of attitudes and behaviours, and optimised using demographics, such that the solution was inspiring and creative while being clearly actionable and easy to target.

      Our solution has allowed our client understand different types of women in their market, and we have worked with them to identify short and longer term sales opportunities relative to the brand’s current portfolio and to develop an innovation plan for new product launches aimed at the most profitable and promising shopper segments, and their marketing and brands teams are currently focusing their strategy on these segments.

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    • Putting a new laundry liquid pack to market by testing aesthetics, usability and potential purchase impact of the design using perceptions and behaviour.
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      Our client, a global player in laundry liquids, was considering launching a very unique pack design for its flagship laundry liquid brand in Vietnam and China. The pack had already been rolled out in other markets around the world, and the benefits of the design were strong. However, there was a concern that people would not understand the new design or use it to its full potential, which could lead to a loss in sales and market share if consumers switched to brands with more traditional packs.

      We conducted a central location monadic test to evaluate the new pack compared to the original and observe consumers using it. This allowed us to capture not only what people told us about the functionality, aesthetic design, and their likelihood to purchase the pack, but also how people actually used the pack in a trial – which revealed issues that would not have been uncovered through survey responses alone.

      This allowed us to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the new pack vs the current, as well as the barriers and issues that had to be overcome to launch the pack successfully – specifically around handling and pouring. Our client took our recommendations and have since launched the pack in both markets, and it’s been a great success.
    • Launching a new super premium gin in the US by developing the ideal product packaging for global spirits manufacturer.
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      Our client was looking to diversify their product portfolio in the US and had identified a clear gap in the market amongst high income earners. Consequently, they had developed a super premium spirit to fill the space. Having already worked extensively with their brand and product teams to develop the offering, our client had three potential package designs, which they needed to test.

      Our study was designed to clearly determine which design would not only appeal emotionally and rationally, but also generate the greatest sales by communicating the product positioning that our client was aiming for. Furthermore, we designed the study not just to find the winning design, but also to deconstruct it so we could help our clients optimise and maximise it’s impact. To this end, we used a monadic test design to evaluate each design on a wide range of metrics including our Aura
      tm metrics, which help brands understand why a design will or won’t work, and to assess the likely in-market performance of each design option.

      At the overall level, all designs were deemed appealing by customers. However, we were able to identify the best route because we could show which were most likely to impact sales consideration and brand perceptions –the ultimate goal of the packaging. Because we included in depth evaluations of each design, we were able to help our client tweak the final design by changing the presentation of the name, the bottle shape and colour of the labels to make the design even more appealing. The pack is currently in production and our client is planning the launch of their new product.
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    • Enabling a global drinks brand to test and launch three new on-the-go product propositions in the UK.
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      Our client had developed 3 new innovations to take to market, but before they could receive the go ahead they need the propositions to be evaluated, refined and prioritised for launch. In particular, they needed to test the propositions in the context of the occasions they were targeted for and ensure that would generate the revenue levels expected and communicate the right messages about the master brand.

      We designed a monadic proposition test to gauge the reaction to each innovation as well as the latent impact on the brand. Through an online survey we measured the impact of each proposition on brand and product perceptions using our bespoke AURA™ model, which allows us to fully deconstruct a proposition’s mechanics and diagnose areas of weakness and strength, as well as detailed diagnostics about each proposition and consumers’ reactions to it.

      We identified that whilst all three propositions had their merits, one in its current form generated significantly more excitement and appeal, and created greater differentiation and brand impact than the others. We recommended that this product to be prioritised and also specified the optimal format and brand name that should be used. The product was launched nationwide in retail stores and coffee shops and has been a resounding success: both in terms of generating latent brand love and sales revenues.

    • Testing the sensory appeal of new laundry fragrances to inform range extensions and grow revenue.
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      Our client, a major player in laundry, had identified fabric conditioner as a growing and profitable part of the laundry category, and wanted to leverage this opportunity to grow sales and revenue. Though they faced strong competition, their brand strengths provided them a great platform for launching new and extended ranges in various markets, provided they had the right fragrances and products to offer. To ensure success, they needed to determine which of a set of potential new fragrances would appeal most to people, attracting new consumers whilst not cannibalising existing sales.

      We developed an in-home usage test during which participants tested a number of different prototype formulations throughout different stages of the wash and wear cycles. As the experience someone can have with a laundry product and fragrance can vary dramatically across stages, surveying people in this way, in a realistic home environment, was crucial to gaining the insight that was needed.

      As a result of the research, our clients knew which fragrances offered the most potential, as well as which should be ruled out. Because we collected powerful rational and emotional perception diagnostics during the trials, we could provide our client with a deep understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, and improvement needs for the most popular fragrances. The new fragrances are being used in a range of products across the world now, and are very popular.

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    • Reducing investment risk & informing partnership negotiations through consumer demand and price elasticity testing.
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      A UK technology brand was looking to grow revenues through product innovations, and had identified a new electronic gadget as an opportunity. Negotiations were underway with a white-label manufacturer, but they needed to ascertain commercial potential of the product before proceeding.

      We challenged our client and proposed a design measured overall demand as well as explored price sensitivities, because having discussed their business model and financial break even levels, and knowing what UK price elasticities in the category are, we were concerned that the RRP our client needed to sell a unit to turn a profit would not fly with British consumers. Our client commissioned us because rather than design an over-engineered study that would take 8 weeks, we created a unique interview that allowed us to size demand amongst a broad sample and then recruit into detailed pricing evaluations. By using the same interview vehicle for both challenges, we were able to turn the project around in a few weeks instead of months and explore both sides of commercial viability.

      We demonstrated that whilst the product was conceptually interesting, it’s execution was not commercially viable because break even prices would not return a profit within the time-scales that the business was working to. As a result, our client opened negotiations with other white label providers and is currently working to create an offering that will meet consumer demand at price levels that will be profitable, saving themselves from investing in a partnership that would have been costly to the business and ultimately ineffective.

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    • Increasing brand salience and usage by adopting a category expert position and demonstrating empathy with sufferers.
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      In a growing market our client had identified 2 challenges. The first – their knowledge of the broader allergy category, including sufferers - required updating. The second – in an increasingly competitive market their brand needed strategies to better connect with consumers and stand out from what had become a commoditised crowd.

      The research had to address a wide set of questions from how best to interact with retailers, how to engage with sufferers and shoppers and how to help the brand stand apart. With such diverse question areas a multi-modal approach was required to move beyond the often broad brush findings of a typical U&A. We thus first explored the world of the shopper and used the insights generated to undertake a more detailed online piece, based on actual in-store experience, where we uncovered the key drivers of medication satisfaction and cross-referenced these with the whitespace in the market to understand how our client could best differentiate the brand.

      A working session with the wider brand team (including merchandising, marketing, sales and legal elements) took the findings and turned them into clear and manageable actions. We split actions into more short term gains (e.g. communicating and engaging with retailers) and those that would need a longer time to turn around (e.g. refreshing the brand and better demonstrating empathy with sufferers). Overall we gave the brand a fresh perspective on the category and clear guidance on how best to differentiate the brand.

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    • Regular brand and advertising effectiveness tracking to help a charity go the extra mile and meet their annual fundraising targets.
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      Our client, a UK based charity who fundraises through a large annual campaign and nationwide televised fundraising event, faced strong competition in a flooded market of charities each year. With their campaign changing focus every year, they are continually challenged to maintain awareness and salience. As their fundraising event has a particular focus and culminates during one weekend a year, it is also difficult for them to maintain widespread relevance and engagement.

      We run an annual tracker for our client during the 5 months that lead up to the televised event, to help them retain supporters and engage newcomers by measuring brand, campaign and event experience and television programme perceptions so that they can fine tune their strategy in real time, maximise fundraising and improve future campaigns. Our study measures how people feel about and interact with the brand before and after the campaign as well as the longer term impact of the campaign on the behaviour and brand perceptions of supporters and non-supporters alike.

      Our tracking allows our client to fine tune their campaign implementation in real time, and to hone in and amplify the most powerful levers in the campaign each year. We have now been working with the charity for 3 years, and continue to build on the tracker to ensure our client gets a full and detailed read of how well their campaigns are performing over time.

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    • Measuring the customer journey to demonstrate regulatory diligence and measure customer satisfaction for a well known UK annuity provider.
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      In March 2013, the Association of British Insurers launched a new code of conduct compelling pension providers to ensure they clearly communicate customers’ right to shop around when purchasing an annuity. As a result, our client had to re-draw the customer call centre journey and their guidelines for front-line staff communication.

      Given the target audience and that the journey was through call centres, we conducted a large scale CATI survey with a range of cohorts at various stages in the annuity purchase journey to measure their awareness of their right to shop around, the impact of that knowledge on their behaviour, the perceptions of the advice and recommendations they received and their overall journey experience and satisfaction with our client as a provider.

      Our client used our data to establish their adherence to the new regulations. Because of the way in which we designed the research, we were also able to provide insights about the overall experience across the journey and recommendations of what they needed to improve to enhance it. Further to this, we were able to drill down to the true meaning of advice amongst this target audience, which has since been used by their marketing teams to improve their customer communications processes and printed materials. By taking the main question in its greater context we gave our client more bang for their research buck.

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    • Helping a global fashion retailer to increase frequency of visit and share of wallet amongst fashion conscious shoppers using brand engagement and store experience research.
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      Our client was looking to grow revenues via retention and acquisition in a challenging fashion retail environments where it operated its franchises. Our client didn’t know much about their key audiences in the markets, and all franchises were, like most retailers in 2015, struggling with lower footfalls and poor conversion rates. Thus, they approached us to measure and diagnose issues with brand perceptions across their franchise.

      In addition to measuring brand equity across the globe, we designed a programme to determine the extent to which the brand strategy was being manifest effectively in store: because without this we could inform acquisition and drive footfall, but we could not help our client maximise conversions at point of sale.

      We reported on a global and local so that findings could be tailored for appropriate audiences, thus maximising relevance and ability to action. The nature of our approach meant that we were able to make recommendations on a micro store and macro brand and media level. As a result of our research our client is in the process of revisiting every aspect of the franchise relationship including strategy for communications, marketing and in-store experiences, merchandising and activation. They’ve also since commissioned additional research to track their franchise performance based on metrics we identified as being critical to sales generation.

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    • Enabling a leading pet food manufacturer to minimise the impact of online misinformation and develop relevant and engaging brand communications.
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      Our client had identified a small but vocal group of dog food critics who were gaining traction online with theories about different types feeding regimes. To act before they were impacted, our client wanted to develop a counter-strategy anchored in what all types of dog owners want from their pet food.

      It was essential that our research didn’t exaggerate the issue and delivered an honest understanding of the gamut of consumer perceptions, beliefs and needs, so we used innovative in-house questioning techniques to explore implicit perceptions and knowledge as well as rational reactions, which meant we were able to obtain a meaningful and unbiased view of an emotive area.

      We demonstrated that whilst some of the narrative did represent a threat to their business, it’s scale and penetration was limited. By providing deep insights about the category – including a requirement for education around the role that different types of feed play in pet health - and what modern dog owners want and need, we were able to work with our client and their ad agency to move the brand strategy from a defensive position to a proactive one, communicating with messages born out of areas we knew had true resonance such as maximising the brand’s nutritional credentials and it’s genuine love for dogs.

    • Challenging negative market perceptions: Understanding brand perceptions and creating a re-positioning strategy for an energy giant.
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      Like many British utilities in 2014, our client suffered from poor brand engagement. Following a period of negative PR against the category, consumer mistrust was so high, and perceived brand differentiation so low, that our client wished to overhaul their entire brand positioning.

      We believed the primary challenge was that on the surface, the category is disinteresting to consumers and as such, their responses would focus on price and hygiene factors. Given the service standards that were being experienced at the time, we also needed to design a study that would allow people to express their concerns whilst moving beyond them to more meaningful spaces, so we could identify areas for brand differentiation. To this end, we undertook a multi-faceted approach using specialist techniques including Implicit Response Testing, and in so doing determined what customers want and need, the elements that drive brand engagement, and how our client needed to improve on these.

      We provided clear direction on how the brand should align to the most powerful levers in the category. we established that the territories being developed were not going to resonate or move the brand into a space of uniqueness. We thus ran workshops to further use the findings and the output was a new brand positioning around predictability and efficiency that has since become the backbone of our client’s brand strategy. Since then, we have worked closely with them to implement that brand vision: in testing new territories and creative strategies as well as conducting tactical evaluations of new branding collateral and market alignment initiatives.

    • Using implicit Response Testing to select colours for use in re-branding and positioning communications strategy.
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      After an extensive period of consultation and development to create a new brand strategy, our client had commissioned a creative agency to re-launch the brand with a view to triggering brand reappraisal and positioning the mother brand firmly outside of the standard category space. The plan and executions were in place, and their key challenge was ensuring the right tonality and visual look of the new brand: specifically, our client had questions about the ideal colour to use.

      We thus needed to identify a colour palette that was consistent with the brand promises and position, and which also would stand out amongst existing category messaging without causing confusion or brand misattribution. To that end, we did not feel a direct questioning approach would be sufficient, and so utilised a technique called Implicit Response Testing. This technique allows us to use timed responses alongside primary research data to measure and understand the differences between explicit, rational opinions and implicit, emotional beliefs and heuristic responses.

      By using this approach we were able to identify the colours that best communicated the new brand positioning, generated the right feelings and gut reactions, and avoided negative cultural connotations. The colours were adopted by our client in communications and messaging and have been very well received by stakeholders both inside and outside the business.

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    • Re-branding and re-packaging a portfolio of products to improve “shopability” and increase cross-purchase and upset for a technology retailer.
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      Our client was looking to accelerate growth and retail performance through their ‘shopability’. At the forefront of this strategy was a review to re-brand and re-design the private label range, and to reduce and optimise the portfolio of brands our client sold. This offered the potential to encourage greater cross-purchase and upsell, as well as attracting new customers to the brand. However, it also created a risk of churn, which our client obviously needed to mitigate.

      We designed our study for maximum breadth and depth of understanding, and ensured that it covered the range of categories our client did. Through the use of an advanced and nimble online survey we combined client customer data with online panel sample, allowing us to reach very difficult audiences and provide insights even on low penetration high profit categories. We approached the study from 3 angles; understanding the role of the brand and how re-branding would effect peoples’ perceptions and purchase habits, testing the change to the packaging design and proposed new names, and determining the impact on cross purchase and tier preference of changes to the portfolio.

      We analysed and distilled the findings from 8 different categories into a clear, concise and singular story, which meant our recommendations were taken forward immediately after the debrief. Overall, we recommended that re-branding go ahead and gave guidance on the pack re-design principles and which categories and names should be used. All of our recommendation have since been launched and are currently in stores now, and sales figures show a clear impact of the changes.

    • Proving communications effectiveness at changing behaviour through website evaluation.
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      As part of a campaign aimed at raising awareness of and changing people’s behaviour related a Rosacea, our client had created a website for a well known pharmaceutical manufacturer. Our client needed to prove the impact of the messaging on the website to their end client in order to show its worth and continue the engagement.

      We conducted a pre- and post-website interaction evaluation to explore the effectiveness and impact of the communications, and also utilised behavioural economics theory to develop further recommendations on how the messaging could be enhanced to drive even greater behaviour change.

      Our research allowed our client to prove the effectiveness and benefit of the communications to their client, securing a longer term engagement with them, and also allowed us to recommend subtle changes to the messaging that improved the website . The campaign itself was so powerful that it was a finalist in both the Communique Excellence in Patient/Consumer Health Programmes and PR Week Healthcare awards.

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    • Measuring Paralympic sponsorship ROI longitudinally to support our client’s business case and help them shape future campaigns and investment.
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      As one of the main sponsors of the Paralympics, our client introduced a series of in-market, on-air and digital marketing initiatives designed to ramp up anticipation for and engagement with the event and drive awareness of the partnership. To justify the investment they placed in the sponsorship and related activities, and to ensure that future campaigns and sponsorships benefits from learnings of what worked and what didn’t, they commissioned us to monitor and test the entire sponsorship and related initiatives.

      To generate the most usable and true findings, we designed a study that tracked awareness of the sponsorship and which measured it’s effectiveness, and the effectively of the related initiatives, not just on overall awareness, but also on brand perceptions and purchase consideration: because ultimately this is what sponsorships seek to impact. Our study used a number of different research methods to measure 360 degrees of activity, resulting in our canvassing over 7000 people over the course of 18 months in-stores, on-line and at-events, which allowed us to get a holistic understanding of all elements of the sponsorship and the true impact it had on consumers.

      In addition to clearly establishing the benefit to our client’s brand and business of the sponsorship, our study found that the impact of the partnership had empowering effects on perceptions of people with disabilities (which meant one of our client’s overall campaign goals was met) and we were able to provide our client with both tactical recommendations related to specific initiatives, advertising and merchandising so that future initiatives were maximally impactful. We also provided our client with strategic recommendations for continuing the legacy and as a result our client has continued to invest in similar activity and has built on the campaign in different ways over the past few years.

    • We helped our global pharmaceuticals client build and launch a successful charity partnership campaign in the UK.
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      To support their CSR strategy, our client was looking to launch a campaign partnership with a UK based international charity, and needed to ensure that the partnership would be mutually beneficial to both brands whilst supporting product sales and regulatory requirements. We created a research programme which mapped consumers’ perceptions of the synergy between the two brands and which tested multiple campaign ideas, executional copy, and specific campaign imagery.

      Our data was used to produce a commercial case for partnering with the charity, which was signed off by the board of directors, as well as to obtain approval for the communications from our client’s internal regulation department. Additionally, we worked with our clients to leverage the findings to enhance the write the final copy to maximal effect, and to select the images that were ultimately used in the campaign. The campaign was launched in 2014 and was a success for both our client and the charity: it gained enviable levels of awareness, engagement and revenues.

    • On-air ad testing to measure campaign ROI for a household baby product manufacturer to help justify continued above the line spend.
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      To maintain their leadership position in the market, our client had created a TV campaign designed to increase brand consideration and engagement with their baby and toddler OTC products.

      Our brief was to evaluate the success of the campaign. We designed a study that not only measured appeal of the campaign, but also the extent to which it increased positive brand associations and ultimately, purchase and usage behaviour amongst a number of different target audiences including mature mums and mums to be. We felt that these latter often overlooked groups were critical to understanding the nuances of the market better.

      Because we were able to analyse the change in brand perceptions, purchase and usage caused by the campaign our success metrics were more powerful than appeal alone, and allowed our clients to justify their ad spend in relation to forecasted revenues. In addition, by deconstructing the different executional elements of the campaign in our study, we were also able to give specific creative optimisation recommendations – particularly for older mums who we found were more likely to engage with niche brands - and we helped our clients increase overt branding in the campaign and future campaigns’ use of tone and voice. Within what was a relatively modest budget, we provided our client with clear results on the success of the campaign and specific recommendations for future edits which were implemented.

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    • Enabling a fizzy drinks brand to understand the impacts of experiential marketing on brand perceptions and how this ultimately translates into sales.
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      Our client is famous for its wide ranging sports sponsorships and global ABL campaign but less known for its investment in music and counter-culture. They came to us because they needed to 1) justify the investment in their programme, and 2) understand and identify how the programme could be improved so that applied best practice principles to all activity to maximise ROI.

      Our solution was a 360 degree examination of the programme and all it’s elements – however niche and low penetration. A multi-mode, multi-country longitudinal study ensued which researched assets from a variety of touch-points. In our final output we married many data sources and used a variety of predictive multi-variate statistical methods to produce a clear, concise and directional piece of research with actionable recommendations that delivered tactically and strategically.

      We provided optimisation pathways for each touchpoint and developed a ‘dashboard’, shared globally with touchpoint managers, which detailed the ‘must haves’ for individual assets to maximise their impact and deliver love for both product and brand.

      Strategically, we developed a ‘unifying idea’ for the brand – a foundation from which all touch-points should be built. This has been adopted by the brand and is key to helping consumers, who are typically bombarded with content, to join the dots and view our client’s efforts holistically.

    • Enabling our telecoms client to continue investing in, and maximise the impact of, a youth-oriented CSR initiative through experience tracking.
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      Our client has been running a youth-focused CSR initiative aimed at giving young people the chance to inspire change and make a difference using technology for several years now. When they approached us, our client was under pressure to demonstrate the impact of the programme across the business. To us this means we needed to evaluate the initiative’s current impact and dig deep to determine how to improve it, and designed a brand and experience tracker to do just that.

      We were able to prove to the business that the initiative had clear and positive effects not only on the on youths that were engaged with it, but also with others in their communities, and that the activity fed positively back into brand perceptions, which gave our client the proof to recommission the programme.

      We also worked with our client to improve the programme: We had diagnosed that a main challenge was general awareness, so we worked with our client to create a more powerful communications plan that used participants’ experiences to showcase the benefit of the programme to others. The programme continues to run and gains success and support year on year.

    • Demonstrating the impact of a youth sporting event over time to help a global brand maximise their experiential campaign and CSR goals.
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      Our client, a global soft drinks brand and co-founder of an annual youth sporting event programme in Europe needed to prove the programme’s ongoing value to the business. The programme had been running for several years, and to ensure continued investment, proof was needed that it was meeting both the businesses’ brand and CSR objectives with teens.

      We conducted a tri-faceted annual tracker with teens, to explore perceptions, strengths, weaknesses and impact of the programme. Each year, we surveyed participants of the programme, recruited through teachers in schools; participants at the Final, surveyed on-site at the event; and a nationally representative group of teens in the population at large to measure reach.

      Our client was able to showcase to the business that the programme met the target objectives amongst participants, and was also able to identify strengths of the programme to carry forward into the next year. Additionally, by surveying both participants and a wider base of teens, we were able to identify barriers that would need to be overcome to enable the programme to grow even more in the future and measure general reach. As a result of our work, the programme continues to receive investment and had been improved year on year.

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