Case Studies...

Selected case studies

We believe our track record speaks for itself. We support clients big and small with a wide range of research challenges…

case study 1: Satsuma


Satsuma is an online, short-term lender launched by Provident Financial in 2013. The challenge for the launch was to develop a campaign that could put the Satsuma brand on the map in the non-standard credit market, while at the same time generating leads for the new business. This had to be done in a competitive market, characterised by heavy media spends, on a relatively low budget. Our brief was to track the effectiveness of the launch campaign and provide guidance on its’ development so that it could be optimised over time.

our approach

We used qualitative and quantitative methods to interrogate the decision-making journey and understand the behavioural influences in the market. These behavioural measures were then incorporated into a continuous quantitative tracking study which included the more usual markers of brand fame, brand health and communications response. In this way, we were able to track brand AND behaviour over time. Key finding included:

SALIENCE IS VITAL – Brand fame (to ensure mental availability) was one of the main influences on choice. The singing Satsuma punched far above its weight.

PLAYING TO THE ZEITGEIST – Non-standard lending is a sensitive but talked about category. By tracking the impact of negative news stories on behaviours, Satsuma was able to positively differentiate itself.

SEASONALITY – Continuous tracking flagged unexpected patterns. This helped us be visible at the right times with the right messages, minimising spend and maximising impact.

the results

The Satsuma launch was a notable success. The brand name was quickly established in a competitive market as an ‘antidote to payday loans’ and the campaign generated a solid flow of leads from the outset. The business broke even in 2017, with customer numbers at 71,000 and receivables at £32m. Satsuma has designed and communicated a fresh approach to short-term lending and looks set to continue building on its’ early momentum.

case study 2: StepJockey


StepJockey is a digital health application which fights sedentary behaviour in offices by incentivising the use of stairs over lifts and escalators. We were engaged at the concept stage of the brand’s development with a brief to identify and test the triggers to getting office workers to ‘ditch the lift’ and ‘seamlessly and inclusively’ incorporate physical activity into the working day. The work was funded by the Department of Health through Innovate UK.

our approach

We interrogated the published evidence-base for behavioural triggers and hypothesised that smart signs placed at stair entrances containing the calorie count for the stairs would ‘nudge’ people to make greater use the stairs. A ‘gamification’ element in which workers could track their stair use and compete with others was also proposed. Field trials were set up to test a working prototype. Qualitative measures were gleaned through groups. Key findings included:

VISIBLE NUDGES WORK – the presence of signs alone at the point of choice between stairs and lifts increased stair journeys by up to 29%.

CHALLENGE MOTIVATES – when people were able to track their calorie burn and compete with others stair use increased five to eightfold.

INCENTIVES ARE KEY – adding a prize incentive for reaching a goal increases stair climbing from 5.4 to 7.8 journeys a day.

HABITS FORM QUICKLY – after 4 weeks 92% said stair climbing had become a habit.

THE HERD EFFECT – a benefit of StepJockey over individual fitness devices (eg. Fitbit) is others can see the behaviour and be influenced. The herd effect was a trigger for 16%.

DIFFERENTIAL MESSAGING – men were best motivated by messages on heart health, women on weight loss and the young by vanity messaging (eg. ‘stair climbing firms your buns’).

REALITY GAP – many users proposed environmental messages (eg ‘burn calories not carbon’) but it was found to be a poor motivator compared non-altruistic prompts

the results

The research provided the Department of Health and Innovate UK with the confidence to seed-fund StepJockey as an independent business. It started trading in 2014 and had at the time of writing labelled stairs in more than 14,000 buildings in over 100 countries. It is now backed by private investors and counts among its’ clients many UK bluechip companies. StepJockey’s users integrate significantly more movement into their working days, reducing their long-term health risks considerably.