We get to work on lots of interesting and highly engaging projects at Crowd DNA, but collaborating with IKEA on the Clean Air brief was a particularly rewarding one...

With 80% of people who live in urban areas being exposed to air quality levels that exceed the World Health Organisation limit, this is a major topic. Unless action is taken now, the number of deaths will double by 2050 and will account for 12 every minute.

IKEA’s commitment to sustainability is widely recognised, with their ‘Better Everyday Life For The Many People’ maxim a major global talking point – which is where the clean air work fits in.

IKEA came to Crowd DNA requesting a comprehensive understanding of clean air (from awareness levels and misconceptions, to how it changes behaviour) in society around the world.

The first phase of the project looked to develop context and saw us producing a clean air report from extensive desk research and expert interviews – from leading toxicologists and start-ups CEOs on the front-line of air pollution innovation, to artists who are looking to creatively highlight the topic.

Stage two explored current consumer behaviours and attitudes related to clean air. We conducted mobile self-ethnography across the US, UK, China, Germany, Italy, Poland and India, using our understanding of behavioural science to better understanding true consumer behaviour in two key ways:

1. Mapping consumer behaviour/awareness over time to see if air pollution currently impacts how people live their lives

2. Providing our participants with air monitors to gauge personal air quality across their day to day lives, thus allowing us to see how increased awareness potentially disrupts behaviour.

Next, we visited each market to interview and film consumers in context, including reviewing their experiences with the air monitor devices and how much impact the data had on their actual lives. The filmed ethnography produced rich, narrative-led accounts of individual everyday experiences and how people really relate to the notion of clean air.

Embedding the findings in the IKEA business was a priority, too. We held collaborative innovation workshops to generate practical ideas for future product and service designs. IKEA have since used this insight and the ideas that came from these sessions to inform short and long term projects to tackle air pollution.

Alongside the workshops came an artworked and editorialised clean air survey, and a series of broadcast quality documentary films.

You can find out more about the Clean Air project here

Check out one of the films from the project below

We’re seeking one to join our Hoxton Square team, leading key projects in categories such as alcohol, retail, fashion, FMCG and media…

Cultural insights and strategy agency Crowd DNA is looking to recruit an associate director to join our London team, working on fabulously diverse and exciting projects for some of the biggest names around. The briefs we get are amazing – truly at the intersection of culture and brands. We want someone who can bring both provocative thinking and total diligence to this type of work.

You will report to our insight and innovation director, running priority projects and helping them to manage and mentor the wider team. Here’s what we’re looking for:

- You need to have the confidence and necessary experience to take the controls of large and sometimes complex projects

- And you’ll do so in a way that means you get the best out of the wider project team, ensuring we are collectively diligent and creative in equal measure

- Being able to point to particular experience in comms and brand development work will be a major asset; and an ability to engage credibly and strategically with senior client teams around these topics

- Demonstrating experience of working on multi-market projects is important

- An interest in trends and the type of brands and challenges that Crowd DNA gets involved with (look around this website if you need more of an idea) is a must, as is evidence of how you’ve met business challenges in the past

- We don’t necessarily expect you to have ticked off every one of the research methods we deploy at Crowd, but a broad swathe of experience in different techniques is expected

- Showing you can be creative with research and have the confidence to engage clients through exciting debrief approaches, including high grade workshop facilitation, is a must

- We want someone who’s enthusiastic about the idea of working alongside strategists, writers, film-makers and designers

- Moreover, we anticipate this role going to someone who fully appreciates – and indeed relishes the fact – that the world of ‘market research’ (we don’t much like that term…) is fast changing, and that factors such as strategic thinking, stakeholder engagement, storytelling and innovation are key to the future of this industry.

The role comes with a competitive salary and benefits, plus clear paths to promotion and to new opportunities. We anticipate you’re currently working in an insight agency, in a SC/RM role, or similar; perhaps already as an AD but looking for something new. It’s an entrepreneurial and energised environment, fast paced and collaborative. If you fancy working in a place where setting the agenda for the future of cultural insights and strategy is coded into the culture, please do get in touch, providing a covering letter and CV in the first instance.

We're seeking an experienced strategist for our London team; someone keen to work with A grade insight/trends specialists to bring exciting new dimensions to what we can offer our clients...

This is a brand new role at Crowd DNA (based in Hoxton Square, London), as we look to extend the capabilities offered in our cultural insight and innovation positioning.

The senior strategist role at Crowd DNA will have you collaborating with our best-in-class insight and innovation specialists, writers, designers and film-makers, providing the all-important strategic point of view that our clients demand.

You’ll come to us with five plus years of insight-fuelled strategy experience, most likely gained in an agency environment. You’ll be able to point to evidence of working with clients in categories such as media, alcohol, fashion and FMCG, on brand and comms briefs (essential) and (ideally) product/services ones, too.

You will be comfortable with the following-

- Working alongside others (specifically our insight, trends and innovation specialists) to arrive at strategic recommendations that are credible and inspiring

- Solid experience at crafting brand positions, consumer narratives, concepts, portfolio plans and similar strategy materials (thus first-rate writing skills are essential)

- Knowledge of strategy frameworks and when/where to apply them

- A confident, authoritative presenter and workshop facilitator

- Competent at switching modes from live projects to pitches and agency thought leadership

- Capable of negotiating with other team members on how/where/when to play a role in projects, managing your time effectively, and reaching clear decisions on where your skills are best deployed

- A demonstrable passion for culture and how it connects with strategy (let’s call that cultural strategy) – all points from the leading edge to the mainstream

- While this is not specifically a data-oriented role, being comfortable with ‘big’ data (alongside the more qualitative/trends-based findings that are at the heart of Crowd) would be helpful

- Experience of social media listening tools also useful

The role comes with a competitive salary/benefits (negotiable based on experience); some of the most stimulating and culturally-driven projects out there; and the opportunity to take a lead role in building something exciting and new in our business. To apply, please get in touch with Dr Matilda Andersson, attaching a CV and covering letter.

We're adding to our amazingly heroic project management team in London. Read on if this might be the job for you...

We’re seeking someone to add to our project management team at Crowd DNA. The project manager role entails working along our insight consultants, strategists and creatives to ensure we deliver high standard work for our clients at all times. Here’s what we’re after:

- A track record of working in insight; either as a project manager, field manager, or perhaps as a consultant who now favours a switch to the project management side of things

- Demonstrable skills in managing complex multi-market projects; including timelines, suppliers (field agencies, research platform providers etc), clients and budgets

- A deft multi-tasker with an agile approach to working alongside researchers and creatives

- Keen and capable of working with diverse digital platforms

- Strong problem-solving abilities and a knack for finding solutions where others can’t

- An appetite for developing new project management thinking and processes, and to innovating our approaches to running projects (both large and small)

- Strong communication skills; and an enthusiasm for upskilling the wider team in project management techniques

- An interest in the type of brands and challenges that Crowd DNA gets involved with

- So organised it’s completely insane…

The role comes with a competitive salary/benefits; a clear path to promotion and the opportunity to grow and to learn in a first-rate consultancy environment. To apply, please get in touch with Dr Matilda Andersson, attaching a CV and covering letter.

A couple more much-deserved promotions in our London office to report...

Laura Warby, previously an associate director, is promoted to business and strategy director, leading on developing relationships with new and existing clients across categories such as retail, FMCG, finance, media and alcohol.

Lucy Crotty, previously a senior consultant, is promoted to associate director, with a focus on brand and communications development/strategy work.

Well done both! We’re excited by what Laura and Lucy can bring to the business in their new roles, adding further to the craft and quality of our work.

If you're confident, culturally switched on (and speak French!) this is an amazing entry level role for you...

Joining our talented team in Hoxton Square, the successful candidate will get to work on fast-paced and highly stimulating projects for just about the most amazing array of brands in the world. You’ll be supported by senior team members to develop your insight and innovation skills, as you assist on a range of briefs across categories such as media, tech, retail, alcohol and entertainment brands. While a starter level role, the ideal candidate is likely to exhibit the following:

- Relevant work experience/placements/internships

- The confidence to take ownership and to face up to challenges

- Culturally aware and keen to learn how to apply that awareness to brand strategy

- Highly organised, with excellent attention to detail and the ability to work under pressure

- Someone who’s positive, keen to develop, and who can operate with equal ease as part of a team or working autonomously

- We require high-level French language abilities for this role

The role comes with a competitive salary/benefits; a clear path to promotion and the opportunity to grow and to learn in a first-rate consultancy environment. To apply, please get in touch with Dr Matilda Andersson, attaching a CV and covering letter.

We're seeking a skilled and passionate associate director to join our fast growing US team...

As a member of our team based in Cooper Square, in New York’s East Village, you’ll get to work on exciting and challenging projects for brands such as Spotify, Axe, IKEA and NFL. You’ll be an important part of a super smart and hugely creative global business, keen to forge new ways of working in the insight and innovation field.

You will report to our US director, making sure we deliver high quality work that embodies our principles of better thinking, being agile and ensuring impact. You will also support with business development, responding to briefs, designing projects, briefing in new commissions to the project teams and maintaining a strategic overview on live work.

Here’s what we’re looking for:

- You will need the confidence and necessary experience to take the controls of complex multi-market projects

- And to do so in a way that gets the best out of the wider project team, ensuring we are diligent and creative in equal measure

- Yes, you’re insightful and culturally aware, but you have a commercial brain, too; if you can show previous experience in something business development-related, that’s a plus

- This is a role for someone seriously pro-active and a natural at taking ownership

- An understanding of the type of brands and challenges that Crowd DNA gets involved with (look around this website if you need more of an idea) is important, as is evidence of how you’ve met business challenges in the past

- Showing you can be creative with research and are capable of gaining the trust of senior clients is key

- Moreover, we anticipate this role going to someone who relishes the fact that the world of ‘market research’ (we don’t much like that term…) is fast changing, and that factors such as strategic thinking, stakeholder engagement, storytelling and innovation are key to the future

We can promise a competitive salary and the opportunity to travel, working on future-facing projects in collaboration with an extremely gifted team. The associate director role will allow you to develop fast in a high energy business that’s notched up an amazing first six months in NYC. To apply for this role, please contact Hollie Jones with a copy of your CV and an example of written work.

A Guide To Crowd Workshops

Bringing together a room of people around cultural insight is great, but it's no easy job. Here’s a run-through on how we do it at Crowd...

It’s safe to say we’ve banked our fair share of workshop experience. Effective at any stage during a research project, we use them to lay cultural foundations and align teams around trends; to aid innovation processes and fuel product development; or to define strategic direction and land insight within a business. Whatever the workshop, it’s important that everyone, and everything, is rooted in cultural understanding from the start.

Clearly, there’s not one-size-fits-all. Different objectives will dictate the workshop structure and design, but we thought it worth getting down the most useful pointers nonetheless. When prepared carefully, there’s huge potential to be found within a room engaged in focussed, intensive discussion. Our job is to make sure everyone is engaged in the correct way, and that everyone leaves the room with solutions, a sense of ownership, and a clear path forward. Here’s some of the ways that we do that:

Aims and objectives

First up, it’s really important to understand the objectives. Sounds obvious, sure, but we start by asking exactly what it is we want to achieve. Aligning teams around cultural thinking requires a very different workshop to, say, coming up with a string of product innovations. Setting clear objectives also means that there’s something to measure success by at the end of the day (getting the room involved in this makes sure everyone leaves with a sense of satisfaction).

Equally important is understanding the audience. While it’s hard to get to know the entire attendee list, working out everyone’s relationship to the project, and to each other, helps identify goals and obstacles. Ideally, we try meet clients beforehand to gain an understanding of the group’s knowledge – there’s nothing worse than trying to educate experts or overestimating the inexperienced. We also like to put out an invitation letter, or a teaser video, or even a pre-task to get attendees thinking about the topic beforehand.  

Tasks and materials

Next, picking the right exercises is crucial. Simplicity is key, and every task – whether it’s sharing stories and identifying needs, or getting rid of negativity and barriers – must ladder up to the overall objective. We’re also big fans of workshop stimulus and find it really useful to ignite discussion and focus thinking. Innovation sessions might need materials that people can rip up and rebuild, while an audience immersion may require something more polished and complete. We’ve made all-sorts here at Crowd: magazines, stackable postcards, life-size portraits, prototyping materials to get people thinking with their hands – even an immersive installation of a teenage boy’s bedroom (complete with old pizza boxes and dirty socks).

Depending on the objective, we might bring some fresh perspectives into the conversation, too. Experts can aid with academic understanding, influencers can help steer topics, and we often call upon our CrowdStars network to join the party as well. If it makes sense within the workshop; the more brains around a topic, the better.

Structure and design

A successful session also has a lot to do with the flow. It’s good to mix between passive and active activities, broken up with plenty of breathing space. Speaking of which, we’ve been known to incorporate yoga and mindfulness training into our workshops – it really helps with concentration and keeping the energy levels up. Breaks are definitely not to be underestimated. We take care not to bombard people with information by mixing in a lot of brainstorming and discussion, and debate whether the conversation should be facilitator-led (good for working toward a specific outcome), or more natural and moved along by a moderator. Advance planning goes without saying (don’t forget the catering!), but we also create a checklist to correct any issues nearer the time. Are all the materials ready? Are the agendas printed? What about name-tags, camera-equipment, are there enough snacks?!

Then, it’s action time. At Crowd, we like to experiment with creative ways to capture the day. We film important sections and take photographs throughout, but we also work with live illustrators and creative writers to sketch out ideas and record details in inventive ways. This not only documents the workshop, but also provides great content that we can use within our project deliverables too. Win win.

If you’d like to find out more about Crowd workshops, please email hello@crowdDNA.com to have a chat and hopefully we’ll be workshopping with you in no time.