The Mindlab Academy reveals insights to help you create actionable market research. Each month, we speak to industry experts on their views and tips. Sign up here to receive upcoming Mindlab Academy interviews first.

“Spot your galvanisers” and 5 other ways to boost productivity: An interview with Amanda Sokell

The UK’s productivity crisis is a behavioural problem according to Amanda Sokell, who has been helping growing companies create order in their processes and systems for 20 years. We get the inside track on how businesses can overcome the lethargy and profit from peak productivity.


5 steps to a marketable innovation: An interview with David Porter

For the last 20 years, David Porter has been working alongside innovative startups to help turbo-charge their growth. Now an advisor at the Sussex Innovation Centre, he reveals his top five tips on how to make innovation happen.


Why it’s not always bad to make biased decisions: An interview with Dr Dylan Evans

In his career, Dr Evans has researched and written on psychology and philosophy, covering everything from AI and cognitive science to the mindset of poker players. Now a project manager at Mindlab, he reveals what you need to know to use emotion positively in brands.


7 habits of highly effective planners: An interview with Diageo’s Sally Smallman

In her 20-year career, Sally Smallman, global planning director for whiskies at Diageo, has worked agency and client side on leading brands across the world. Based on her extensive experience, she gave the Mindlab Academy her advice on approaching the planning role.


Steps to truly understand your customer: An interview with Nathalia Figueiredo

Nathalia has been leading insight work for some of the world’s biggest brands for the last 15 years, including Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Allergan. She spoke to us about how she approaches consumer research.


How to create and update your brand assets: An interview with Louise Southcott from Link Consumer

When consumers are overloaded with options, brands that aren’t aware of what makes them stand out will struggle to survive, failing to catch the eye across the customer journey and at the point of purchase. So what do consumers instantly, instinctively recognise about a brand? Louise Southcott, who set up Link Consumer two decades ago, explains her approach.


3 trends set to shake up the market research industry: An interview with Roger Dooley

The author of the influential Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing, reveals the three trends he believes will transform the industry, touching on everything from crystal balls to Chief Behavioural Officers.


How to be the next food and drink challenger brand: An interview with Ape

Being a challenger brand with bold ideas and a clear mission isn’t just for up-and-coming, garage operations run by passionate mavericks. Paul Spirou and Russell Hales from creative agency, Ape, talk about how to use challenger thinking, and chocolate.


You are hallucinating right now: An interview with Anil Seth from the University of Sussex

The way things seem is just your mind’s best guess at what is going on – influenced both by evolution and your own personal history. These factors are deeply embedded in the functioning of the visual system to shape your perception. Anil Seth, professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, reveals if that’s as unsettling a thought as it seems to be.


Why purpose-driven design can’t be faked: An interview with Derek Johnston from Family (and friends)

Why is purpose-driven design on the rise, and what are the dos and don’ts for brands considering it? Derek Johnston, co-founder of design agency, Family (and friends), reveals his thoughts and tips on the topic in this article – and revealing the brands who are doing it particularly well.


Let the gorilla live: How to design with impact: Ten tips from top designer, Brendan Dawes brendandawes

Ahead of the launch of his third book, acclaimed designer, Brendan Dawes, gave the Mindlab Academy a rundown of what he’s learnt throughout his career about how to create market-leading designs – from speaking to a rose garden to channeling Prince.


Here comes the science bit: An interview with Richard Chataway, founder of Communication Science Group Modern Examination In The Hospital

How can marketers ensure they’re finding scientific insights and making the most of digital and AI developments? Richard has led communications strategy for the UK and Australian governments, was the Head of Ogilvy Change and has advised companies from IKEA to ITV, ING, Unilever, Sainsbury’s and Starbucks. He reveals his take on the ingredients which make up the best communications today.


The semiotics of desire: An interview with Dr. Alex Gordon, CEO of Sign Salad Modigliani

Alex has spent the last two decades decoding signs and symbols, first as a lecturer at Goldsmiths and more recently for the UK government and brands like Mars and Pernod Ricard. When it comes to understanding how semiotic insights can impact a brand, he’s the person to talk to. He starts off our discussion for the Mindlab Academy by explaining there are two levels of meaning to every message.


Why “I will listen” should be your new mantra: An interview with Mike Herd from the Sussex Innovation Centre Mike Herd Sussex Innovation Centre

We spoke to Mike about how to spot a great idea – and he has a very practical process for working it out. We also discussed his predictions for which sectors will see great success over the next few years – and how innovation has changed over the last twenty years. Expectations have become unrealistic he told us, and there are two drivers for this. Read on to find out what they are.


Fail. An interview with the School of Life’s Barney Whiter on successful failure

Today’s most successful and inspirational businesses – the Alphabets and Apples of the world – are not bureaucratic and fearful of failure. But how can we all make sure we’re trying out new ways of working and challenging conventional thinking? Barney Whiter runs workshops on How to Fail at The School of Life and reveals his five key tips on failure.


When everyone lies, how can market research work? An interview with best-selling author Philip Graves

Philip Graves consumer behaviour expert and author of Consumer.ologyThis is a three part series on market research revealing the views of Philip Graves, consumer behaviour specialist and author of business bestseller, Consumer.ology. Philip explains how to use an updated version of his famous AFECT U model, how to gain all-important internal buy-in and what the future of market research really looks like.


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