IRL With Clients

We've packaged up our Crowd IRL thinking in a nice new report format. Email if you'd like a copy...

Crowd IRL is how we get out on-the-road with stakeholder teams, immersing them in the lives and culture of people; helping clients escape the confines of simply attending the debrief presentation or the viewing facility.

In this report, we’ve gathered learnings from across the Crowd DNA team, exploring and celebrating our Crowd IRL method. Send an email to if you’d like to receive a copy and/or discuss ideas for how to make a project of this kind work for your team.

Crowd Proud!

We've been working on Crowd DNA's values, and how best to socialise them in the business. Here's where we've got to...

We had an amazing Crowd DNA company day in London last November – with drawing, photographing, eating, drinking, talking and building our company values high on the agenda.

Since then, we’ve been working on shaping up the values – editing down from a longer list, thinking carefully about the articulation of them, consulting with the wider team. They’re ready now and we’re really happy with where we’ve got to. We think these values really mean something. They’re tangible and connect with every member of the Crowd DNA team, regardless of their role or how long they’ve been with us. We believe they reflect how we wish to work with each other and with our clients and contributors.

Next up, we’ll be developing posters and other ways to share our values, and to keep them top of mind as we go about our work. But here’s a first draft.

Death Of The Teenager

Crowd DNA’s Andy Crysell asks whether the teen experience is in decline and, if so, what it means for self-identity and brands. To get a copy of our Death Of A Teenager cultural forecasting report, read on…

Hot on the heels of the widely reported scientific claims that adolescence now extends from 10 to 24, we thought it opportune to publish a revamped version of our Death Of A Teenager cultural forecasting report.

What would it mean to have never been a teenager, as we knew being a teenager? As grown-ups continue to avoid, er, growing up, and younger generations start connecting with culture – and even hitting puberty – at an earlier age, the previously well-defined ‘teenage years’ don’t make so much sense. A collective experience of ‘being a teenager’ seems to be coming to an end.

In this report we map out the driving forces behind this change and ask how it will impact self-identity formation. Also, given that the marketing communications industry has a habit (near obsession) with all things youth, we look at the relevance that this will no doubt have for brands.

For a copy of our shiny new report please email:

Passionate about content and trends? Confident and collaborative? We've two great roles at Crowd DNA in London...

Working alongside our researchers and strategists, Socialise is the name we give to our team of writers, designers, film-makers and all-round content experts. We’ve two amazing roles that we’re looking to fill in our Hoxton Square, London HQ.

We’re seeking an executive or consultant-level hire with a focus on writing and trends exploration

First-rate writing and copy-editing skills, and an enthusiasm for story-telling

A good awareness of cultural and commercial trends, and an aptitude for articulating them in attention-grabbing ways

Keen to test and develop new formats for socialising trends, insights and strategic recommendations 

Ideally additional skills beyond editorial and trends – such as design and/or photography and/or shooting and editing video

Expertise/experience with Adobe Creative Cloud software an advantage

Good project management abilities and, ideally, experience of working directly with clients

An aptitude for problem-solving, ‘owning’ challenges and purposeful collaboration

Keen to work in a fast-moving environment, one in which priorities are often up for re-assessment

We’re seeking an executive-level hire with a focus on film work and design

First-rate graphic design skills, and an enthusiasm for story-telling

Equally hot film skills, including shooting and editing video using professional equipment (bonus points if you know how to use Canon film kit, and Adobe Creative Suite)

Keen to test and develop new formats for socialising trends, insights and strategic recommendations 

An aptitude for problem-solving, ‘owning’ challenges and purposeful collaboration

Keen to work in a fast-moving environment, one in which priorities are often up for re-assessment

Happy to travel!

Our expectations for these roles will vary depending on if you’re applying at exec level (think entry level to one year of experience) or consultant (think one to three years of relevant agency or media experience). What’s in it for you? The opportunity to work with an amazing array of clients and fellow Crowd folk on exciting, intellectually stimulating cultural insights and innovation projects, working on engaging outputs, prototyping, trends reporting and a whole bunch more besides.

The roles comes with a competitive salaries/benefits; and clear paths to promotion and to new opportunities. To apply, please get in touch with Dr Matilda Andersson, attaching a CV and covering letter.

Six Months At Crowd DNA Inc

We've been on the ground in NYC for six months now. Safe to say, it's been action-packed...

We’re half a year in to our NYC adventure, with Crowd DNA Inc happily housed in Cooper Square in the East Village. We’ve grown quickly, with US director Hollie Jones joined by recruits both from the US and those transitioning from Crowd DNA London. Here’s some high tempo highlights so far…

Categories. Home, men’s apparel, telecoms, sport and media/social media – we’ve immersed ourselves in the specifics all of these worlds already.

Methods. Deep breath here… scavenger hunts, photo journalism, mobile ethnography, face to face ethnography, city safaris, trends research, influencer panels, expert panels, cook-alongs, focus groups, UX dinner groups – we’ve designed and conducted them all.

Outputs. Busy times on this front, too. There’s been workshops, show and tells, immersive photo galleries, magazines, interactive insights billboards, documentary films, culture briefings; oh yeah, and a few Powerpoints, even.

Markets. From Kansas City to Seoul, Philadelphia to Shanghai, Tampa to Berlin – we’ve notched up the miles both domestically and globally.

Office plants: Two, named Pamela and Legs; both doing very well (in fact Legs has grown four new legs).

Thanks to all the clients who’ve chosen to work with us so far. It’s been inspiring stuff, and we cannot wait to find out what 2018 has in store for Crowd DNA Inc. Please check in with Hollie Jones if you’d like to find out more.

Crowd internship openings

Ever wanted to intern at an insights and innovation agency...

Looking for an internship? You’ve come to the right place – we’ve got openings at our London office. Our interns don’t make the tea – they get involved in some of the best insight and innovation projects going, learning from a super smart team.

“I was allowed to hit the ground running from the first day,” says Robert Downer, who started at Crowd as an intern and now works here as an exec. “I worked with some of the world’s top brands, met some amazing people and was involved in some amazing research projects. What more could you want from an internship?”

Our internship programme is ongoing, with opportunities available right now. In particular, we’re keen to meet with candidates with French language abilities.

Interested? Contact Berny McManus to find out more.

Insightful Design

What role does visual design play in a cultural insights and innovation agency? Crowd designers Elizabeth Holdsworth and Salem Khazali share tips on how they help to make our work impactful...

Designing for a cultural insights and innovation agency throws up many creative challenges and, over the years, we’ve learnt some lessons. Of course, each project is different, and every narrative requires us to flex our creative muscles in new ways – from decks to zines to adult colouring books. But there are some common ways of thinking that we’d like to share with you below. Adopt these and we believe that the insights you deliver will benefit.

Who, what, where?

As creatives, we always start with the same basic questions – ‘who, what and where?’ This set of questions unpacks like an enchanted toolbox, as in fact there are many more questions inside these questions. Who is the client and who are the stakeholders? What form will the research take and what are the hypotheses? Where will the work go once it’s delivered? Where’s it likely to be seen?

These magic questions get us immediately thinking about who the work is for. Because the point is really about the audience, and where we’re aiming. It’s like the hole at the end of the golfing green – it’s a long way away at the moment, but we need to know where the insights will eventually land.

Salem and Elizabeth
Salem and Elizabeth

Design is purpose

Being purposeful is key to good design.

We’re not just making things look pretty, stylish and trendy, or even tidying things up, so they are clear, legible and structured. Designers do all of those things, sure, but these are just by-products of what we are really doing – which is something far more fundamental. We’re visually communicating meaning and intention.

In its broadest definition; design’s really about purpose. One dictionary we looked at says: ‘Purpose or planning that exists behind an action, fact, or object.’ The example cited is of a search for ‘the appearance of design in the universe,’ showing that design can be interchangeable with intentionality – meaning amid chaos. This world we’ve constructed is our design. It’s our design to act this way. Tell us, dear reader, did you come here by design?

Cultural relevance

Working for a brand means understanding their voice and visual language, so that we can present the insights in a relevant way. Beyond this we need to think about culture and ask about how the brand positions itself in the world, and how the deliverables reflect this intention.

Aim to be flexible

As much as having a clear overview of what we need to communicate, we need to build fail-safes into the design process. The phrase ‘kill your darlings’ comes to mind. Client needs can change rapidly, so another habit to get into is to learn not to see your design choices as precious. This is relevant to most fields of design; however, brands are often keen to adopt the latest trends, when they can do so authentically, and so must you be.

Keep it minimal

The best work is brave enough to say a lot with very little and if you look at great pieces of design, it’s nearly invisible. Working in insight, we often feel we need to show clients that we’ve earned our fee. Often this means we write a lot, and in design terms, it means cramming many things onto one page. Don’t be afraid to strip things back. Once you do this, the message you’re trying to communicate will be much clearer and, importantly, will connect more profoundly.

To talk more about the role of design in insight and innovation, get in touch

Rise: Online Communities

Croissants, coffee and communities - it's all on offer at our next Rise breakfast event in London...

Date: February 1

Time: 8.15am-9am

Location: Crowd DNA, 5 Lux Building, 2-4 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU

Our next Rise breakfast session in London looks to re-boot the topic of online communities, thinking beyond the obvious and exploring different ways in which they can meet commercial objectives.

Presented by Sabrina Qureshi, our online communities director, this session will provide quickfire ideas around themes such as innovation, global qual, trend analysis, mixed audiences and socialising community insights.

If you’d like to join us for coffee and croissants, while discussing more exciting and culturally inclined ways to deploy online communities, please head to the short form here

And if you’ve any direct questions for Sabrina, please contact her here

Here’s our Crowd Communities intro video: