Exploring insights: key takeaways from Quirk’s London 2024

Earlier this month, our team had the chance of immersing themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of Quirk’s London 2024. It was an opportunity to stay abreast of the latest developments in the market research landscape, connect with our clients and industry peers, and explore some captivating topics. In this blog, Ariana Richter delves into some of the highlights from the two-day event. From discussions on brand identity to the integration of AI, dive in and discover what’s trending in our industry!

Blending insights into your role and for maximum impact

Creating actionable insights starts with creating an internal culture of empowerment, freedom and creativity.

Research teams and efforts no longer exist in silo, and it’s a good thing they don’t! Workplaces which stress the value of frequent, cross-team conversation, healthy brainstorming, discourse, ‘play’, trial and error have a clearer sense for the kinds of changes and innovations which will create impact, and have more fun reaching those decisions and creating change (presumably!).

Approaching your role as a ‘trusted advisor’ to the business and making it your mission to create an ‘insights ecosystem’ will help maximise research spend and reach… and will result in more fulfillment!

There is so much value in the relationships you build at work. Focus on understanding those who will rely on you for information, advice, and inspiration, and work backwards from there – understand what kind of information is most useful and when it needs to be received. Find processes which allow you to create efficiencies around your research steps, processes and budget, and make life easier for yourself and your organisation.

Build brand resonance and rapport through emotive techniques and ‘lightness’

Pare back your offering and bring emotional elements into your messaging.

Today’s world is overflowing with options and change for consumers, so understanding your brand and what it stands for is essential. Reduce the clutter and noise for consumers by paring back your offering to its core – focus on what sets you apart, and then communicate that clearly through emotive techniques to increase resonance.

Build rapport and trust through humour and sarcasm rather than matter-of-factness.

Humour and sarcasm are more effective in grabbing attention, breaking walls and building empathy – which lead to stronger resonance and trust.  As a result, brand messaging is focusing less on functional benefits and matter-of-factness, and stressing emotional elements through lighter, more humorous tones instead.

One example of this is Nescafe’s promotion of its pink creamer through a ‘Mean Girls Limited Edition’ post done on social media. The post taps into the nostalgia surrounding the film by alluding to Regina George’s memorable line and adapting a humorous “burn book” tweet. It not only emphasises the silliness of judging coffee choices but also subtly implies that embracing the pink creamer aligns with the movie’s theme of embracing one’s uniqueness.

Integrations with AI, and what this means for staff and traditional methods

In a world increasingly dominated by AI, retaining your people and their skills matters more.

All the discussion on AI served as a helpful reminder that while we continue to see its usefulness within stages of the research process, the people who support each stage and process are still highly impactful and can’t be replaced – their empathetic and nuanced understanding are invaluable.

Advances in AI and social listening are enabling us to uncover emotion and sentiment which would otherwise be difficult to tap into through traditional methods, but they will never replace them entirely.

Various companies and tools now place a focus on gathering insight and sentiment via social listening as a starting place for brand sentiment and how to best cater to target audiences. These tools are valuable starting points for understanding consumer sentiment but should be complemented with in-person research to capture deeper insights and nuance AI can’t uncover.

Don’t be afraid to recognise research methods which no longer serve you … chances are, you’re not alone.

As a result of a heated ‘Room 101’ exercise, it was revealed that many feel various traditional methods – like generational cohorts, referring to research members as ‘respondents’, and relying strictly on survey data – feel prohibitive and reductive as they overlook the nuance individuals bring to the topic/table. Make sure your research processes and approach don’t overlook individual nuance and treat research participants as people through fair practices.

These three pivotal topics have stood out for us and have been shaping conversations across both events. From the hot topic of AI to clients looking for ways to do more with less, it’s evident that embracing innovation is crucial for sustainable progress in the industry. Collaboration, adaptability, and embracing change are key as we move forwards. 


Insights heard from

Mark Roberts (Perfetti Van Melle) and Anthony Wells (Anthony Wells Associates Limited)

Grietje de Wit (Nestle) and Sophie Wright (Discover.ai)

Parveen Bdesha (former NewsUK); Francesca Springhall and Edd Hermes(McDonalds)

Shehnaz Hansraj (Viking Cruises), James Sallows, FMRS (LEGO Group), Zoe Dowling, Ph.D. (Microsoft), Louise Sharpe (BT Group), Danny Russell and Paul Hudson (FlexMR), Lucy Davison(Keen as Mustard Marketing)


Ariana Richter

Business Consultant

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