We’re a global qualitative research agency specialising in design research.
Design research is different – it requires a combination of design expertise and research experience that generalist research agencies simply canʼt provide. It deserves a more dedicated approach. Nowhere else will you find a greater level of global design research knowledge than at The Big Picture.
We make design work harder for your brand across a wide range of disciplines:
We’ve done over a thousand packaging projects, so you’re in very safe hands. The first step is establishing where you are in the process:
Before designers put pen to paper, it’s time to assess the here-and-now.
We believe there are huge benefits to starting the research process earlier when it comes to design. It means the team can be more confident with the design(s) that go into evaluative research – often saving time and money in the long run by avoiding nasty surprises down the line!
Our Bigger Picture methodology helps you create a design brief with confidence by establishing how your brand currently lives in consumers? heads, what your visual equities are, and how the pack operates at each consumer touchpoint.
Exploratory research helps you identify motivating new design territories, whilst understanding the parameters for change and validating the design brief.
Critically at this stage it’s about focusing on an idea’s potential, not (just) its execution – and we’re adept at devising a stimulus package and methodology that does just that.
All of which ensures you can embark on the evaluative stage with the right design concept…
Crunch time – do we have a pack we can move forward to launch? Too often, this stage of research is treated like a beauty parade: designs taken out of context, and judged on appeal alone.
Instead, our approach tests designs against the design brief. Our 2OTwenty and The Big Fixture methodologies yield realistic responses, and then our analysis puts the findings in the context of the strategic objectives for the brand.
The outcome is grounded, actionable findings that don’t lose sight of – if you’ll excuse us - The Big Picture.
Nike’s brand – that most intangible of assets – was recently valued at $15m. Apple’s & Coca-Cola’s stand at $77m and $78m respectively. What do these companies have in common? Well (alongside doing many other things right!), they’ve combined shrewd brand strategy with an ability to execute it expertly through design.
It’s in that gap between strategy and design that we come in. By researching all the touchpoints by which consumers come into contact with identities (packs, billboards, bar towels, trains – you name it!), we’ve helped lots of brands – like Chivas and Dulux – harness the near-magical power of design to convey their brand message to their customers.
Whether it’s a brand or line extension, a new product or a brand relaunch, we approach NPD challenges head on with an iterative process where we look at the idea and the design together – which means that you don’t fall flat with a great idea which isn’t communicated, or a fancy design with no substance.
Our Innovation Cycle will guide the team from the early stages – generating ideas and identifying the most fertile territory – right up to shaping and delivering the final idea via a compelling and clear design.
We do this by bringing design into the process at all stages – such as by developing and producing a stimulus package that goes beyond written concepts by bringing ideas to life with visual moodboards.
Intelligent strategic thinking is applied to every project we undertake – you cannot understand consumers’ relationship with design without understanding the role of design in the wider marketing mix.
Our expertise here means that for many of our clients, we act as design consultants outside of the ‘live’ research project; as an independent sounding board for all their design needs, bringing a unique combination of design expertise and consumer insight that you don’t find with generalist research agencies.
Design often raises big strategic questions, meaning that we undertake many projects that operate on the fringes of design - such as positioning and brand architecture management.
Confronted with rising online sales, the imperative for retail brands to set new standards in the in-store environment is more important than ever. The creation of more coherent, branded spaces in combination with a more fulfilling shopper experience is key to engendering brand loyalty.
We work with retailers to help them bring their brand to life, through design, within the retail environment – maximising sales revenue by helping them to engage their customers at point of sale.
Our understanding of the interplay between consumer and design, means that whether it’s providing insight and guidance for store design, merchandising & POS, or shopper behaviour, we’re ideally placed.