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.

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 desireAn 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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