Meet the team that makes your breakthroughs possible

LOUISE AMANTANI

RESEARCH MANAGER

Job Description

My main focus is qualitative social research. I’m happiest when I’m working with vulnerable audiences and putting the world to rights!

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

Meeting new people from all walks of life, and getting insights into how people pass their everyday life which you would have no idea about otherwise. I’ve talked to pensions directors and recovering heroin addicts, people I would never have met if I’d done another job.

Why market research?

It’s great having a job where the task in front of you always involves trying to understand a little part of the world in detail in order to solve a particular problem for your client. Whatever the sector, it’s always educational!

What is your favourite memory?

Crossing the Caribbean in a yacht, with 3 other people. It took us 4 days from Colombia to Panama, and just as we approached the San Blas islands on the last day (hundreds of tiny islands, populated by indigenous people) a bunch of dolphins started racing us, right next to the boat.

What does your perfect day look like?

Lying in a hammock, next to a mountain of fudge, covered in meerkats, reading a book

What superpower would you choose?

When watching a cookery programme, the ability to make the dishes appear before me in real, edible form.

What film best represents your life?

Primer

Cats or dogs?

Both

KATE ANDERSON

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Job Description

Heading up this inspiring, dynamic team, championing their work and the breakthroughs we bring clients. Supporting clients and the Breaking Blue team in the hunt for real insight.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

I get to work with such a dynamic, diverse and passionate team. I’m never bored, I’m constantly learning, I’m inspired and energised by the work that we do and the impact that it has. How lucky am I?

What’s been the most exciting project you’ve worked on?

Running a customer advisory board for FedEx I got to go to the Ferrari test track at Maranello and meet Jean Todt – pretty high octane. But really the projects that get me most excited are the ones that make the biggest impact. Seeing a plant filled to capacity, watching the reforms tackle the pensions’ crisis, seeing an ad that hits the nail on the head – those are the most exciting points for me.

Why market research?

I love knowing why, I love fixing problems, I love making a real difference

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Emanuela Lombardi our research department coordinator– she’d find a way to get us home.

What’s your favourite word?

Nincompoop, Rachmaninov, Fukushima – shout them loud in moments of frustration, it’s very therapeutic.

What superpower would you choose?

I’d be a transformer – I don’t mean that I’d be a robot in disguise but that I’d have the power to transform, to take a situation and turn it around just like that.

LORENA ARROSPIDE

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Job Description

I observe, ask people a lot of questions (I try to do this tactfully), and listen. In doing this, I uncover insights which inform organisations’ key decisions.

Why market research?

It suits my inquisitive nature. I have a deep-seated need to understand/learn.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

I enjoy making sense of findings and discussing implications with clients. It’s great when their eyes express that they are interested, and that they find insights particularly intriguing and/or resonant. It’s a good conversation.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

I am attracted to islands, remote ones – Scilly, Comoros, Socotra… Socotra seems out of this world. I guess it’s about escaping

Favourite book?

Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance. Generally, I love novels about characters’ lives with a particular historical period as a backdrop

Cats or dogs?

Dogs. I think cats are interesting but dogs are more lovable.

Dream job if not market research?

Actress. I am a shy person, but I have a need to express.

NIALL BAKER

RESEARCH DIRECTOR

Job Description

I lead and design projects, primarily in B2B across a range of industries.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

Before joining the company I primarily worked on transport sector research, but now I love the variety that B2B research brings and the strategic nature of the projects. I particularly like good old industrial research, getting immersed in the world of specialist chemicals and materials. Key account studies are particularly enjoyable, bringing our client’s customers to life in the board room.

What would be your dream project?

B2B research into the bike manufacturing value chain. I love cycling and watching cycling, as well as tinkering with my bike. There are many different suppliers are involved in the construction of a bike and it’s a really innovative market. I’d hope to get some freebies out of it too!

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

I like to go to culturally different places and reckon North Korea would be fascinating. Not saying I’d want to go any time soon, but wouldn’t rule it out for the future.

What’s the oddest thing that’s happened to you at work?

More annoying than odd, but it was took me almost 12 hours to get back to Manchester from a business trip Amsterdam, after being diverted mid-air to Edinburgh and having to get a bus the rest of the way back.

Cats or dogs?

Dogs – I’m a reformed cat person having grown up with them, but now I’ve got a beagle who convinced me otherwise.

RICHARD BARNES

PRINCIPAL

Job Description

Enable clients to solve problems and grow their businesses by providing marketing insights, information, and advice.

What do you most like about your role?

I like working with smart and creative colleagues who want to “do it right” and help clients to solve their problems and grow their businesses.

What has been the most exciting project you have worked on?

All projects are exciting, whether strategic or tactical. But to pick 2 examples, A) developing a market entry strategy – with sales and share projections – for a French manufacturer of a radical new product for the electrical supply industry, and B) generating ideas for new products and promotions to dramatically increase sales of industrial fans.

Why market research?

I would say market research and consulting.I like the research for the thrill of discovery and consulting for the satisfaction of having a positive impact on the client’s business.

Favourite foods

Generally speaking I like my food simple but “strong”. Some of my favourites are: seafood – raw or cooked; BBQ – chopped or slice and with tomato-based or vinegar-based sauce; sweet onions, preferably from Vidalia, Georgia and either fried or raw; and lastly fruit pies.

Hobbies

My daddy was a golf professional and so I grew up playing golf and continue to work at it today. I once had a dream of playing the guitar like Duane Allman, and so I took up guitar. Then one thing led to another, and I now mess around with the mandolin.

Favourite shop

If I could I would have as many hats and caps as Imelda Marcos had shoes, and so the Hats Plus store in Chicago is a favourite place to browse and buy.

Favourite bands/musicians

As a kid growing up in the South, the Allman Brothers Band were (still are) THE band, and they got inspiration from Muddy Waters, thus another favourite. Over the years I have come to love the funky rhythms of Thelonious Monk and the eclectic range of Merle Haggard’s country music

ALEX BELCHER

RESEARCH MANAGER

Job Description

I am part of a team of researchers dedicated to finding the right research tools and questions for our clients. We use these tools to tease out the insights our clients need to enhance their products, sales and customer relationships. Ensuring we successfully deliver the chosen research plan is central to my role, along with supporting the senior research team when analysing findings and reporting them back to our client.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

The opportunity to talk to real people about the things they love and that affect their lives. It could be the food they like, their home finances or a charity close to their hearts. No matter the topic, one gains an insight into complex human lives that is seldom as straightforward first imagined. It is a pleasure to report these nuances to our clients, knowing it will make a difference to them and their customers.

What was the most rewarding task you have had to undertake?

I had the honour of talking to a client’s employees who had undertaken fundraising for a major cancer charity. To hear the incredible and often heart-breaking stories behind employees’ attachment to the charity was a privilege and it was intensely rewarding to work with their employer to help them give something back.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

This is an easy one. As a boy I was a train geek and in adulthood I developed a love for Russian writing and culture. Put those two together and the Trans-Siberian Railway is the obvious choice. The only decision is where to end the journey? The tourist in me says Beijing but the purist says Vladivostok.

What superpower would you choose?

My gut reaction is to say mind reading, but that must be mentally tiring (not to mentioned disturbing)! Star Trek’s Deanna Troi can read a person’s emotions as they talk and sees when they are honest and when they are holding back. Now that would be a focus group superpower!

RACHEL COPE

DIRECTOR

Job Description

Mostly overseeing all things relating to social research: everything from designing a project to delivering the findings, along with speaking at conferences and just getting out and about to meet people. I also oversee our own Marketing & Comms department which definitely helps me to see things from a client perspective.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

Mentoring and helping less experienced staff to grow and develop. I guess it’s the sports coach in me that makes me interested in the people development side of my job.

What was the most exciting/rewarding task you have had to undertake?

You can’t make me choose just one! The nature of social research projects means they ultimately seek to benefit society, so almost everything I do feels rewarding.

Why market research?

I came out of university with a degree in marketing. Research offered the opportunity to also use my language skills, so it was a good fit. I’d done a research project in my final year and it seemed quite an interesting area to explore. I’ve worked in consumer, B2B and social research over the years which gives me a rounded understanding of the industry.

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?

A boat? (Sorry, I’m guessing that’s not an option.) Ideally a companion as we’re social creatures after all, but failing that probably something practical like a penknife or water bottle. I think I’ve been watching too many survival programmes!

What is your favourite memory?

Making daisy chains on my gran’s lawn… I’m not sure how old I was but I’d guess I’d be about 3 or 4. I remember the flowers had a pink tinge to them, which you never seem to see in daisies these days.

What’s the oddest thing that’s happened to you at work?

I’d have to go back to my student days and my job as a lifeguard in the local council leisure centre. There are too many to recount! I always say everyone should be made to work with the public at some point to understand the challenges it brings. One person complained about not liking the colour of the changing rooms because they didn’t like blue!

What superpower would you choose?

Teleportation. I could cram even more things into my day then. And just think how much time and money I’d save on travel!

CHARLOTTE CRICHTON

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Job Description

Solving problems to bring about a real difference to the client’s world.

Why market research?

Because you have the chance to make a difference and every day is different so it keeps it interesting. Plus in what other job can you become an expert on various niche markets and items!

What superpower would you choose?

Can I have a magical object? I’d really like Bernard’s watch (a watch that can stop time). It would help me to finish my to-do list! If not I can just go for time travel.

STEPHEN CUNNINGHAM

FINANCIAL CONTROLLER

Job Description

Reporting to a Joint MD I am responsible for everything financial and more. I provide financial accounting and management reporting services to management and staff, statutory external bodies and our parent company – to help achieve the financial objectives of the group. I am part of a small accounts team and support the financial development of all staff within the company.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

I enjoy helping my work colleagues by simplifying financial issues that arise and helping them make decisions. The variety in my role is considerable as I like to get involved in as many diverse activities as I can.

What would be your dream project?

My dream research project would be to be mystery shopping the finest restaurants in the world – perhaps involved in awarding Michelin stars.

If money was no object, what would you do all day?

If money were no object I’d make sure that all of the people close to me had no financial worries. I’d invest the time necessary to exercise and become leaner and fitter. There are many places around the world that I would like to visit. I’d look into buying a private jet and becoming qualified to fly it.

What’s the oddest thing that’s happened to you at work?

I had to fly out to a conference in the US. My case got lost and I had to travel on to the hotel. I was wearing some comfortable jogging trousers and an old but favourite over shirt which bore some scars where “friends at parties” had either tried to burn a hole in it, bleach it, make it drunk or otherwise show it little respect. When I met my new US boss for the first time he kindly agreed to take me to a mall to buy some new pants and socks. At the black tie cocktail reception preceding the gala dinner that night I did my best to stay in the shadows as the top brass mingled reacquainting themselves with anyone they recognised in the room. Several days later I finally had the chance to change into my smart/casual clothes and took the opportunity to explain why I had looked a bit trampy to a couple of the US delegates. They told me that they had just assumed that I was eccentric. At least I was comfortable.

KATE DOWNER

RESEARCH DIRECTOR

Job Description

I design and deliver research projects, often with a financial, policy or cultural angle – pensions and retirement are particular specialisms. I get involved in any big pitches we do, and coach staff so they’re ready for them! I’m one of the best report-writers you’ll find in the research industry. I also drink a lot of tea and get through a lot of Post-its: I live (and will probably die) by my to-do list.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

The work I do makes life better for people and helps them to make good decisions – often about their finances and their retirement.

What was the most rewarding task you have had to undertake?

Rewarding: I’ve delivered quite a few projects that have helped government and third sector clients bring about meaningful, important change – from identifying exactly why most of us struggle to engage with pensions and retirement planning, to understanding people’s coping mechanisms when they don’t have enough money to cover both food and fuel. Gratifying: when a report I’ve authored is published and picked up by the press. The first bit means we’ve done what we set out to; the second means people are taking notice!

Why market research?

It’s 20 or 30 different jobs in one – you can even choose what those 20 or 30 are. You learn something different every day and are constantly picking up new skills. I literally can’t think of a career that offers more variety, more opportunities, or more challenges.

What is your favourite memory?

I’m a bit of a hyperthymesiac (Google it …) – we’d be here all day!

What’s your favourite word?

There are 2: lackadaisical and diphtheria.

What superpower would you choose?

Inbuilt Google Maps, but honestly I’d settle for a nice, normal sense of direction. It’s a source of continuing amazement (and amusement) to my friends that I’ve travelled the world and always made it home again. Failing that, bouncy hair.

Cats or dogs?

KITTENS FTW. There are very few things that can’t be improved by adding kittens. Casseroles would be one exception. If you want to improve a casserole, you need some nice suet dumplings.

IDRIS FASESAN

DESIGNER

Job Description

To provide high-quality design support to all areas of the business – in particular the research team and marketing department.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

Being creative. Knowing that I can help our clients by adding an element of creativity to research findings to make them more visual is something I thoroughly enjoy.

What would be your dream project?

I’d have to say a project involving Arsenal or Apple. Arsenal because it’s my childhood football club, so doing anything with them would be special. I love Apple’s approach to design and the idea of working on a new project alongside them would be a dream.

If money was no object, what would you do all day?

Travel the world with a group of my closest friends or build a secret laboratory/man cave.

What’s the oddest thing that’s happened to you at work?

Turning around and finding a dog in front of me!

What superpower would you choose?

Flying /transportation. It would be amazing to see the world from that high up.

Cats or dogs?

Dogs. Not the biggest fan of cats.

VANESSA FOUSCAS

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Job Description

Responsible for providing useful and actionable insights to clients.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

I love projects that challenge me either because they are difficult to manage (i.e.: the sample is complicated), involves using new methodology or tool to analyze data, etc. because once I have everything under control it is very rewarding to see what I have done.

What would be your dream project?

Probably something to do with tourism. I love to travel so it would be prefect if I can work as a mystery shopper for a chain of luxury hotels around the world ☺ If money was no object, what would you do all day? Travel!!!

What is your favourite memory?

My baby’s laugh

What’s your favourite word?

Thanks

What one thing would you change if you had to do it over?

I would have travelled more.

MARK HAINES

GLOBAL IT DIRECTOR

Job Description

My primary responsibility is to oversee the streamlined operation of the IT department and to ensure it aligns with the businesses objectives. My principal goals are to develop and manage applications and to maintain a consistent and enabling IT service for all the staff within the organisation. I plan, coordinate, direct, and design all operational activities of the IT department, as well as provide direction and support for IT solutions that enhance mission-critical business operations. I work closely with decision makers to identify, recommend, develop, implement, and support cost-effective technology solutions for all aspects of the organisation while ensuring we deliver a secure environment to protect our client’s data.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

Delivering new solutions that enable our staff to work more effectively, or in new ways that deliver real value to our clients.

What was the most exciting/rewarding task you have had to undertake?

Staff development – I love seeing people learn and grow.

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Reginald D. Hunter – we would have a laugh!

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

Iceland – I think it is an amazing place, so different and exciting

What’s the most memorable experience of your life?

My wedding day.

What superpower would you choose?

Teleportation – no more airport delays!

Cats or dogs?

I would want both, but currently have cats.

SUE HEINTZ

PRINCIPAL AND LEADER OF THE CHANNEL PRACTICE

Job Description

I help companies get their products and services to market effectively and efficiently.

Why market research

Market research is an important component of the work I do. It helps companies decide where and how to focus at every level of the supply chain and helps ensure that investments in time, people and money will generate a solid return.

What was the most exciting/rewarding task you have had to undertake?

I’ve worked on a number of major business transformations in my 30 years as a consultant – including projects at IBM, AT&T and, most recently, Huawei. The most rewarding, however, occurred early in my career on a project for a graphics workstation company funded by venture capital. Our research proved that the market for the company’s current product was over so, I worked to find a way to transform the company’s technology into a new business model for a market that was just beginning to take off. I carry that lesson with me always.

What would be your dream project?

It’s always the same – helping to transform a company from a direct-only sales organization to one able to thrive in a multi-channel environment. It’s like remodelling a house. You wouldn’t just add four walls to a home and call it a new room. You’d make sure you integrated the heating, the electrical, the sound system, the flooring and colours. Every aspect of the original home is affected. It’s the same way for companies moving to multiple channels. Lots of puzzle pieces have to come together. Lots of people have to work together in new ways.

Hobbies

Dancing is more than a hobby; it’s a passion. I used to be a purist – ballet only – because of its gorgeous geometry and discipline. Now I enjoy learning everything – hip-hop, Latin, ballroom. The common denominator is the great feeling I get when I “paint the music” with my body. Oh! – The roar of the crowds isn’t bad, either. This past year, I was a member of the senior dance team for the Chicago Bulls basketball team. We danced at home games in front of 25,000 cheering fans! Fabulous!

Favourite place lived in

There were two: Basking Ridge, New Jersey because of the gorgeous, rolling hills and the food. (For the first time, I was really able to get in touch with my Italian roots!) And then, London – no other city I’ve lived in delivers this level of energy on such a “human” scale.

What would be your dream job if you were not channel practice leader

I think I would have made a great diagnostician. I have the ability to put information together in unconventional, non-linear, ways and, often, can leapfrog to a really sound conclusion. My parents wanted me to be a scientist. Maybe they were right. (Oh God – did I really say that!)

Favourite music

I just had a look at my iTunes – and it’s a jumble of genres and artists! I love classical music – Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Brahms – to work to. On late Friday afternoons, I pull out the 40’s hits with some wine – Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable” is my all-time favourite single. And, when I want to drive my husband crazy, I turn up Justin Timberlake and Beyonce and dance!

ALISON JOHNSTONE

RESEARCH MANAGER

Job Description

I manage the day to day running of research projects, making sure they stay on track in terms of deadlines, resourcing and billing. I also help projects get off the ground at the set up stage – designing questionnaires, briefing the team and liaising with clients to make sure they get the results and outputs they are looking for!

What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on?

I was lucky enough to be involved in a piece of research conducted on behalf of the teen mental health charity Young Minds. It explored society’s perceptions of young people who self-harm and barriers teachers, parents and GPs encounter when trying to help these young people.

Why market research?

My first experience of market research was when I was very young; my friend’s mum came to my house to ask me what crisps I like, why I liked them and what would encourage me to eat other types of crisps. It was the first time I had thought about choice, motivation, desire, wants and needs – and that was just about eating crisps! Since then I’ve been fascinated with why people do what they do, and the factors that influence behaviour and perceptions – in everything, from watching TV and participating in the arts to buying insurance and choosing a utilities provider.

What’s been the most exciting project you’ve worked on?

The VELOCITY arts project: a cultural response to the impact of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on the city and its communities. I had the opportunity to talk to people from all over the city, visit them in their neighbourhoods and talk to them about what Glasgow means to them and how they wanted the world to view the city during the Commonwealth Games. The audience mapping I carried out for the Operational Plan helped create a fascinating portrait of the city that was used to underpin a series of action plans and inform future VELOCITY projects.

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Bear Grylls and/or Ray Mears – with a knife and a fishing rod.

If money was no object, what would you do all day?

I would spend my days planning and doing trips to all the places I’ve yet to visit – Africa, Middle East, South East Asia and Australasia. My aim is to go to every continent at least once and as soon as I can.

Which author would you choose to write your biography?

Julie Burchill, please. She is brilliant, unpredictable, outrageously outspoken with an iconoclastic, no holds barred view on everything. I love her.

RHIANNON JONES

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Job Description

Talking, watching and listening to all sorts of people in all sort of places – to understand their lives and the decisions they make. And then, (the best bit!), really getting under the skin of what they say, what they mean and what that actually means for our clients commercially

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

Giving clients answers and seeing them get excited about what their customers think and need. But also getting the chance to meet so many people and understand the way they look at things – it really opens your eyes and makes you think differently about the world.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

India – because it seems like the place most different to where I live.

What does your perfect day look like?

Breakfast in Paris, a sunny picnic for lunch on a beach in Wales (it really would have to be sunny though) and dinner in Rome.

What superpower would you choose?

Definitely invisibility. I’m very nosy and so would love to be able to earwig on peoples’ conversations more subtly than I usually do!

CHRISTOPH KӦRBITZ

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Job Description

Designing and delivering research solutions to help my clients understand their target audience and improve their service proposition.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

I enjoy jumping in and getting my hands dirty with rich primary research. Whether it’s large scale quant or in-depth qual, there are always interesting challenges and compelling stories that emerge. My specialisms cover social research for public sector and third sector organisations.

Why social research?

Somebody explained to me that in research we’re knowledge workers. This is probably what drew me into this industry: to be the first one to find out about new things.

If money was no object, what would you do all day?

Being with my family, travelling, reading, cooking, learning to play the piano, and running in the park.

What is your favourite memory?

One of them is smelling sea air for the first time.

What does your perfect day look like?

Spending a day in the park with my partner and our two little children, where the only problems are what to play next and which ice cream flavour to choose.

What superpower would you choose?

I’m undecided between flying and being invisible.

Which author would you choose to write your biography?

Hanif Kureishi.

EMANUELA LOMBARDI

MARKETING MANAGER

Job Description

I work with the Marketing and Business Development teams on creation and execution of internal and external campaigns and on our comms such as newsletters and social media. I’m also responsible for our project planning by ensuring that each project has the perfect fit in terms of researchers’ skillset. Last but not least, I work closely with the Design team on visualisation of deliverables.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

My role allows me to interact with so many of my colleagues across the business, giving me the opportunity to work on different things every day! This has enabled me to grow, develop and broaden my knowledge very quickly in the last 3 years across a range of disciplines.

What was the most exciting/rewarding task you have had to undertake?

Working on the organisation of the launch event for our rebrand (in July 2015, we changed our name to Breaking Blue). We presented our new name to the team and worked really hard to ensure the event would reflect Breaking Blue’s personality and core values by looking after every single detail, from communications to finding the perfect venue and choosing the right music.

If money was no object, what would you do all day?

I’d buy a house on a beach, preferably in a warm place, where I’d spend my days immersed in music and playing tennis every now and then. I would certainly be sharing my house with a dog – or maybe two!

What’s the oddest thing that’s happened to you at work?

I accidentally set a venue on fire at one of our Christmas parties… but I swear it wasn’t my fault, it was the Christmas tree’s!

Cats or dogs?

Dogs all my life. Cats follow the person who feeds them, while dogs follow the person who loves them!

AMIE LUTHER

RESEARCH MANAGER

Job Description

Making sure everything happens as and when it should!

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

I love the feeling that we’re really helping people, if someone has a problem, why? What is it? How can it be fixed? When conducting research with vulnerable audiences especially I’d like to think we make a difference.

Why market research?

I’m interested in what people have to say (aka nosy!), I like to know what makes people tick and I think I’m a good listener.

What is your favourite memory?

Caravanning in the summer holidays when I was little

What’s your favourite word?

Thingamajig

What does your perfect day look like?

Peace and quiet, a cup of tea, cake and a book

Cats or dogs?

Favourite quote:

If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely (Roald Dahl) Random: Whenever the word ‘baby’ is used in a song I like to substitute it with ‘Amie’ e.g. “I love you Amie and if it’s quite alright I love you Amie” good eh.

PAUL MALONE

ACCOUNTS EXECUTIVE

Job Description

It’s all about the money – paying it out to our great staff and suppliers and receiving it from our grateful clients.

What do you most like about your role?

A chilled company with chilled-out individuals

Why market research?

The sector was one I’d never worked in before.

What would be your dream job if you were not a market researcher, accountant etc.?

Professional sportsman – to play a sport you love and get paid for doing so…

Hobbies

I enjoy playing football and like watching sport live or on the TV – I’ll watch anything that moves.

Holiday/ travel destination of choice

Cyprus – party capital and idyllic beaches.

Favourite place lived in

You can’t beat London on a warm summer day.

Favourite foods

Sunday roast – you just can’t beat it

TV series you have really enjoyed

CSI New York – great crime series with a great cast

Favourite sport/ sporting team

I enjoy playing most sports and support one of the foremost football clubs in South London – Crystal Palace of course (who else could it be)

Most treasured item

Memories and my cats

Favourite films

Shawshank Redemption – a truly uplifting film. The Usual Suspects – I just remembered what a great twist, right at the end, this had when I first watched it in the cinema.

Favourite music

Eclectic mix – from 80s to 00s

Favourite gadget

iPod – listening to whatever music YOU enjoy without justification.

RUVA MANKOLA

GRADUATE RESEARCH CONSULTANT

Job Description

Assisting in the collection, analysis and interpretation of all kinds of research data to help clients gain valuable insight.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

I love that at Breaking Blue we are exposed to many sectors and have the opportunity to get involved in various research challenges. The possibilities are endless and there is always something new to learn and uncover.

Why market research?

Market research is exciting because you get to collect heaps of knowledge in many different areas while also getting a deeper understanding of what decisions people make and why they make them.

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Superman. He can fly us out of the island and I would have an amazing story to tell once I got back home.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

I really want to go to space and see the stars up close… but then they would be very hot so that is probably not a good idea. I think I would have to go with Trinidad so I can see the carnival.

What superpower would you choose?

The eidetic memory you see in movies – I could become a mastermind in everything.

RHIANNON PHILLIPS

RESEARCH MANAGER

Job Description

I find insights and answers. I listen, I observe and I question – as sensitively and tactfully as possible, always striving to identify the ‘right’ questions. I then feed insights gathered back to the client enabling them to improve their service, product or proposition. I also manage projects and enjoy supporting the development of junior members of the team.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

I am insatiably curious; I was that archetypal ‘Why?’ child. Fortunately, I’ve grown out of incessantly questioning everyone about everything ever, but that fascination with the world and everything in it (especially people!) has never left me and I don’t think it ever will. Working in research allows me to explore new things, think new thoughts, gain new understandings and share that insight with people who genuinely want to know. Basically, I get paid to be curious, how incredible is that?!

What would be your dream project?

Social media has quickly become an integral part of most of our lives, but it’s still such a new phenomenon that its impact isn’t yet fully understood. This is probably my psychology background speaking but, there’s so much to be discovered and understood about it, particularly in terms of the influence it’s having on the way we form, develop and maintain relationships. I’d love to do a big project with Facebook exploring its impact and influence on the social and emotional development of the millennial generation – a generation who can’t recall a time before social media existed!

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Bear Grylls. Obvious choice really. I mean who else could be that interesting and save the day.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

Everywhere really!! I’m itching to go backpacking through South America… But if I have to be pinned to one place currently it would be Yellow Stone National Park. I have a real love of nature and wildlife, the ecosystem and geography there is so amazingly complex and diverse, it really is totally unique, there’s nowhere else like it on Earth.

ALEX POTTER

RESEARCH CONSULTANT

Job Description

Assisting in the collection and analysis of all kinds of data, and feeding back to clients in a way that helps them gain valuable insight.

Why market research?

II pursue what interests me. The variety of work at Breaking Blue allows me to continue exploring a long-held fascination with human behaviour and cultural difference, whilst engaging with plenty of new research areas!

What would be your dream project?

Having a background in social anthropology, it would have to be something that incorporates the use of visual ethnography or relies on in-depth qualitative research to tackle client issues.

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

Seasick Steve – Pros: Good music, good company, and he probably knows how to rough it. Cons: An unfavourable boat journey if rescued...

What superpower would you choose?

Easy. Flight. I would never have to board a plane again.

Which author would you chose to write your biography?

Clifford Geertz. My secrets would remain hidden within his unnecessarily complicated ethnographic writing style.

Cats or dogs?

If I had to choose… probably dogs. Cats are weird, unpredictable things.

KATHERINE RAMEK

SENIOR RESEARCH CONSULTANT

Job Description

Working in teams to assist in the collection, analysis and interpretation of all types of research data.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

How market research reveals new and unexpected patterns in data, and how this can make a direct impact with clients and consumers!

Why market research?

I love that every day is different. Here at Breaking Blue we work on many projects across a variety of sectors.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

Australia and New Zealand, although all the insects and spiders slightly put me off going!

If money was no object, what would you do all day?

Travel around the world! I’d fully immerse myself in the various cultures, delicious food and go out of my way to help others that are in need.

What superpower would you choose?

I can’t choose between teleportation and invisibility… I would love to avoid my commute to work, but also think it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in certain situations!

Cats or dogs?

Dogs – especially cute, fluffy ones!

JOHN RESTEGHINI

GRADUATE RESEARCH CONSULTANT

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

It’s the opportunity to discover new and exciting things. To explore what people say about a particular product or service, and use that insight to bring about change. That is the cool thing with market research, you get to see your work change a business, people’s lives, or even change society all together.

What would be your dream project?

Well that is a long list! But I would love to conduct a project which explores how technology can improve public services; across healthcare, education, justice and so on. It would not only serve the public and improve society but would give me a huge amount of pride knowing that I had contributed something to society as well.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

I would love to travel through the Nordic region. To go trekking through the middle of nowhere, do a bit of dog sledding and looking at the northern lights with a nice cold beer. That would be the perfect adventure!

What superpower would you choose?

Super speed. Never be late for anything and save so much money!

Cats or Dogs?

Dogs! They may drive you crazy sometimes, by ripping up your bank statement (like mine!) and require a huge amount of exercise and attention, but they put a massive smile on your face.

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Tom Hanks of course. I figure, if he’s been on a desert island before, he could help me build a raft and I could be his Wilson. Failing that, he can re-enact all my favourite bits from the all the films he has been in.

ANNA ROBERTS

TEAM & RESOURCE COORDINATOR

Job Description

To ensure the office runs smoothly making way for a happy workforce!

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

I love the fact my role is so varied – no 2 days are the same!

Why market research?

To be honest I didn’t choose market research – it just happened! But 10 years later I am still in the industry so it has to be OK!

What would be your dream project?

To give our office an entire makeover with no budget restraints – come on!

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Bear Grylls – he would know what to do in any situation

What’s your favourite word?

Egg – just for its sheer randomness.

What superpower would you choose?

The ability to hear through walls and closed doors – call it curious or just plain nosey but I just love to be in the know about everything!

Cats or dogs?

Cats definitely – they might be a little arrogant but they eat well and get to lounge about in the sun all day – well mine does!

DANIELLE RODGERSON

RESEARCH MANAGER

Job Description

Finding answers to clients’ problems through research; from brief to debrief and all the bits in between! I am part of our innovation team, SwitchedOn, where we look at all things digital. I’m currently leading the development of our mobile survey offering including survey design for mobile devices.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

The analysis stage; understanding the research findings to help solve problems and make a difference.

Why market research?

I actually stumbled across market research over 10 years ago which must have been a good stumble as I’m still here enjoying it! I love the variety, each day is different which keeps it interesting.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

Anywhere hot. Having been lucky enough to travel far and wide I think Mexico might be next on my wish list.

What’s your favourite word?

A bit of a cheat but words are ‘no bother’. Apparently I say it a LOT without even knowing!

What does your perfect day look like?

Nice walk along the beach followed by a cuppa and a slice of cake mmmm perfect!

What superpower would you choose?

An inbuilt sat nav…or even just a sense of direction would be nice! It’s a standing joke when going to client meetings to go the opposite way to my suggestion!

Cats or dogs?

A few years ago I would have said neither but since my husband talked me into getting a puppy its dogs all the way now and I wouldn’t be without mine.

PHIL STUBINGTON

DIRECTOR

Job Description

Helping IT companies do better market research to understand what their customers are buying and most importantly integrating the results into their businesses. This involves a lot of work with their analysts and forecasting teams embedding the research data into financial and operational models, improving the accuracy of everything from their earnings forecasts to how many production lines they need. The remainder of my time is spent working with a wide variety of industrial and social research clients including Design Council, RNLI and Macmillan Cancer Support.

What’s been the most exciting project you’ve worked on?

Working with DHL in Asia as e-commerce was staring to change the logistics business fundamentally. Depth interviews in Taiwan just when it was “opening-up”; brutal climate, no signs in English, a native language you can’t read and taxi’s leaving the hotel taking a short-cut through the hospital ambulance loading bay next door. Followed by being on the last flight into Hong Kong before a typhoon closed down the airport. Having to do interviews in a café in an underground shopping mall because said typhoon made it unsafe to leave the hotel at ground level.

What is the most exciting/ rewarding task you have had to undertake?

Working on a brief for one of the largest printer manufacturers in the world to size their ink and toner supplies market after two of the largest research vendors in the world had said it couldn’t be done. Having a client to whom the research was so important that they really were willing to work and fund a partnership so we could get it right. And we did, to the extent that the project reaches its twentieth birthday this year.

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?

For a long time it would have been my portable DVD player. It kept me sane in year when I flew a hundred thousand miles and went to and from States almost monthly. Now I guess its tablet and Netflix subscription.

SANDRIA TERRELONGE

ACCOUNTS AND PAYROLL SUPERVISOR

Job Description

I do the biggest job of all, making sure we are paid in time to enjoy the fruits of our work.

What do you most like about your role?

The people that make this company!

What is the most rewarding task you have had to undertake?

Seeing everyone getting their lovely pay on time is reward enough for me.

Hobbies

Where do I start? Badminton, netball, walking, 5k jogging and last but by no means least reading, when I can fit it in!

Holiday/ travel destination of choice

Caribbean and SE Asia but I love travelling. I have travelled all the continents except Antarctica, which I’m hoping to do very soon. Watch this space!!

Favourite foods

Anything Thai.

Favourite album

Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder, Dance with my Father by Luther Vandross and Something to Love by L.T.D

Ambition in life

To retire at 55 and travel the world – not long now!!

Favourite books

A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown and Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Who do you admire most? (living or dead)

Martin Luther King, Jr and my Grandma!

Dream dinner guests

Barak Obama, Neale Donald Walsh, Gladys Knight and Cupcake Brown

What annoys you?

Bad language and anyone who deliberately hurts others. Mentally or physically.

What is your best achievment so far?

Being part of London Olympic 2012. As a volunteer I enjoyed the whole idea of sharing and making even more friends.

ANDREW WOOD

RESEARCH DIRECTOR

Job Description

I lead our Pensions and Regulatory Research team.

What is it about your job that gives you a real buzz?

Making a difference: I’ve helped the government shape the UK pension reforms, the end of mandatory retirement, and consumer protection regulations. Next on the agenda: pension charges!

What have been the most exciting projects you’ve worked on?

I’m lucky to have travelled from Taipei and Tokyo to Seattle and San Francisco doing research for top tech companies in the past… But not much beats the projects I’ve spent charging around the UK, talking to businesses and individuals affected by legislation, and giving them a voice.

What does your perfect day look like?

A day at Glastonbury Festival. Been to every one this century. Nothing beats a sunny afternoon with a beer, on the grass, enjoying a band that you insist to everyone you hate for the rest of the year.

Favourite author

No favourite author as such. I do read the Economist every week. It takes me so long to plough through that I have no time left at all for fiction.

What superpower would you choose?

I’d rather keep my views on international politics to myself.

What’s your favourite word?

Gelsenkirchen.

Favourite sporting team

Borussia Dortmund, the team I spent my university years supporting on the Südtribüne with a currywurst and a DAB. *Correction* Sorry – it’s Arsenal.

MARTIN WOOTTON

RESEARCH DIRECTOR

Job Description

I’m responsible for the company’s business and consumer technology research.

What do you most like about your role?

I’ve been with the company since 2000. What’s kept me here is the people – clever buggers from all around the world, who keep me on my toes and challenge my thinking. It’s also given me the opportunity to go around the world and speak at conferences and events, on diverse subjects like B2B customer satisfaction, strategic brand positioning in emerging markets and market sizing and forecasting.

What has been the most memorable task you have had to undertake?

Flying around Canada to talk to women about their underwear preferences! And then the next week helping a leading tech giant decide what features to put in their next mobile phone. What’s most rewarding is not the specific projects, but the variety of things we’re asked to research. You become an expert in a narrow subject area very quickly.

What do you do to relax?

Making music – I spent my formative years playing the piano in hotels, restaurants and with local bands, and still play whenever I get the chance.

Favourite place lived in?

Paris – for the atmosphere, the architecture and the food and wine. Especially the latter.

What would be your dream job if you were not a market researcher?

Rock star, a dream that is now fading along with my hairline.