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Mustard exists to help clients make better, more informed decisions, faster. We believe research investment should deliver ROI. Our services help clients to make money, save money, reduce risk, improve products / services / communications or deliver a social return on investment.

We live and breathe our values. Our business philosophy is “Making the Difference” and is underpinned by four core beliefs:

1. Making it easy: delivering a seamless, hassle-free, quality service.

2. Fingers-on-the-pulse: we are in-the-know and at the forefront of what we do.

3. Commercial thinking: combining immersion, intelligence and realism.

4. Passionate people: enthusiastic and always switched on.

We conduct research across sectors including (but not limited to) financial services, retail, food/drink/FMCG, leisure, b2b, building/construction, education, public services, technology, professional services, charities, social housing, healthcare, chemicals and pharma.

We lead the way in developing new techniques for insight capture and dissemination. We excel in online communities. We can deliver a pop-up online community for less than the cost of four focus groups.

Our Pickles app for mobile qualitative has revolutionsied our ability to capture real-time, real-life insight cost effectively.

Our business was born from delivering brand and customer satisfaction tracking and benchmarking. Today our specialisms include:

1. Branding, brand perceptions and brand tracking (including the Brand Alignment Monitor)

2. Customer satisfaction, customer journey, customer experience

3. Segmentation

4. Innovation - using our POPCORN methodology

5. Product / Service / Communications / Concept testing and development

6. Stakeholder engagement

7. Advanced analytics (our specialist sister company - Honeycomb - launched in 2018)

Accountancy, Automotive, Charities/Voluntary, Chemicals, Drinks (Alcoholic), Drinks (Non-alcoholic), Education/Training, Engineering, Entertainment – in home, Entertainment – out of home, Fashion/Clothing, Finance/Investment – Business, Finance/Investment – Personal, FMCG – General, Food, Gambling/Online Gaming, Government/Local Authority, Healthcare, Industrial, Insurance, Legal, Office Equipment, Pets/Petcare, Property/Construction/Housing, Retail, Sport/Leisure/Arts, Toiletries/Beauty Products, Travel/Tourism
Advanced Statistical Techniques, CATI, Co-creation, Consultancy, Continuous, Depth Interviews, Desk Research, Ethnography, Executive/Industrial Interviews, Face-to-Face, Group Discussions/Focus Groups, Hall Tests, In-Store Interviews, Mobile Web Surveys, Multivariate Stats and Modelling, Observation, Online Communities, Online Surveys, Qualitative, Quantitative, Questionnaire Design, Telephone Interviewing, Tracking
Advertising, Brand/Branding, Business-to-Business, Communications/PR, Concept Testing, Consumer, Customer Communities, Customer Satisfaction, Data Analytics, International, New Product Development, Packaging/Design, Product Testing, Social Research, Usage & Attitude
Affluent, College/University Students, Disabled People, Ethnic Minorities, Hard-to-Reach, High Net Worth, Mature/Midlife, Mothers/Parents, Senior Citizens, Unemployed, Welsh speakers, Youth/Teens
UK, Worldwide
Senior Contacts

Colin Auton (Managing Director)
Ian Font (Director)
Gareth Hodgson (Director)
Richard Walker (Director)

Breakdown of Personnel

Admin/Support staff: 2
Executive/Research staff: 14
Non-research: 3
Data processing: 3
Total Number of Employees: 21 to 50


Third Floor
56 Princess Street
M1 6HS
Tel: +44 (0)161 235 5270
Establishment date: 1989

Using video in online communities

Mustard’s Anthony Shephard-Williams (research director and head of online communities) discusses how Mustard has been using video in online communities to get even closer to consumers and decision makers – getting those real-life insights that are filmed in a respondents’ own environment, providing a window into lives that most other methodologies can’t ever achieve. 

We have been using video tools within online communities for years at Mustard with great success and we’re increasingly setting our respondents video tasks and activities to complete. There are so many reasons why using videos within an online community is a smart move for researchers, here are just a few:

- We’re living in a world where we are increasingly sharing more of ourselves;

- We’re becoming ever more comfortable with being on film;

- Anyone can easily make a video of themselves on a range of devices (from anywhere in the world – we can get even closer to our international respondents with ease);

- People are willing to invest time and energy (some of our respondents have even “gone beyond” and used specialist editing tools to really jazz up their video submissions!);

- Respondents can film themselves in their own (natural) environment at a time that suits them – whether this is within the safety of their own four walls or whilst they are out and about, it allows researchers to get closer than ever;

- Video can bring the research and the respondent to life (there is nothing better than going to a research debrief armed with video snippets of respondents or a short-edited video that has a real narrative to really give the insights extra believability);

- Depending on the task /activity set, it can actually be fun for respondents too (we have had videos of people whipping their hair back and forth, pretending they’re the next Zoella and even had a cat giving birth in the background of one of video submission).

If you weren’t already sold on the benefits of using videos in online communities, hopefully you are now! If you need a bit more persuading though, here are a few more detailed examples of some of Mustard’s recent online community projects that have involved video:

- We followed 25 people for three months for a financial advisory service set up by the government. All the respondents were financially constrained and in debt and we challenged them to save £100 a month and document their experience via video diaries.

- We challenged some non-users of a North West rail network to go out of their comfort zone and go on a train journey and to document their experience via video diaries.

- We sent 200 women a brand-new game changing hair brush to trial over a 30-day period, filming themselves using the brush and showing us the end results.

- We’ve recently completed a two-week pop up community for a building society in the financial services sector to help them develop products and services. We asked people to give us a guided tour of their home, providing a commentary as they did the tour to explain what they like about their home and what they want to change, then discussing plans for the future and whether they intend to stay in their home or move.

- We’re just in the process of running a three-week B2B pop up community for a publishing company with buyers and users of academic content. We have set the respondents video tasks to bring the reality of their typical purchasing journey / process to life

- We’re just coming to the end of a two-week pop-up community for an online cosmetic retailer, whereby 19-24-year-old females are uploading video tutorials showing us their evening skin care routines.

We would love to hear about your experiences of using video in online communities, and the things you’ve heard, seen and learned as a result. If you have a project that might require a video element then get in touch, we’d love to hear from you and can arrange for a demonstration.

Source: Mustard

“We have saved in excess of £2million throughout this year by introducing the new switch functionality. The number of customers saved is in excess of 1,500. An average saving per policy has been calculated at £1,100.”

Aviva UK Life

“Brilliant to see an instant reaction to the new Carlsberg Export advert when it aired. Unprompted and in situ responses provide an extra dimension when we talk to both customers and colleagues about the evaluation of the advert. Great and innovative way to approach research on-the-fly!”

Carlsberg UK

“Mustard were able to distil a large amount of observational research into a succinct set of customer needs which they communicated in a clear yet insightful way.”

GE Healthcare

The research Mustard conducted for us recently was excellent. They brought fresh thinking to the table in their proposal and delivered an insightful piece which has been very well received by stakeholders”


“The Mustard team build a great rapport with the participants and are like-minded people- fun and easy to work with.”

Tangle Teezer

“BrightHouse’s partnership with Mustard has helped develop improved category decisions, more focused advertising creative and influenced the financial model strategy.”


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