John Cassidy

John Cassidy

Chairman

You’d be hard pushed to find anyone with more experience in design research than John.

His career began in 1984 with The Research Business (now Synovate), after which he helped to establish the fledgling research division of The Added Value Company, one of the original pioneering marketing agencies.

He co-founded The Big Picture in 1993, and the rest is history. John is, appropriately enough, a ‘Big Picture’ thinker.

His vision for the company has been fundamental in the development of our clear philosophy, bespoke approach to design insight and – we like to think – charm.

Chris Aukett

Chris Aukett

Managing Director

Chris’ decade in research has seen him take on the role of strategic partner for some of the most iconic global brands. From the world of spirits to sporting events, he’s informed effective design strategy for the likes of Maker’s Mark, Courvoisier and the International Olympic Committee.

Helping brand design deliver a real impact is a passion that runs deep for Chris. Driven by his interest in the environment and roots in design (he used to be a product designer, you know), he’s committed to helping clients confidently deliver on the sustainability demands of their consumers. In fact, he was awarded Unilever’s Global CMI Excellence Award in 2019 for doing just that!

When not spearheading design insight studies, you’ll find Chris setting out on an expedition into the great outdoors. Cycling the Ride London circuit, hiking up the nearest peak or running the local river path… wow, we’re puffed out just thinking about it!

Laura Pereira

Laura Pereira

Managing Director

Laura joined us in 2019, bringing with her with over 14 years of experience as a Quantitative specialist.

Laura had an interest in brand and comms from an early age. She chose to study Advertising and Marketing Communications at Bournemouth University, and then joined the Brand and Communications team at TRBI (now IPSOS). Following this, she spent over 10 years working in the Quantitative team at a growing independent agency, working across a huge breadth of clients, sectors, methods and markets.

Laura is passionate about using quant techniques to address design led questions – whether this is working collaboratively with other qualitative methods or seeking out the latest tools and techniques to address client objectives.

Outside of work, Laura ‘relaxes’ with her family and two young boys. She’s also a keen restaurant goer – and when she does get a spare minute to herself, likes to unwind with some Pilates.

Jenn Edwards

Jenn Edwards

Vice President, New York

A human obsessed with human behaviour, Jennifer has spent 15 years unearthing what drives consumers and connecting the dots with future macro trends to help brands better design for who their consumers are and will be

A career that spans across 4 continents and numerous industries, Jennifer kicked off her career specializing in packaging research—shopping along consumers, analyzing biometric data, and determining pack viewing patterns. Her love of design and consumer behaviour lead her to the world’s biggest beauty brand where she leveraged design thinking to drive disruption innovation via ideation sprints and collaborative, consumer research methodologies. Her last stop before joining TBP, included heading up consultancy for a leading global trend forecaster, helping brands translate future trends for their bespoke brand needs

When she is not obsessing over what makes consumers tick, you can find her styling models at photoshoots, meticulously selecting wardrobe to help tell a story. Even when she’s not at work, she can’t turn the storytelling off!

Cecilia Sylvan Martin

Cecilia Sylvan Martin

Director, London

With over 15 years of qualitative research under her belt, Cecilia has experience that spans the entire brand journey.

From innovation and brand development, through to the challenges of efficient design planning and development, Cecilia has applied her energetic and passionate approach to all aspects of design research including packaging, NPD, retail, positioning and semiotics.

Aoife Chew

Aoife Chew

Director, London

Heading up our Behavioural Science team with Giulia, Aoife has always been fascinated by human behaviour and why we do what we do.

This combined with her passion for different cultures and experiences of living abroad led her into the world of international qual and brand strategy. Having worked in Market Research for nearly 15 years, she has a wealth of experience in helping global clients with their various and complex challenges across different brands and sectors. 

Her passion and curiosity for human behaviour continues, and she is currently studying for her MSc in Psychology, always keen to apply latest academic thinking to our qual methods.

Aoife is also our resident yoga teacher and outside of work you can find her practising handstands or at the local tennis courts trying to improve her game!

Dom Michaelides

Dom Michaelides

Director, New York

Dom’s itch for design landed him on our doorstep in early 2016, after spending his early years exploring consumer journeys with some of the UK’s biggest brands including BBC, British Gas and Lloyds Bank.

Since then, he’s channelled his love of food through NPD, innovation, and rebrand projects exploring anything from hot sauce, to sports nutrition. He’s a mixed methods researcher through and through – he’s as happy trawling through data tables as he is moderating focus groups.

He’s also the closest we’ve got to a celebrity at The Big Picture, having made a winning appearance on the TV gameshow Pointless, walking away with a cash prize and the pride of correctly identifying a Theremin (we had to Google it too).

Tess Kenning

Tess Kenning

Director, London

After graduating from her degree in Product Design, Tess worked with a bespoke lighting designer for a year, creating installations for hotels and exhibiting at events like 100% Design.

Her interest in trends and consumer behaviour, which she developed while writing her dissertation, led her to joining our in-house training programme at The Big Picture in 2014.

Outside of work, outdoorsy Devonshire lass Tess up-cycles old chairs, or cycles-up hills for fresh air (depending on the weather).

Giulia Berna

Giulia Berna

Associate Director, London

Whilst studying for her MSc in Marketing, Giulia first heard about Behavioural Economics: it was love at first ‘sound’

Understanding human behaviour is what led her into research. For over 6 years Giulia worked as a quantitative researcher across the spectrum of FMCG categories, in markets far and near. She is always evaluating design in conjunction with human behaviour, as part of our Behavioural Science team.

When not at work, Giulia loves a show, she is always up for a musical and will watch any National Theatre production. On weekends you might catch her rowing in Putney, trying very hard not to fall into the river.

Ilenia Liber

Ilenia Liber

Associate Director, London

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, a young Ilenia ventures from her home city to London and a career in design research.

Ilenia’s background in cultural anthropology has given her a real passion for ethnographic study. After graduating from the oldest university in the world* and working for 3 years across a range of industries, from media to hospitality, Ilenia joined The Big Picture to continue to explore her interest in human behaviour.

Outside the office, she’ll be serving ‘attitude’ at ballet or climbing a mountain near you.

*answer: University of Bologna

Sam Connor

Sam Connor

Associate Director, London

Sam joined The Big Picture following two great internships working with our internal craft beer and spirits team, and since pursued his passion on a number of beer projects and beyond.

Beyond food and drink, he’s also a big fan of furniture design – 1950s in particular – and reading; 20th Century American lit has him lit at the moment.

Sarah Beattie

Sarah Beattie

Associate Director, London

Sarah loves to understand human behaviour, and what makes people tick

With a degree in Psychology from the University of Bath, Sarah is fascinated by consumer decision making, and the cognitive biases that drive us to do what we do. This drew her into the world of quantitative research, where she has worked for 5 years across a wide range of sectors and specialisms, and is also part of our Behavioural Science team.

As a self-professed ‘foodie’, outside of work you’ll find Sarah tracking down the latest dinner spots (and wine bars) in London

Amanda Merrick

Amanda Merrick

Research Manager, London

With a Master’s Degree in Product Design and Manufacture from Nottingham Amanda has a natural curiosity about how things are made. Sustainability and the circular economy ignite the most excitement for Amanda.

Having worked in research since 2017 across a variety of sectors, Amanda knew The Big Picture was a perfect place for her to combine her research expertise with her passion for design.

When Amanda isn’t working she’s smiliest by the sea, surfing or eating delicious food.

Eden Lauffer

Eden Lauffer

Research Manager, New York

Eden’s time in research and insights began when she realized people watching could be a profession. With a deep interest in our ever-evolving culture, Eden approaches all research provocations with an ear to what’s happening in the world today.

Bringing a background in ethnographic qual, trend forecasting, social listening, and even a bit of quant, Eden likes to experiment with creative approaches. Her experience ranges from helping tech brands optimize their products and services to supporting nonprofits in illuminating the stories of those in need. Eden is passionate about delivering the deepest insights to clients.

And outside of work, she can be found sampling New York’s expansive food scene or spending time in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

Hannah Loftus

Hannah Loftus

Research Manager, London

Hannah developed a love for research while working as a junior creative strategist, prior to joining The Big Picture in early 2018

Her fascination with people, however, began much before this, while studying Creative Advertising at University in Falmouth. She relishes the opportunity to escape the ‘London bubble’ to speak to real people and find out what makes them feel and think they way they do.

Outside of the office, you’ll most likely find Hannah doing something creative – crafting bespoke festival headwear with a glue gun or curating her Pinterest board. She’s also a keen ‘hoop-er’ – yes, this is 100% a ‘thing’. She loves nothing more than to spin away to music with her weighted hula hoop – we’re dizzy just thinking about it!

Gabriella Cross

Gabriella Cross

Quant Senior Research Executive, London

Gabriella’s route into research started about 4 years ago – after graduating and taking a year to travel, she came to London to work across a range of sectors from sport to finance to media

With a degree in Nutrition and Psychology from Newcastle University, joining us at The Big Picture was the perfect fit. She loves to understand WHY and HOW we make the decisions we do

Gabriella is a bit of a Netball fiend – if she’s not spending time with friends or watching Grey’s Anatomy, you’ll find her on a Netball court

Gabriella Samarasekara

Gabriella Samarasekara

Senior Research Executive, London

Equipped with a BSc in Geography and a MA in ‘Material and Visual Culture’, Gabri is no stranger in uncovering how material design creates, moderates, shapes and challenges the labile socio-cultural paradigms that people use to make sense of their world

Her desire for commercial research and unpicking shopper behaviour, lead her to a qualitative tenure at Simpson Carpenter for two years. There, her work helped optimise NPDs, identify the best learnings to execute in-store trials and refine shopper journeys for well known supermarkets, high-street retailers and airports around the UK and abroad. Some of her favourite projects enriched shopper insight with semiotic coding, or de-mystified implicit shopper behaviour and store signage by means of behaviour economics

Now she looks to balance her qualitative aptitude and visual appreciation at The Big Picture, and help unlock the exciting opportunities for FMCG design to resonate with shoppers and enhance brand equity. She is also part of our Behavioural Science team.

Outside of work you may find Gabri painting with watercolours, experimenting on new recipes in the kitchen -she once stirred a cup 200 times to make a Korean Dalogna coffee- or discovering new hair products to keep up with the ‘Curly Girl’ method!

Isabel Falls

Isabel Falls

Senior Research Executive, New York

Armed with a passion for sustainability, Isabel stumbled into research after discovering her love for people and their decision making

A west coast native who can’t seem to stay away from the east coast (she has tried moving back 3 different times!), Isabel dove straight into strategic insights after earning degrees in Sociology and Environmental Studies. With a passion for sustainability, Isabel always thought she’d work in the environmental field, but an interest in understanding why people make the decisions that they do, especially when it relates to sustainable behaviour, inspired her to explore the research world. Her quest to make brands more sustainable, both in their design and brand communications, led her to The Big Picture.

When she’s not diving into the research, you can find Isabel practicing yoga at her local studio, browsing the yummy veggies at her farmer’s market, and hiking (if she can manage to escape the urban jungle of NYC!).

James Murray

James Murray

Senior Research Executive, London

The story of James’ journey to The Big Picture begins in Barcelona, where he studied for his Master’s degree in Economics.

After graduating, he secured himself a job at the WHO as a health economist before joining Kantar Media as a social media analyst. Picking up a breadth of experience in the realms of quant, social scraping, and tracking, James decided he wanted to explore the more human side of research; this is where The Big Picture comes in. Our resident Jazz fanatic, James likes to spend his free time listening to vinyl and has a particular interest in how musicians express themselves visually through album artwork.

 

Chloe Rynhold

Chloe Rynhold

Senior Research Executive, New York

Chloe’s Marketing and Information Sciences degree sparked her passion in consumer behaviour and motivation, beginning in a career in quantitative research.

Her interest in the dynamism of qualitative research brought her to The Big Picture in 2020, as part of our NY team. While her British accent leads people to believe she has only just arrived in the US, Chloe has lived in NY since aged nine which is now longer than the homeland.

Outside of the office, Chloe can be found watching crime thriller series’, shopping for the latest fashions, or trying out new Italian restaurants.

 

Nikita Simone

Nikita Simone

Senior Research Executive, London

When faced with the choice of studying either psychology or product design at university, Nikita realised the role that design plays on influencing all aspects of peoples lives and how the two interact so closely as if one is the catalyst for the other.

Nikita went on to study Product Design at Sussex with her focus heavily on sustainability, specifically the circular economy and plastics. The Big Picture’s focus on sustainability is what led her to us one year later after meeting Chris at her degree show.

When the day is over, you can find Nikita scaling rock climbing walls with friends to have fun and destress, in the kitchen baking loaves of bread and experimenting with various dinner recipes (some successful, some not), and with a love for music (complete understatement) going to as many live gigs and festivals as possible.

Daphne Pell

Daphne Pell

Trainee Research Executive, New York

Daphne joined The Big Picture with a background in quantitative research, as well as a BA in Sociology and a Masters degree in Data Analytics and Applied Social Research.

Her desire to explore the human side of design research is what drew her to The Big Picture. When she’s not working, Daphne loves exploring the city with her dogs, having new adventures, and getting stuck into video games.

Olivia Patten

Olivia Patten

Office Manager, London

Olivia is the star who keeps everything running in the London office.

With a firm hand on everything behind the scenes, Olivia has been making sure everything runs smoothly since 2015, so our research team can focus on insight.
Well-travelled Olivia grew up in Bermuda and Dublin, before settling in London to study law. Perhaps that would explain why she’s so good at keeping us all in order!

Kat Pearce

Kat Pearce

Creative Manager, London

Kat’s the creative whizz behind all things ‘design’ at The Big Picture.

With her background as a trained graphic designer, you can see her hand in all of our output, whether that’s making sure our documents hit the mark visually, creating new and exciting stimulus for fieldwork, or even designing our marketing materials. She also brightens up every lunch club, making sure we’re all having a giggle with her brilliant musical impressions.

Adina Williams

Adina Williams

Bookkeeper, New York