Northburgh House
10 Northburgh Street
London EC1V 0AT

Tel: +44 [0]20 7253 9900
Fax: +44 [0]20 7253 9911

Populus is a full service research and strategy consultancy. We are part of the Populus group which also includes Populus Data Solutions, the MRS award winning fieldwork and data collection agency.

What we believe

Since we set up in 2003, our goal has been to equip companies and individuals with a sophisticated understanding of their markets, audiences and brands.

We believe this Critical Knowledge has the power to shape a healthy political, social and economic environment.

In a market saturated with research agencies that simply deliver data, Populus stands out as a consultancy capable of delivering Critical Knowledge through expertise across political, reputation, corporate and consumer research and a leading edge suite of products and services.

What we value

As a trusted partner and adviser to many organisations whose activities directly impact society, we consider it our responsibility to ensure that our precise, expert judgements are derived purely from the highest quality evidence.

Our enquiring nature means we never stop seeking creative new ways to help our clients learn about the views that affect their organisation. We are ambitious for our clients and inspired by their needs. No matter the scope or complexity of their challenges, we carry out research projects that help our clients achieve success.

Who we are

Last year Populus was named the fastest growing research and insight agency by the MRS. We achieved this through the hard work and expertise of our team who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and industry sectors, and are trusted by our clients to help them tackle and solve their most important business challenges.

We work internationally and have conducted research in over 75 countries worldwide. Since our formation in 2003 we have built up a wide-ranging network of international partners so that we can ensure that the research we provide is of the highest possible quality.

Populus Group

Rita is Chairman of Populus and President of the Market Research Society.

She has been called ‘The doyenne of branding’ by Campaign magazine. She was London CEO then Chairman of Interbrand for over 15 years, and Vice Chairman and Strategy Director at Saatchi & Saatchi before that.

In addition to being Chairman of Populus, she has a portfolio of non-executive director roles, including Bupa and Nationwide, and she has recently taken up the Chairmanship of BrandCap, the board level brand consulting firm.

She is a regular media commentator and public speaker, and her writing has included the best-selling book ‘The Future of Brands’, and The Economist book ‘Brands & Branding’. Her pro bono roles include the boards of WWF, of the Henley Festival and as chair of the leading practical sustainability organisation The Conservation Volunteers.

She is also on the Advisory Board for BP’s carbon offset programme ‘Target Neutral’ and is Visiting Professor at Henley Business School.

Prior to co-founding Populus, Michael held a number of roles which brought home to him the importance of research and insight – what we have come to call Critical Knowledge – to ensuring success in politics, economics and business.

Having graduated from the University of Leeds and after spending time at a leading think tank, Michael worked as special adviser to three cabinet ministers and worked at the BBC’s Political Research Unit before becoming Deputy Director of the Conservative Research Department. Following the 1997 General Election, he was the Conservative Party’s Director of Membership and Marketing with responsibility for introducing a national membership database.

He set up Populus alongside Andrew Cooper in 2003 to help organisations, businesses and brands gain a detailed understanding of their markets and to put research at the heart of their business strategy. As Populus’s Chief Executive, Michael is passionate about providing talented people with the opportunity to build excellent careers.

When it comes to life and business, Michael credits US chat show host Conan O’Brien for the best advice he’s ever heard; “if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen”. A lifelong Arsenal supporter, he admires Arsène Wenger’s vision of how football should be played, his ability to implement it through all levels of the club and to inspire the loyalty of players both to his ethos and to the club. Michael strives to live and lead by these examples as he focuses on helping Populus grow and building a group of companies with the use or generation of insight at their heart.

Starting out in advertising, Michael swiftly established his own business, WCT Live, which became the largest independently owned live marketing company. Here he worked on Britain’s Presidency of the EC, the Hong Kong Handover Ceremony, and the Millennium project. During this time he forged close links with The Royal Household, particularly through his work on the Golden Jubilee Concerts at Buckingham Palace for which he was awarded the CVO. In 2012 he was Chief Executive of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames. In September 2012 Michael was appointed a Knight Commander of the Victorian Order. Michael sits on the Boards of numerous successful companies across the communications spectrum. As well as Populus, these include CTN, Aura, Unspun and The Leadership Agency.
Sue joined the Populus Board in 2013, having worked with us as a consultant for 8 years. She is a highly experienced finance director and currently holds that position at the communications agency Blue Rubicon. Prior to this, Sue worked for Blueprint, GPC International and InterBrand. A graduate of the University of Durham, Sue brings considerable financial experience to Populus’s Board and advises on all aspects of the company’s corporate strategy.

Duncan joined the Populus team in January 2015 having spent over 10 years working in a number of roles at WPP. He is an expert in consumer and shopper research who has delivered projects for many of the largest FMCG manufacturers and retailers including P&G, L’Oréal, Sainsbury’s and GSK. Whether he is helping businesses and brands to finesse their comms strategy in order to connect better with the customers, or develop an innovative new product, Duncan always aims to ensure that Populus’s research makes a quantifiable impact on our clients’ commercial performance.

As Populus’s Commercial Director, Duncan is responsible for driving the growth of the business, and spreading awareness of our expertise across target sectors, which include infrastructure, energy, retail and technology. He is a great believer in the power that Critical Knowledge has to help organisations overcome their business challenges and feels privileged to see Populus’s talented team working hard to uncover it every single day.

Duncan is also passionate about promoting and maintaining a positive team culture across the Populus brand and has set about achieving this through his obsession with one particular food item: the burger. He now organises an eagerly anticipated monthly burger club that has grown into a Populus lunchtime favourite in the past year.

Chris is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, with two main passions in life: finance and football. Exceptionally bright and competitive to a fault, Chris is unafraid of any challenge and consistently motivated to master new skills. He is certainly knows his way around a spreadsheet and is never happier than when he is using one to solve a financial conundrum. Chris’ desire to be the best extends to all types of sporting activities, but particularly football, and may go some way to explaining how this North London native ended up becoming a Manchester United fan.

Andrea has an insatiable appetite for all things cultural. In her spare time she loves to trawl through her favourite magazines and blogs to discover exciting new brands and products, as well as visiting the latest restaurants and exhibitions in town. She is a fashionista with a penchant for designers such as Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten and Saint Laurent; but, there is certainly more to Andrea than meets the eye. Not only is she fluent in Arabic and French, but prior to embarking on a career in market research, Andrea studied Human Genetics at the University of Nottingham, and later gained a PhD in Molecular Biology from Imperial College London. She joined Populus in the summer of 2015 as Business Development Director for the Business & Consumer Insight team, having gained 5 years’ experience in a similar role at Kantar Worldpanel UK.

Aman holds a first-class degree in Biology from the University of Manchester. As part of her course she carried out a placement as a science media researcher, which gave her a strong understanding of how to present complex research findings in the most accessible way possible. Her interest in research led her to join Kantar Worldpanel where she spent two years in the new business team, winning projects for FMCG brands such as R&R ice cream, Gü and Yeo Valley. She went on to join Populus’s Business Development team in December 2016 where she is now working to expand her knowledge of research methodologies and build relationships with an exciting portfolio of clients across a wide variety of sectors.

Once Aman puts her mind to something there’s no stopping her. Her all or nothing approach has obvious advantages in her line of work but it has made it tricky for her to find a happy medium between her two great loves; fitness and cake. For now Aman is very dedicated to her healthy regime but could it be just a matter of time before she swaps spirulina brownies for the real thing?

While studying for her BSc in Politics and International Relations at the University of Bath, Jess gained some impressive experience shadowing the Lieutenant Colonel of the British Army at NATO’s headquarters in Naples. After graduating in 2015, she then went on to study the effects of global terrorism on tourism as part of her MSc in International Management at the University of Exeter. Jess’ keen interest in politics and business, coupled with her confident and approachable manner, make her an ideal fit for her role as Business Development Executive at Populus where she works closely with our Reputation & Strategy experts to build strong relationships with clients seeking to improve their corporate reputation.

Jess is an accomplished skier who began hitting the slopes aged just three, worked her way up to black runs by the time she was seven and later skied competitively for the British School Girls Ski Racers. She’s visited many of the world’s top resorts such as Cervinia in Italy and Zermatt in the Swiss Alps but in her opinion nothing compares to Vail in Colorado.

With a BSc (Hons) in Accounting and Business Management, a year’s work placement as a Finance Analyst at The Walt Disney Company, and 3 years working within the WPP Group under her belt, Kayon joined Populus in 2014 as a Management Accountant. Since then she has certainly proven that not all accountants live up to the “boring” stereotype.

Kayon is never more animated than when speaking about her family and her Caribbean heritage. With a particular enthusiasm for Caribbean food, music, and rum, Kayon loves big family get-togethers and is a perfectionist when it comes to preparing the traditional meal of curry goat and rice & peas. As a mum of two, Kayon’s biggest motivation is her children, who she hopes will grow up to be as proud of their culture as she is.

Having graduated from the University of East Anglia with a degree in Economic, Anootan joined Populus in 2012 and is currently studying for her Association of Chartered Certifies Accountants (ACCA) qualifications.

Anootan has bravely set herself the onerous task of sampling the afternoon tea offerings at many of London’s most elegant establishments. But don’t be fooled into thinking Anootan’s palate is strictly traditional; she is a culinary explorer who isn’t afraid to try even the most unusual ingredients. Whale burger anyone? When in Iceland.

Ben’s passion for organisation led him to pursue a career in finance after completing his degree in Film at the University of Canterbury. Having started out close to home, holding an accounts role at nearby Cambridge Airport, Ben relocated to London where he gained further experience at Warner Music. However, despite the obvious perks of working for a multinational record label, Ben was eager to progress and joined the Populus finance team in January 2017. In his role as Purchase Ledger Assistant, Ben is now responsible for a range of tasks including bank reconciliations, payments, expenses and invoicing. He is enjoying the independent nature of the role and is looking forward to beginning studying for his accounting qualifications in the coming months.

As a lover of food, Ben is in excellent company at Populus. He enjoys cooking at home and is currently testing the theory that no meal can’t be improved by the addition of egg. So far eggy lasagne is the only dish to have fallen flat. Ben is also loving his new London life, which has opened up a new world of culinary delights that he has enjoyed sampling.

Having received a first class degree in Accounting & Finance from Swansea University in 2015, Matt immediately embarked on a career in finance at Connect Catering in his home county of Oxfordshire. Here Matt gained an excellent knowledge of a wide variety of responsibilities such as invoicing, VAT returns, bookwork, handling suppliers, credit control, online purchasing and training new staff. He joined Populus in January 2017 with a view to developing these skills and taking on the exciting challenges of being part of a finance team within a rapidly growing business.

Matt’s life outside of work largely revolves around sport, be it following Arsenal’s fortunes in the Premier League or making the occasional trip to Twickenham for England rugby internationals. He recently relocated to London from sleepy Oxfordshire and is so far loving the new fast-paced life of the capital and getting to grips with the city as a local.

Having joined Populus in 2006, Sacha is one of its longest serving employees, who has seen the business grow from having just four staff to a multi-disciplinary team of almost 50 research experts.

On top of her responsibility for ensuring the office and its staff are functioning smoothly, Sacha has overseen a total of three office refurbishment projects during her time at Populus, with the latest providing stunning new reception, kitchen and open plan areas. Needless to say, there are very few questions on office administration and equipment that Sacha cannot answer, and while her to do list seems never-ending at times, she loves that her work allows her to get to know everyone in the business.

It bodes well for Sacha that her organisational skills are first rate; they are equally as vital outside of work when she’s acting as PA, chauffeur and chef to her sporty daughter. Is it any wonder that, given the chance, Sacha would most like to check herself into a spa and just put her feet up.

Rob joined Populus in 2016 to provide essential IT support across our growing business. Rob gained a BSc Hons in IT & Networking at the University of Middlesex, he then joined IT service provider 3Gi where his role as senior 2nd Line Engineer enabled him to develop his experience of fixing broad range of IT issues at client sites all over London. Since Rob embarked on the challenge of IT management at Populus, his knowledge and exceptional problem-solving ability have already helped the business make significant improvements. His desire to help people is always apparent and our entire team have benefited from his support on a daily basis. In addition to his enquiring mind, Rob is also in possession of some inquisitive taste buds. He is a culinary explorer who loves to delve into unchartered territory; he recently set himself the challenge of trying a new type of cuisine for dinner every night for a week and is experimenting with supper clubs where up and coming chefs invite people into their homes / unique spaces to test out new recipes. Rob is an adventurous cook himself whose favourite past time is inventing dishes from whatever random collection of ingredients he can find in the fridge, most of which sound tasty, but the jury is still out on his questionable tuna, crab stick and raisin salad.

As Executive Assistant to Populus’s Chief Executive Michael Simmonds, Emily is able to put her obsession with organisation and planning to good use. She is Michael’s right-hand woman, with responsibility for managing his busy diary, assisting in the creation and implementation of company policies and liaising with other board members.

Emily caught the travelling bug after graduating from the University of Portsmouth. Not only did she spend eight months backpacking through all of Central and South America, she even called the beautiful Mexican city of Oaxaca (that’s “Wahaca” to those not in the know) home for a year. Despite claiming that she went to Mexico for the food and sunshine, this was no prolonged beach trip. In fact, during her time there, Emily worked for a small NGO that helped start-ups and small business get off the ground with interest-free loans, learnt to speak Spanish, wrote content for a travel website and still found time to write her own blog about the joys of ex-pat life in Mexico.

Pari is an experienced HR professional with a diploma in Employment Law. Having begun her career as a HR Assistant at TBWA, Pari spent four years working as an HR Advisor at media agency, Starcom Mediavest Group, during which time she saw the company expand from 300 to 600 members of staff. She joined Populus as our dedicated HR Manager in September 2016, a role that she is ideally suited to thanks to her adaptable nature and ability to build strong relationships across teams. Day-to-day Pari will be in charge of Populus’ HR policies, streamlining our recruitment process and running our training programmes.

Being HR Manager of a rapidly expanding business like Populus is a challenge, but it sounds like a relative stroll in the park compared to the summer Pari had prior to joining us, during which time she went to a total of 11 weddings! In fact, Pari is such a wedding pro that she managed to make it to two weddings in two countries within 36 hours or each other. Fortunately, Pari loves to travel, be it on luxurious trips to Barbados, Dubai or Las Vegas, or Kenya, where she and her family have done charity work for a variety of causes including helping remote villages gain access to water and with providing disabled people with artificial limbs.

Stephanie has a BSc in Marketing Management from Lancaster University, as part of which she completed a one year internship within the video games division of entertainment giant Warner Bros. During her time there she gained fantastic experience working on the launch of well-known games such as Mortal Kombat, Batman Arkham City and LEGO Harry Potter. Stephanie travelled extensively after her degree and spent time working in retail and visual merchandising for White Stuff in her hometown of Cheltenham before the bright lights of the capital came calling. Having moved to London in 2016, Stephanie joined Populus as our Receptionist & Administration Assistant and now finds herself undertaking a huge variety of tasks including all front of house duties as well as assisting our Office Manager and the Finance team. Stephanie is in good company at Populus. Like many members of the team, she has a creative side which she likes to let loose on her beloved sewing machine. Admittedly, Stephanie is finding she has less time to indulge in her passion now that she has to balance it with her new busy London social life, but her family and friends can rest assured that they can still expect to receive cushions – Stephanie’s speciality - as Christmas and birthday gifts for many years to come.
Reputation & Strategy

Populus’s co-founder Andrew Cooper (Lord Cooper of Windrush) brings over 20 years’ experience applying the insights of sophisticated research to strategy and advising a wide range of senior corporate and political clients how to manage and enhance their reputation among the audiences that matter to them.

Andrew set up Populus in 2003 alongside Michael Simmonds in order to apply the techniques of political research to the reputation and brand challenges faced by corporate clients. He believes that in a market where so many research companies simply provide clients with large amounts of complex data and information, Populus’s experts stand out thanks to their ability to uncover the purest insight and having the courage to present these often uncomfortable truths to major clients.

Between March 2011 and October 2013, Andrew took a leave of absence from Populus to serve as the Prime Minister’s Director of Strategy at Number Ten Downing Street. As well as being a regularly published commentator on public opinion and strategy, Andrew is a visiting lecturer on political campaigning at LSE and a Visiting Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford, lecturing on opinion research and politics.

Rick specialises in designing and delivering research programmes, evaluating and advising on corporate reputation, issue management and strategic communication.

Before joining Populus in 2004, Rick co-founded the Social Market Foundation and, as its Director, developed it into Britain’s pre-eminent cross party think tank. He went on to become Director of the Conservative Research Department where he ran the Party’s polling and advertising campaigns, as well as acting as speechwriter and adviser to successive Conservative Party leaders. He is also a former Times new technology journalist of the year and a regular commentator on public attitudes.

As Managing Director of Populus’s Reputation and Strategy division Rick has more than a decade’s worth of experience of formulating, presenting and researching into corporate strategy and public policy. He leads a team of expert researchers and strategists helping clients such as Sky, the Premier League, the BBC and RBS reach an intelligent understanding of the attitudes and values of key stakeholders. He firmly believes that research is a means to an end rather than an end in itself, and is driven to help clients use the Critical Knowledge provided by Populus to bring their strategies and campaigns to life.

Laurence joined Populus’s Reputation & Strategy team in 2006. He is primarily focused on helping clients to develop and implement evidence-based strategies to best communicate their messages, manage their reputations and understand their key audiences.

Many well-established corporate clients such as Asda, Google, Sky, and RBS, as well as public bodies like the BBC and The Charity Commission and several political parties and campaigns have benefited from Laurence’s strategic counsel and expertise in a wide range of research techniques including stakeholder audits, key driver and segmentation analysis, political polling, and deliberative events.

Laurence graduated from the University of Southampton with a First Class degree in Politics and International Relations, and is a member of the Association for Qualitative Research and the Market Research Society, holding its Advanced Certificate at Merit Level.

Like many members of the Populus team, Laurence has a naturally inquiring mind; he loves to know how things work and his fascination with why people think the way they do makes him an incredibly thorough and inquisitive. He is also a regular media commentator and conference speaker who enjoys exploring a wide variety of topics with the aim of using evidence to challenge previously held conceptions.

David is responsible for Populus’s industry studies, which help clients in a range of sectors, including banking, insurance, food manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and retail, to benchmark their corporate reputations and understand the attitudes of key stakeholders that impact on their industry.

He has over 20 years of experience advising global organisations on developing and maintaining resilient corporate reputations. Prior to joining Populus in 2009, David was a Director and owner of CSS, a specialist professional services sector research consultancy that was acquired by TNS, where he became responsible for the Professional Services Division. He has also worked as a Research Director of Ipsos MORI’s Reputation Centre with responsibility for the Key Audience Research programme.

A graduate of Durham University, where he completed both a BA and an MA in Classics, David also holds the Market Research Society’s Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research.

Since joining Populus in 2011, David has worked on a broad range of projects including managing stakeholder audits that have informed the public engagement strategies of the UK’s largest high street banks; nationwide qualitative research into public attitudes towards the EU; and international research on the future of the web for Telefonica Digital.

David is a football fan with a unique insight into the Barclays Premier League, for whom he manages Populus’s extensive programme of domestic and international research among both fans and senior stakeholders.

Owen joined Populus in 2010 after completing his Masters in International Public Policy at UCL and graduating with a first class degree from Cardiff University.

In his role as Senior Consultant, Owen works on and manages a wide variety of stakeholder, political and reputation research projects that aim to equip clients with a better understanding of the issues that matter most to them and their stakeholders. He is a key member of the Reputation & Strategy team who has developed his expertise overseeing qualitative workshops and consultations, examining the reputation of some of the UK’s largest companies among political stakeholders and conducting extensive research into senior opinion-formers’ attitudes towards the post-crash economy.

Owen enjoys competition and dedicates most of his free time to playing and watching sport. His Welsh roots meant he was brought up on a strict diet of rugby from a young age; he is an avid London Welsh supporter who admits that he also spends many of his waking moments worrying about the form of the Welsh national team.

Daisy has a strong track record in politics and campaigning having worked on a variety of UK political campaigns, including the 2007 Welsh Assembly elections, the 2010 General Election and the successful No to AV campaign. Before joining Populus in 2013, Daisy also ran grassroots consultation and policy research as Director of the Conservative Policy Forum, spent time at a number of high-profile think-tanks and rose to the position of Research Director at the influential Centre for Policy Studies in July 2010.

Daisy’s fascination with how things work certainly explains why she chose a career in research.  When she’s not investigating the complex attitudes and emotions that form people’s views about anything and everything, Daisy indulges her inquiring nature in the kitchen, where she’s currently mastering the art of artisan cheese making. While most are aware that Daisy is turning her South London flat into River Cottage, many may not know that Daisy in fact spent some years as a teenager living on the River Thames on a Dutch barge with dubious plumbing.

Having completed her politics degree at Queen's University, Canada, Claudia made her way to London to study for a Masters in European Public Policy at UCL. From there it seemed a natural progression to begin her career at London think tank Policy Network where she was able to continue expanding her political knowledge, specialising in populism, democracy and political economy. In 2015, Claudia published her first book The populist signal: why politics and democracy need to change, which examines the political drivers for populism in the UK whilst outlining democratic strategies to tackle them. Claudia joined Populus’s Reputation & Strategy as a Consultant in May 2016 having chosen to focus her research expertise on the private sector.

Claudia is certainly one of the more international members of our team. The child of Polish parents, she grew up in Toronto, and has spent time living in Scotland and France, as well as London. The launch of her book also gave her the opportunity to speak at conferences all over Europe. Of all the places she’s visited Claudia considers Japan to be her favourite for its fascinating mix of modernity and traditional culture. Currently the west coast of her native Canada is at the top of her travel bucket list.

After graduating from Cambridge in 2010, James spent time in the Economics unit of think tank Policy Exchange. Thereafter he worked as an investment banker at JP Morgan and Rothschild for 3 years, where he worked across the private and public sectors.

James joined Populus in September 2014 to grow the business’ analytics capabilities. He conducts a mixture of both political and commercial analysis, which aims to help clients cut through the complexity of the data derived from quantitative research. The insight he uncovers through a variety of techniques including regression, segmentation and key driver analysis enables political campaigns to target and identify voters, model demographic trends and assess voting intention. He particularly enjoys applying political analysis techniques to help corporate clients to achieve their commercial objectives.

On top of his analytical expertise, James is also a classically trained singer who travelled the world singing professionally and making numerous TV and radio appearances until his early 20s. He now sings with the Kings College Cambridge Choir and deuputises at some of London’s cathedrals, including St. Pauls. James is also a big cricket fan who considers himself quite the leg spin specialist and plays with a group of friends at fundraising games every weekend during the summer.

Amelia joined Populus in 2013 after graduating with a First class degree in Politics from the University of Exeter, as well as completing research placements in the office of Ben Bradshaw MP and at the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology in Brussels. During her time at Populus she has worked on a broad range of stakeholder audits and reputation tracker projects for clients such as the BBC, Sky, Saga and Asda.

A talented amateur artist, Amelia loves to spend her free time sketching and painting portraits, especially of her favourite subject and muse, Archie, the Evans family’s beloved Border Terrier. She is also a budding collector that has already amassed an eclectic assortment of treasures from her travels through Africa, Singapore and Brazil.

Chloë joined Populus in 2014 and has since taken responsibility for managing the MP, Future Parliament and Local Planning panels. While she enjoys probing the attitudes of UK policy makers, her true passion for politics lies stateside. As part of her degree in American Studies, Chloë spent a year studying at the University of California, during which time she had the opportunity to pay an inspiring visit to Washington DC. It was here that she decided her dream job would be to work in Congress as a legislative assistant. For now though, Chloë is making do with getting her political kicks from box sets of The West Wing and House of Cards and avidly following the current presidential race.

Celia graduated from the University of Exeter in 2013 having completed a BA in English and Spanish for which she spent a year living and studying in Madrid. After working at an online media monitoring company, Celia joined Populus in 2014 where she has since conducted industry studies for the beauty and hygiene sector as well as extensive research projects for established clients BT and the Premier League. In 2016, Celia completed the MRS Certificate, for which she received a distinction.

Celia has long dreamt of becoming a world-famous popstar but, by her own admission, possesses no musical talent. This was confirmed to her at the age of 17 when she and her friend Jess auditioned for The X Factor as the imaginatively named duo Jescelia. Their dreams of stardom were scuppered after 4 hours of queuing in the rain when their rendition of Jamelia’s “Superstar” failed to strike a chord with the producer. Fortunately, Celia’s research skills far outweigh her ability to carry a tune.

Prior to joining Populus in 2015, Max gained a BA in Politics from the University of Newcastle and an MA in Political Research from the University of York, both of which prove useful when exploring attitudes to policies and organisations in his role as Research Executive. As well as being a political aficionado, one might say that Max attracts his own fans as the drummer of a four-piece post-punk rock band. Having grown up obsessively hunting for new bands and hidden musical gems, Max and his bandmates now play their own sets for rowdy crowds at a random selection of venues and events, including a dilapidated industrial estate in Peckham and VW Fest; Europe’s largest mini camper van festival.

Will joined Populus’s Reputation and Strategy team as a Research Executive in 2015. He graduated from Durham University with a first class degree in English Literature. He has worked for a number of television and business organisations including the BBC, where he was made a member of its Production Talent Pool.

His key interests are in understanding and influencing public opinion, and analysing trends in politics, society and the media.

He is interested in the modern challenges that companies and governments face as a result of increasingly globalised economies and social change. He has a strong knowledge of the rapidly evolving media and creative sectors, alongside other industries at the forefront of technological development.

He also enjoys understanding different cultures, and has previously carried out voluntary work in Romania.

As part of his BSc in Politics with International Relations, Jake explored the theme of valence politics by conducting an in-depth study of the Labour Party between 2010 – 2014. Using a logistic regression to identify the key drivers behind a voting decision, Jake assessed Labour’s performance in the areas of economic and leadership competence to predict their performance at the 2015 General Election. After leaving university Jake spent time working at Network Rail where he was responsible for managing stakeholder relations with MPs, local authorities, businesses and residents affected by a power supply project on the East Coast Main Line. Jake’s interest in both politics and stakeholder management make him well-suited to a career at Populus. Since joining in 2015 he has worked closely with our Head of Analytics to develop statistical models for electoral targeting and delivered stakeholder research for key corporate clients such as RBS, the BBC and the Premier League. Despite growing up in Yorkshire, Jake is a lifelong Arsenal fan and proud member of the Yorkshire Arsenal Supporters’ Club. In the past he enjoyed travelling to watch the Gunners with his Dad; however, Jake has his principles and has not been to The Emirates for some time as a protest against what he deems to be Arsène Wenger’s weak and stubborn management style. Hopefully Jake won’t have to wait too long to go and cheer on his favourite team again. Maybe when Wenger finally decides to buy a decent centre-half…
Ben joined Populus in 2016 having gained a degree in Modern Middle Eastern History from the University of Manchester, and later completing a Masters in Social & Political Theory. While studying for his Masters, Ben explored the factors influencing voting behaviour in the 2015 elections and built regression models to explore how views affect party support. At Populus, Ben is now widening his private sector research expertise. In particular he has been able to hone his interviewing technique whilst conducting a key stakeholder audit for BT and is currently working to grow his analytics capabilities. A Norwich native, Ben moved to London shortly before joining Populus and spends much of his spare time exploring the city from his new Peckham base. So far he has loved living in the Big Smoke thanks to its seemingly inexhaustible variety of things to do and the high likelihood of discovering unexpected hidden gems while trundling around town on his trusty bicycle.

While studying for his BA in Design for Industry at Northumbria University, Sanjan had the opportunity to design services, products and user interfaces for multinational business such as Mars, Unilever and Phillips. His degree gave him a solid understanding of how to interpret client briefs, identify problems and use design thinking to generate solutions, skills which he went on to develop in other roles at Mars Chocolate, design innovation company Wood for Trees and London PR agency Dimoso.

With an MA in Politics, Philosophy, Economics from the University of York, his interest in both politics and organisational change led him to a career in Populus’s Reputation and Strategy team, which he joined in September 2016. Sanjan is now responsible for managing Populus’s MP Panel and has delivered projects for clients such as RBS, Premier League and Sainsbury’s.

As his background might suggest, Sanjan is extremely creative. He has a particular passion for painting and hopes to hone his skills on an art course in the coming year. Sanjan is also a keen cook and a big fan of Persian cuisine, thanks to its huge variety of dishes that he enjoys taking the time to make and share with friends.

Business & Consumer Insight

Gary is an associate member of the Market Research Society with over 20 years’ research experience and a PhD from Middlesex University. He is an expert in customer experience measurement and new product development, having conducted major market research programmes on behalf of a number of blue chip clients.

As Managing Director of Populus’s Business & Consumer Insight division, Gary is responsible for driving the team to deliver the highest quality insight and exceed client expectations wherever possible. His experience has given him a deep appreciation of the power research has to help all types of enterprises in building impactful brands, launching successful new products, enhancing their customer’s experience and generating new business.

Gary has ambitious plans for the growth of the Business & Consumer Insight team and is motivated to increase industry awareness of Populus’s wide range of market research expertise.  Whether at work or play, Gary is always keen to seek out a challenge; he regularly takes part in long-distance cycling Sportives and next year is planning to attempt the iconic Tour de France cycling route up Alpe d’Huez.

Ian joined Populus as a Director in 2013 after leading the Customer research team within the MediaCT division. He has 17 years’ research experience with particular expertise in the media, entertainment, gaming and digital sectors.

As the head of Populus’s expanding quantitative research team, Ian is passionate about finding innovative and bespoke research solutions that tackle clients’ complex business challenges. These often involve the use of new technologies; for example, Ian and the team designed an app-based journey diary for Transport Focus, which enabled them to assessed rail customers’ experience based on their emotions. He particularly enjoys statistically challenging projects such as a recent product development study the team conducted for Westfield, which aimed to assess the future of retail, as well as projects that merge different areas of expertise and sector knowledge.

Andy joined Populus in 2013 as Head of Qualitative Research, having previously built and headed qualitative units at YouGov and Research International.

He brings with him a wealth of experience in UK and international consumer research, with a proven track record for helping companies identify innovation opportunities, develop new products, evolve their brands and communicate more effectively, particularly in the food & drink, customer experience and media sectors. In addition to his client work, Andy regularly speaks at research conferences and publishes articles on a range of subjects including the McDonaldisation of Consumer Insight, TV Viewer research events and Critical Marketing.

When Andy is not travelling up and down the country conducting interviews and focus groups, he likes to dabble in a spot of luthiery which, for those that are unfamiliar with the term, is the craft of making stringed instruments. He is currently in the early stages of constructing a mandolin and intends to one day try his hand at violins.

Director of Analytics Karsten Shaw joined Populus having spent over a decade working in the prestigious Marketing and Data Sciences team at GfK, where he worked on a variety of projects for clients in the media, technology, finance and public sectors to name a few. At Populus, Karsten will be responsible for devising innovative and exciting analytics solutions to help clients to better understand their audience, assess the efficiency of their marketing activities, improve customer satisfaction and more. Karsten is passionate about numbers and has an incredible eye for detail. He firmly believes that no one should be afraid of data and loves to help colleagues and clients feel more confident about unlocking the stories it holds.

Karsten was described by his previous colleagues as ‘professor-like’. This may not be far off considering he teaches an undergraduate course in market research in the Department of Statistics at LSE. He is also the Chairman of the Harrow School of Gymnastics Club where the U12 British champion and a number of GB national squad members train.

Hamish joined Populus in January 2017 to lead the growing brand and comms team within our Business and Consumer Insight Division. Driven by his desire to know exactly what attracts consumers to brands, Hamish has gained a wealth of brand research experience, delivering projects for the likes of GSK, Paddy Power, Twinings and Nissan at some of the world’s most established agencies. Hamish also has an exceptional track record for developing and implementing new research approaches having originated SPA Future Thinking’s brand equity offering BrandBox, and subsequently acting as regional lead for Millward Brown’s brand equity database BrandZ.

In his role as Director of Brand Research at Populus, Hamish will be responsible for managing key accounts and is working to develop Populus’s own tools for assessing the way that people feel about brands and improving brand performance.

Brands aside, Hamish’s other great love is food. He admits to not being the best home cook but this is of little concern to Hamish whose penchant for fine dining has led him to some of the top restaurants in town including L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Pétrus and Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester.  Le Gavroche, The French Laundry and The Fat Duck are all next on his hit list.

Tom graduated in 2006 after studying Law at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. In 2014, he joined Populus’s Market Insight team having previously worked on the BBC’s Children’s Audiences, and Future Media Audiences teams, during which time he conducted digital research projects that focused on increasing the reach of the BBC’s digital portfolio.

As Research Manager within Populus’s qualitative team, Tom now enjoys travelling around the country conducting focus groups and interviews to find out what shapes the attitudes of people from all different backgrounds, for clients including Johnston Press, Thames Water and BT.

Tom is a big football fan who has loved Tottenham Hotspur since age 6, despite growing up in York. Sadly, Tom’s favourite players Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne left the club shortly after his decision to become a supporter, they haven’t won the FA Cup since and he is still on the waiting list for a season ticket.

Laura is an experienced quantitative researcher who spent over two years in the TNS Technology team running studies from ad hoc strategic projects to international trackers. Prior to joining Populus in early 2015, she worked in the Media and Technology team at SPA Future Thinking where she specialised in brand research. Throughout her career in research, Laura has developed her expertise in uncovering clear, actionable insight from complex data for a range of clients including BT and EDF Energy.

All of our researchers have a natural curiosity; Laura’s took her to Japan where she lived for 3 years teaching English and learning about her own Japanese heritage, which she mostly achieved by eating all manner of unusual ingredients such as raw horse, fish guts, tripe and chicken hearts. Along with her love of Japanese cuisine, Laura also brought back a husband who later went on to win MasterChef and has recently opened a London restaurant with a menu inspired by the dishes they enjoyed together on their travels.

Tom started his career with TNS where he specialised in innovation within the consumer sector and worked as part of the Global Corporate Development team, supporting the role out of a companywide growth strategy and rebrand across 80 markets.

He holds the Market Research Society Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice as well as a BA in Marketing Management from the University of Newcastle Upon-Tyne. He joined Populus in 2014 and now manages a number of quantitative research projects for top clients in the energy, telecoms and sport sectors.

A fun bit of Tom trivia is that he is in fact a very distant relative of the great 18th-century British explorer Captain James Cook. However, given the chance to do any job in the world, Tom would not choose to follow in the footsteps of his distinguished ancestor, and instead would prefer to trade places with celebrity chef James Martin to show off his own culinary prowess on Saturday Kitchen.

Since joining Populus in 2010, Helen has delivered numerous quantitative research projects for a diverse range of clients including Which?, uSwitch, the Arts Council, Ofcom and Thames Water. She holds a Masters in Sociological Research from the University of Manchester, where she also completed a degree in Politics and Modern History, and gained the Market Research Society’s Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice in 2012.

Helen’s big appetite for new experiences has taken her to a host of inspiring destinations ranging from Sa Pa, Vietnam’s idyllic rice fields to the film set streets of New York. While Peru, Russia and Iceland feature highly on her bucket list of places to go, Helen is a proud northerner and considers the Northumberland coastline to be among the most beautiful places she’s ever been.

Emma joined Populus as Associate Director within our Business & Consumer Insight team in March 2016 having gained 10 years' research experience working at GfK and MMR. Since then she has worked on a number of large scale online, tracker, ad hoc, B2B and consumer research projects for clients such as BT, Network Rail, Smart Energy and The Pensions Regulator. Emma is passionate about unpicking the complex stories and actionable insights hidden within large data sets and presenting these to clients in the simplest and most relatable way possible.

When she’s not delivering segmentations, Emma can be found on stage as part of a 35 piece, all women barbershop chorus, for whom she is both Assistant Director & Choreographer and leader of the tenor section. A classically trained singer, Emma has performed and competed at an international level and will even be travelling to Las Vegas with her chorus to battle it out for the title of best international barbershop harmony.

Jamie received a BA in Sociology from the University of Sussex, where he enjoyed having the freedom to carry out independent projects that involved shaping and conducting his own primary research. After graduating, Jamie spent a brief spell exploring the job market before joining global market research company TNS, where he set about pursuing his interest in research. Here, he worked on numerous projects for FMCG and Retail clients, developing his expertise in research methodologies such as new product development and comms testing. Jamie joined Populus’s Business & Consumer Insight team in 2016 with a view to helping clients across a wide range of clients to understand what is driving their audiences and use this insight to overcome their strategic challenges.

Jamie’s enthusiasm is infectious. A man of eclectic tastes, he speaks with equal amounts of gusto on all manner of unrelated obsessions from TV chef James Martin, Iron Maiden and, curiously, the Eurovision song contest. Football also comes pretty high up the list of Jamie’s favourite things. An avid Arsenal fan, Jamie has also dabbled in football coaching and spent three months running a project called Double Club, which helped children struggling to learn English by teaching them with a focus on football to make it as engaging as possible, and always with the promise of a kick about after class.

After completing a BA in History at the University of Exeter, Freddie began his career at market research agency BrainJuicer, where he managed a number of large brand trackers and ad-hoc projects, focusing particularly on ad testing and concept screening within the FMCG sector. He joined Populus’ quantitative research team as a Senior Research Executive in 2016 and now works on a number of large-scale trackers and campaign & proposition evaluations for clients such as King, BT Sport and ESPN. Freddie has developed a knack for condensing large data sets and uncovering actionable insights that he feels passionate about presenting to clients.

Freddie is an avid Chelsea supporter, horse racing aficionado and all-round lover of sport. Not content with simply watching, he loves to take part himself as a member of the Populus football team. He has also signed up for the Wales 14 Peaks Challenge in July and the Dublin Marathon in October this year. We wish him luck!

Since joining Populus in December 2015, Rosie has delivered qualitative projects for established clients such as Thames Water, Westfield, ADT, King and BT. As well as being passionate about understanding behaviours and opinions, she is particularly interested in using new methodologies such as online communities and social media listening to offer fresh perspectives and complement traditional qualitative research

Given her background, it is not surprising that Rosie found her calling as a market researcher. In fact it runs in the family. With researchers for parents, Rosie grew up in a house filled with stimulus and often found herself being used as the guinea pig for testing focus group techniques. She even recalls qualitative methods being deployed as a means of reaching important life decisions; flip charts, post-its workshops and all.

Adam is a History graduate from Leeds Beckett University who completed an internship in the editorial team at audience engagement agency Protein prior to joining Populus as a Graduate Research Executive in 2015. Having enjoyed conducting oral testimony work as part of his degree, Adam knew he would be suited to a career in qualitative research and is currently working within a team of industry leaders to develop his fieldwork and analytical expertise.

It is easy to see what a passionate individual Adam is even after the briefest of conversations. As well as being more politically engaged than most and a regular at party conferences and political talks, Adam is obsessed with great design, which he believes has the power to make the world a much better place when done right. A keen writer and photographer, Adam also posts about his favourite artsy and retail finds on the creative blog No Culture Icons.

Catherine graduated with a BSc in Geography in the summer of 2015. As part of her degree, she developed a keen interest in research whilst conducting a qualitative and quantitative study on the professionalization of charity shops. This experience enabled her to develop her questionnaire design, ethnography and interviewing skills, as well as a fascination with discovering unexpected trends within data. She joined Populus in 2015 where she is building her quantitative expertise for clients including EDF Energy, BT TV and Transport Focus.

While many students take up bar work to make their pocket money during the holidays, Catherine decided she’d go further afield to work at Universal Studios, Florida, ruthlessly hunting down the estimated 30,000 counterfeit tickets that attempt to pass through the gates each year. It turns out that Catherine comes from a family of theme park enthusiasts who jet to Orlando every year seeking thrills on the latest rides and old favourites like Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Rollin Roller Coaster.

After gaining an MSc in Applied Social Research from Trinity College Dublin and spending a year at Chime Communications, Tim joined Populus in August 2015, where he now works as part of the quantitative research team. He enjoys both the fast-pace and the commercial focus of the projects he delivers, which have included an extensive customer experience tracker for BT Sport that assesses attitudes towards changes to television rights as well as competition among sports channels, and an engagement tracker for smart meter roll out campaign Smart Energy GB.

Whilst at University, Tim found himself working designing stage sets for a huge variety of well-known plays, operas and pantos at a major theatre in Dublin. Despite mostly remaining behind the scenes, Tim did make several on-stage appearances in the last panto that he worked on, dancing whilst dressed as a giant potato in front of thousands of people. Perhaps it was the fear of being typecast that eventually convinced Tim to pursue a career in market research.

At the age of 10, whilst on a family trip to Egypt, Ryan became separated from his father during a tour of a pyramid. Lost and alone, Ryan used this moment of peace and quiet to read the guide book cover to cover; a potentially traumatic experience that in fact sparked an enduring passion for antiquity that lead Ryan to gain a degree in Classical & Archaeological Studies from the University of Kent. Ryan’s interest in revealing cultural stories has translated well into his work as a Research Executive at Populus where he is driven to help clients and their marketing teams uncover their own stories to understand their customers’ needs and opinions. He is both detail oriented and creative and has enjoyed delivering projects for clients such as Thames Water, Nectar and Sky Media. Classical civilisations and consumer research aside, Ryan is a huge Harry Potter fan who even reached the final regional auditions to star as the boy wizard himself. Ryan probably would have also done well in the director’s chair thanks to his vivid imagination and strong ideas on how the world of Hogwarts should have been depicted, many of which are unfortunately at odds with the films, a source of much indignation for this die hard aficionado.

Florence joined Populus in 2016 having begun her career at Surrey-based consultancy Impact Research. While market research may not seem the obvious career choice for someone with a degree from the University of Sheffield and an MSt from the University of Oxford, both in Classical Archaeology, Florence makes a convincing argument for the two fields being extremely similar. After all, both assess human behaviour and aim to uncover what influences consumer choices, albeit in very different time periods. Since joining our Business & Consumer Insight team, Florence has worked on a range of projects involving ad and brand trackers, event testing, new product development, product trials and usage and attitude testing. She particularly enjoys delivering projects that help clients overcome the challenges presented by changes in the law and new regulations.

Much to their landlord’s delight, Florence and her housemates are keen crafters and are likely to be found of an evening curled up on the sofa knitting. Florence is the crochet expert of the bunch. While most of her generation would consider crocheting to be somewhat of a dark art, Florence can crochet anything from hats to Star Wars characters and is working her way up to the arduous task of creating a giant granny blanket.


Chris brings over 10 years’ experience in consumer and omnibus research, during which time he has built an outstanding reputation for delivering high-quality, domestic and international research for hundreds of clients from blue chip companies to PR and communications agencies.

With considerable experience in devising research that delivers the credible insight clients need to drive powerful PR campaigns, develop successful new products and shape messages that resonate with target audiences, Chris is passionate about delivering reliable research that the public can trust.

Since joining Populus in 2014, Chris has succeeded in building the capabilities and reputation of the Omnibus team, significantly increasing its contribution to the business’ turnover and growing its extensive client base, which now includes well-known organisations such as EDF, Which? and IGD.

Rosie joined Populus in 2013 and now manages Populus’s domestic and international omnibus research for hundreds of clients ranging from blue chip companies to leading PR and comms agencies. Specialising in high-quality, fast-turnaround research that delivers powerful and accurate insight, Rosie has helped the likes of Google, the AA, Which? and EDF Energy to assess the attitudes of even the hardest to reach consumers and members of the public.

She holds an MSc in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics, for which she interviewed women in her local community in order to complete her dissertation on street harassment. Prior to this, Rosie gained a first class BA from the University of Birmingham.

Rosie is a keen baker who loves spending time in the kitchen which she shares with a sourdough starter culture. She is passionate about bread and has previously been able to pass on her knowledge by teaching a bread making class as part of the TimeBank volunteering initiative. Rosie also has a keen sense of community and is a founding member of a local documentary club.

Helen completed a BA in French at the University of Leeds, which included living in Paris for a year where she worked as a teaching assistant. Having subsequently studied for a masters in Management at Warwick Business School, Helen began her career at Millward Brown where she was largely responsible for managing brand and ad tracking projects for a variety of Unilever brands such as Persil, Ben & Jerry’s and Cornetto. Helen then moved to KPMG Numwood where she enjoyed uncovering insights for key client British Airways by tracking their customers’ experience of a variety of channels including their website, social media and contact centres. In January 2017, Helen joined Populus’s Omnibus team where she helps a variety of businesses and brands to uncover the insight they need to achieve their objectives.

Helen is very active in her spare time and enjoys spinning and running as well as playing netball with old school friends. She is also an accomplished pianist and plays keyboard in a band. Their sets include an eclectic mix of songs by the likes of B.B. King, Fleetwood Mac and The Clash, and they could be coming to a pub near you.

As part of her degree in Economics with French at the University of Nottingham, Alex spent a year studying in Tolouse as well as conducting research on the impact of malaria on Nigerian households for her dissertation. She completed an internship at Unilever prior to joining Populus as a Graduate Research Executive in 2015 where she has already delivered a broad range of topical, fast-turnaround research projects for clients such as Mind, ODEON and ASOS.

Alex is also a self-taught acoustic guitarist with a folksy taste in music. Her ambition is to travel around the world and write a cook book that features recipes of her take on the best dishes she sampled on her travels.

While completing her degree in Psychology at the University of Leeds, Kate spent a year working as a social researcher at NatCen where she developed a firm understanding of questionnaire development and testing. She joined the Populus Omnibus team in the summer of 2015 and has so far enjoyed working on a wide variety of fast-paced projects for clients such as the AA, MHP and EDF.

Outside of work, Kate is a very serious gig-goer who has collected around 160 ticket stubs since attending her first concert when she was just 6 years old. She may be petite but Kate is not afraid to muscle her way to the front to take incredible snaps of her favourite artists for her (pretty epic) Flickr account. Kate has seen a long list of big names including Drake, Eminem, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry; however, sadly, it is unlikely that her stub collection will ever feel complete until Wham! decide to reunite.

Work for us

Populus is passionate about providing talented people with rewarding careers. We admire enthusiastic, reliable individuals who are motivated to learn and never stop asking questions.

If you would like to apply, please send your CV and cover letter in an email to jobs@populus.co.uk with the job role that you are applying in the subject of the email.

Qualitative Director

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Internship - Business & Consumer Insight

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Associate Director - Business & Consumer Insight

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