Our Difference

Clearly there are a wide range of companies who provide capability development, marketing, innovation, market research and management consultancy services.  However, unlike any of these types of companies, we believe we provide a truly unique service. Where instead of offering a ‘do-for-me’ type of service or a ‘think-for-me type of service, our programmes focus on developing our clients' capability to compete effectively in their markets.

 
                                                 The Market Gap We Fill
 

 

Three specific things set us apart:

  1. A Systematic Approach: Our programmes are specifically designed to inform the commercial challenges and needs, and are built from tried and tested principles as to how people learn most effectively. Our approach is rigorous, deliberate and disciplined in the way we go about things.

  2. A Focus On Creating Best-In-Class Thought Leaders: Our programmes empower people to develop thought leadership, by turning research and data analytics into mental models and decision-making frameworks to help clients apply and use the market learnings. Rather than just provide the facts and evidence.

  3. Fact-Based Programmes Powered Our Proprietary Profit Search Engine PSE©: Underpinned by our specialist skills in insight development, strategic planning, consumer behavioural psychology, market research and modelling, all our programmes are fact-based. Powered by our proprietary consumer research-based engine, PSE©, that provides deep consumer understanding, focused on how to change market behaviour. 

All our projects are delivered by partners with over 25 years practical experience on both sides of the table, backed by an international network of expert implementation resource. So our clients have the means and authority to inspire consensus to act in their business. 

 

KEY MANAGEMENT

I came to realize that the Number 1 task for an effective commercial leader is to develop the capabilities of the team. You brought a huge degree of personal integrity. Your ability to make it pragmatically straightforward rather than complicate was a huge asset ... hugely inspirational.

Diageo

         

... a very rare breed, balancing analytic and creative thinking ... and applying this to solving thorny 'real life' business problems. It was a complex project involving disparate stakeholders, and you were superb at bulding a cross-functional team ethos. You put a much needed 'real growth mindset' at the heat of our business.

Mars
Michael Ballard

"Penetrating. And you challenge and do a lot of provocative stimulation …you have a good, questioning mind that gets under the skin of issues … how to step aside from the constructs and the paradigms and the data and the self-perpetuated beliefs.”

Mark Waller, SVP Sales & Marketing DIAGEO North America

Managing Partner

Michael Ballard

Michael is an experienced leader in strategic marketing, market research & planning. A first-class honours graduate, it was during a 10-year period working at Mars that he first discovered how hard it can be for even the most customer-centred companies to deliver on the things that really matter in their markets. And was an instrumental force in the transformation of pet products to the quality and wide selection available to pet owners today.

He has also spent 5 years as Planning, then Marketing, Director for Diageo, at the forefront of the battle to re-establish gin and scotch whisky as drinks-of-choice for the American consumer. And as Global Product and Service Director at Aegis Group plc, he was a leading force in the development of Carat as the world’s largest independent media agency, also the expansion of the group into communications planning and market research.

He has lived and worked based in the UK and USA, and in roles involving leading people across Europe, Russia, Latin America and Asia.

Michael  mentors those working in market research. And has written many articles on the effective use of research intelligence, as well as being co-author of a book, “Rigorous Inspiration”. Its focus is to provide the practical principles and know-how for leading profitable, consumer driven change.

Jean Wong

“You have to try to get people to buy into a project in a way that they are excited about. You have to get people to be enthusiastic about change. And you know, not everyone can do that ... that’s exactly the role that you played and I don’t think we could have built the business without you."

David Verklin, CEO, Carat North America

Managing Partner

Jean Wong

Jean draws on a career in building understanding in the psychology of consumers, developing brands and inspiring profitable change inside three of the largest international marketing services groups, Dentsu Aegis Media Group, IPSOS/Censydiam and WPP. Where she pioneered a number of innovative brand development tools and research methodologies which were instrumental in the development of these companies internationally.

She loves cutting through complexity and helping people to see and think differently about their markets. She is particularly skilled in leading people through a journey of discovery, personal realization and insight. Her special skills lie in drawing meaning from the numbers, crystallizing this into decision-making frameworks for communication and translating these into commercial implications for action.

With over 25 years experience, working with blue-chip clients in more than 20 countries, she has a proven track record in inspiring extraordinary improvements in market performance and market share gains across many different sectors and on an international stage, with on-the-ground consumer experience across Europe, US, Russia, India and China.