David Ogilvy and the Ogilvy agency back in the 70's & 80's used to write prodigiously about brands and create big ideas that nurtured and sustained big global brands. As a member of the Ogilvy family I grew up on brands, and of course David's infamous perspective on consumer research – "One shouldn't use research like a drunk uses a lamppost...to lean on! Rather research should be used to illuminate!"
The White Board.
The winding road of discovery to the nugget of truthful and actionable insight.
James Dyson – who understands great functionality can be combined with a beautiful aesthetic
People… working with clients, great colleagues/teams, consumers, agency partners and suppliers… We are surrounded by people and I love it!
Oh that is too hard to answer – Cities are like children each with their own special something, each should be appreciated individually and definitely never be favoured ☺ ... So of my 'children' I would say... I would say I love London; because I met and fell in love with my husband there and I lived there for some of the best years of my life. New York, because let's face it no other city is like it and Sydney, because it is home and beautiful!
It changes weekly, I get trend crushes! Last week it was Charles Darwin’s great grandson Chris Darwin… right now I have one for Tom Uglow, Creative Director of Google Labs.
Sometimes they know it and sometimes they don’t.
New York City, it is the cultural capital of the universe. I lived there for a quarter of my life, my children were born there, you can get a perfect dirty martini there… It is a city that just presents opportunity the minute you step into it. I go back every year.
A commercial bent, an interest around consumer motivation, a great way to apply a (very average) maths-based degree.
Its variety, and the people I work with.
Banksy - He literally thinks outside the 'frame', contributing to a movement that continues to push boundaries and redefine art, telling stories and delivering social commentary in a creative and provocative way.
Mexico City – For the language (none of that 'th' business!), the people, the food (!), the history and the culture, which is a melting pot of Spanish contrasted with indigenous influences and a sprinkling of American pop culture.
I get to hang out with people all day who feed me, walk me, play with me, pat me. And I get to show everyone who comes to the front door, just how scary I am.
Laika, the Russian stray and first animal to orbit the Earth, in 1957... a truly pioneering pup! Woof
A fascination with brands and a love of people.
My kids... always coming up with ‘crazy' ideas that really get me thinking. Travel... seeing new places and possibilities.
The people! Engaging with so many great minds and thinkers. There's always something new to learn from someone.
William Gibson, ostensibly a science fiction author, Gibson's more recent work is immersed in the present day, but his perspective and language create a sense of a world within a world. Encouraging you to look differently at the mundane.
The great thing about research and quantitative research in particular, is that it offers a great balance of two skills, of which most careers can only offer one. It allows your analytical side to flourish - being deep in data searching for patterns and answers, whilst also giving you the fulfilling ability to relate and discuss these answers with your clients. Not many jobs can offer both of those things.
The freedom you have to create a compelling story from an endless amount of data – as boring and geeky as most people think data is, it can be a very beautiful thing!
Marketing saved me from completing my law degree!
Gough Whitlam was a visionary, a forward thinker ahead of his time with a remarkable ability to see the humanity in politics for example his position on Aboriginal rights.
Tim Berners-Lee – He invented the world wide web and then gave it away, LEGEND!
In the beginning it was the better class schedule at University. After that it was that I love finding out what people think and how we can make better business decisions through informed thinking.
I love travelling and even though I have seen a lot of cities, my favourites ones tend to be the places I call home due to friends, family and a lot of good memories - Dublin, Auckland and Invercargill (even though some might challenge the city status – it totally is!)
Music. My best ideas usually come to me whilst listening to music on the train; and I never underestimate the power of a good conversation.
Fukuoka, Japan. It's a bit like Tokyo mashed with Byron Bay, so cool.
I love ads, and I originally began studying marketing with a view to working in advertising. However, as I studied the various aspects of commerce and marketing, I realised that market research was much more in line with my strengths and interests.
Studying people means that I am always learning new things.
It's the best of both worlds – the chance to chat to people I wouldn't come across in my everyday life and the chance to grow and shape brands all at the same time.
The people I work with… I love that we're all nerds on the inside!
The challenge and the team. The challenge is never the same. New things are thrown at you all the time and you've got to think smart and fast, and when you work with a great bunch of people with amazing ideas, it makes it a whole lot of fun.
Stores like IKEA. Cheesy I know, but their desire and ability to come up with simple and creative ideas for every part of people's homes and lives, and then turning that into a type of culture and selling it as a brand is brilliant!
As a geeky as it sounds I see it as a perfect venn diagram with three parts, understanding what people think, the opportunity to work on fantastic brands and last but not least indulging in my love of numbers.
No two days are the same and the chance to work with fantastic colleagues and clients.
Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Quite a few to choose from.. Sydney would be one of them, the weather, the food, the beach, the harbour... it is not easy not to like it... Amsterdam is another ..sense of national pride... but possibly Berlin.. a very cool city with a fascinating history and full of progressive ideas.
People who live their lives in the way they want to, even if it goes against society’s expectations of what life should be.
Buenos Aires. It’s a city full of surprises. You can walk 5 minutes down the road and you’re in an area totally different but equally beautiful from the last. There is so much to explore, so many hidden gems and I absolutely love the Argentinian laid-back culture.
That I am able to work with a range of clients – FMCG, financial, pharmaceuticals and everything in between.
Blacktown – it’s where I play all my cricket!
I’ve always had a fascination in the way people think and why they do the things they do. I’m also studying marketing and psychology at university, so getting this job is really exciting for me because I get to see how what I’m studying works in the ‘real world’.
The company culture. I’ve never worked at a place with a culture like this. When I describe it to my friends, I say it’s like they are a warm welcoming family that you really want to be a part of.
An interest in consumer psychology and love of commercial art, particularly branding and packaging.
Social networks such as Tumblr and Pinterest where every day people share their incredible art and other creations, encouraging me to keep expanding my own skills.
The opportunity to indulge in both my love of numbers and my passion for understanding human behaviour.
Helen Keller. Being both deaf and blind from an early age, she showed incredible determination to do the things that most people take for granted. She went on to become an author, lecturer and activist and was never afraid to stand up for what she believed in even if it wasn’t the common opinion of the day.
Ray Avery, a New Zealand inventor with a great respect for people, and the ultimate can-do attitude.
Rome – it’s the home of brilliant architecture, art, music, books and food! Also Christchurch, where I grew up surrounded by stunning peaceful scenery which changes around every corner.
I originally studied psychology because I always found human behaviour on an individual and societal level so interesting. But after starting my post-grad studies and working in social-research, I serendipitously fell into a strategy/insights job on a whim and I haven’t looked back since. This field is great because you get to witness and work with so many different facets of human psychology and behaviour, all in a real-world context.
The variety of projects that you get to work on every day. I’ve learnt so much about so many different topics. You end up feeling that little bit more knowledgeable with every project you finish. Getting to work on a project from start to finish is also a really satisfying feeling. Taking seemingly random data and making it into a narrative; from the brief all the way to the final presentation, there’s a nice kind of symmetry to it all.
The diversity in data sets, I’m constantly delving into the data of different industries. I also love to be on the end of problem solving – picking at data and figuring out how to construct different things brings me a lot of satisfaction.
Definitely Tokyo – it’s a city I can explore endlessly. No matter how many times I visit there are still things to see and do.
I’ve always been interested in how people think and behave - research lets me delve deeper into the realm of “The Consumer” and have a greater understanding of our connection with brands.
The best thing about my work is the freedom to let my natural curiosity flourish. I also get to work with some brilliant minds who genuinely love what they do.
We spend too much time at desks and in offices – if you’re ever stuck take a walk, visit a shop and have a general nosy about and you’ll always find the answer.
I admire Nick Cave as a modern renaissance man – he is a novelist, a poet, a lyricist and more. They say creativity is about making the ordinary extraordinary and by juxtaposing the saccharine with the grisly he turns words into works of art.
I have always been interested in the retail environment and how people decide to buy. With so much noise and conflicting messages, what makes people behave as they do and how do you capitalise on this?
It may be cliché, but I have to go with Charles Darwin here. Not only did he come with a ground breaking new theory, but also needed the bravery and tenacity to challenge the established creationist point of view.
It’s an ever-changing landscape that doesn’t lack challenges.
Being able to outsmart challenging problems and software restrictions to find creative and innovative solutions.
Curiosity. Answering the questions I never knew I had and getting the inside scoop on brands we see every day.
I’m constantly fascinated and excited by the progression of technology and the digital world. In particular how it is shaping our everyday interactions and forces companies to remain competitive and relevant.
My biggest source of inspiration is the world curated through social media. I consume daily the creative and innovative abilities of those across the globe, each supporting one another and pushing the limits of previous generations.
Yuudanaka, a small bathhouse town in the Japanese mountains. This is where I experienced my first snow while in a rooftop hot spring. ~Magical~
It’s always in a state of flux and there’s never a dull moment. This world affords you infinite opportunities to self-educate. Things change a lot and I love to learn about new trends, challenges, terminology and approaches.
The city that never sleeps, New York City. I love the 24/7 buzz, it’s a cultural melting pot, plus the fact that it’s a major hub of business, knowledge and talent inspires me to keep striving to do better.
Any explorer that pushed the boundaries of exploration of the world, I am also a tiny bit envious that they got to do that! In particular Shackleton and the story of his ship Endurance when it got eaten by the ice, he had the courage and assertiveness to take a small crew on the most treacherous sea in the world to save his crew.
I have many! I love Tokyo for the way such a populous city can move in such organisation and calm. While in complete contrast I love the chaos and craziness of cities like Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi that provide a complete sensory overload, where you never know what will be around the next corner.
Applying scale to Psychology - stripping everything down to the bare essentials of our shared human needs that haven’t really changed in two million years.
Benjamin Franklin: the most prodigious polymath - for being a professional novice, inventor, social engineer, freemason, printer, politician and postmaster. Who has had the single biggest impact on modern science, politics and culture by harnessing the power of the generalist and connected thinking.
Even as a kid I was a fan of the question ‘why’ and I guess I never grew out of it. Now it’s just evolved into more complex questioning, but finding out the reasons behind why and how people do the things they do is fascinating.
Getting to work with great minds and fantastic people. Also getting to venture out into the real world and meet new people all the time when we’re in field.