What We Do

A global research agency, specialising in design research.

We blend research expertise with design fluency to go beyond ‘just’ the findings. We’re a strategic partner with twenty years’ experience of putting consumers at the heart of design.

Our work takes us wherever design is a factor, including:

Packaging is the last, and best, chance to sell a product.

Good design here can capture shoppers’ attention, communicate brand values, convey product benefits, and win their hearts.

It demands a design process with consumers at the heart. We’ve conducted research which has inspired, informed and guided over a thousand packaging design projects, spanning hundreds of categories and six continents.

Pack Design

We’re living in the era of design. The brands that succeed in the today are those that use design to offer joined up experiences to their consumers.

We’ve helped global brands like Chivas and Dulux, and iconic brands like GWR, to achieve that cohesive design thinking across their touchpoints – from paint testers to bar towels to trains.

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The brutal truth is that most new products fail. Sometimes there’s a great idea which isn’t communicated, and sometimes it’s the idea itself that doesn’t work for consumers.

Our Design Thinking approach looks at the idea and the design together in a uniquely creative and visual approach that brings ideas to life earlier in the process. It generates an output that inspires and guides the creative team, and results in a final output that marries a robust idea with effective design to create a compelling overall package.

It’s helped successful product launches like Robinsons Squash’d, Haagen-Dazs Secret Sensations, Jordans Simply Granola and many more.

Robinsons Squash'd

 

Effective design is a powerful thing. But it remains just one part of the wider strategic marketing challenge. Our projects consistently raise topics that fall outside of design’s remit: from brand positioning to range architecture, to communications and consumer segmentation strategies.

We’re not called The Big Picture for nothing. We know design’s place, and frame its performance in the bigger strategic thinking that underpins real business success.

It means that many of our clients trust us to help them with challenges beyond design, or even research. We can help align and galvanise fractured teams, provide a sounding board to ideas, or channel the voice of the consumer. You’d be surprised at what we can do.

Space

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.

Global Reach

It’s a big world out there. And a design that works in New York might not work in Dallas, let alone Mumbai or Voronezh. So how do you find a global design solution that’s flexible to local markets?

It’s in this arena that experience and expertise counts for everything, and our clients come back to us for our ability to provide practical solutions that never lose sight of the broader objective – a global answer.

Which brings us to the second, more logistical, challenge – how do you ensure quality research in all markets?

In over twenty years in the business, we’ve built up a network of trusted agencies who facilitate research across the world. From our bases in London and New York, we fly out to partner with them and ensure the research is conducted at a consistently high global standard, irrespective of market.

And where other agencies might rely on local reports, we’re present locally for the research – which means you get design research experts managing and steering the sessions, a clear picture of the local findings, and ultimately a global answer that is pragmatic, realistic and workable.

Global reach

Ethics

At The Big Picture, we put a lot of energy into making design work harder for our clients.
Our work keeps us busy, but we like to give back when we can.

Our charity partner

MERU designs and produces life-changing equipment for children and young people with disabilities. They offer a bespoke service: so when no other solution exists, they design and produce equipment tailor-made for each child.

As well as supporting them financially (we’ve funded MERU’s purchase of a crucial injection-moulding tool), we go a step further by conducting pro bono research for them to help inform the design of their products – they said something rather nice about it here.

MERU

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Sustainable working

The ‘global’ nature of global design research means that we take quite a few flights. And while that’s great for our fridge magnet collection, we know it’s not so good for the environment.

The happy solution is that we offset the carbon emissions from all our flights. Instead of doing this via an airline-sponsored programme, we donate to a charity that works to protect the environment by preserving and rebuilding one of the most biologically important regions on the planet. FORM (Friends of Rainforests in Myanmar) is a charity set up to replant and protect rain-forests and mangroves, as well as working to reduce local poverty and educate for public benefit.

Beyond that, we’ve also undertaken a series of internally-funded, global research projects to understand consumers’ mindset around sustainability better – more details on the Thinkpiece here.

Careers

If you’re after a career rather than a job – why not get in touch? We’re always looking for talented researchers at all levels – from trainee level (no research experience) right up to experienced researchers who want to specialise in the wonderful world of design.

You’ll be joining an agency shortlisted for ‘Best Place to Work’ in the MRS Awards, and for good reason. We strongly believe that happy researchers produce great work, and our career development programme and general ethos reflect that.

Current vacancies

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