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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)

www.mustard-research.com

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

Address

Third Floor
56 Princess Street
Manchester
M1 6HS
Tel: +44 (0)161 235 5270
Email: theteam@mustard-research.com
Establishment date: 1989

A polygot's guide to international research

Irina breaks down her experience of working on international projects and how the team immerses themselves into different cultures to get the best results.

In just three years with Mustard I’ve had the great opportunity to conduct qualitative research projects in 20 countries. I’ve also had the chance to put my language skills in practice, conducting fieldwork not only in English, but also in Spanish and French (all of these being languages that I speak in addition to my mother tongue, Romanian).

I’ve learned lots on this adventure, and I want to share with you some of the best practices that we’ve put in place at Mustard to make sure we deliver excellent international qualitative research for our clients.

Start by understanding the context

Whether it’s cultural, market, local or global trends, reviewing existing knowledge makes us better prepared to tackle your research brief and suggest the right methodology. We always start by immersing ourselves in the subject and target markets. We take time to understand the contexts that our research participants navigate on a daily basis, whether global or local, and their impact on perceptions, attitudes and behaviours. We also use theoretical concepts drawing from social sciences, psychology or behavioural science to shape the research design and analysis.

Manage, coordinate and visualise…

Once an international research project has been commissioned, we plan, plan, and then plan again! We’ve found that a huge driver of success for an international project, especially a multi-market, mixed-methods study, is very strong, thorough project management. A delight for control freaks like me!

From early stages I always like to visualise every stage of the project because it really enables me to break it down to the tiniest detail. This allows us to foresee and prevent any issues coming down the line and adjust the strategy accordingly. Our clients can then rest assured that things are under control.

…but retain a high degree of flexibility!

Knowing what is going to happen and when is extremely important, but sometimes, especially once fieldwork starts, things might go in a different direction, especially with on-the-ground international research. For this we always bring a flexible mindset that allows us to react and adapt. Depending on the complexity of the project, we sometimes come equipped with several back-up plans that take us to a solution quicker.

A strong network of local partners

While it’s extremely important for us to design and coordinate a global project from Mustard, we are aware of the importance of local knowledge and expertise. For this reason, we’ve spent time and resources to develop a strong network of local research partners that we rely on, particularly for qualitative studies.

And I want to emphasise on the word partners, because together we engage in a collaborative process that helps us best deliver the work for our clients. We discuss the research objectives through a process of knowledge exchange and we take time to go through a thorough briefing process. Our partners are also our sounding board along the way, advising us on the practicalities of conducting research in the local markets. And finally, we use their local knowledge and expertise to contextualise the research results further.

Observe as much qualitative fieldwork as possible

When the language or cultural barriers prevent us from conducting fieldwork ourselves, we observe as much of the fieldwork as possible, either in person or via streaming services. I’ve personally travelled to countries like France, Spain or Germany to observe our local moderators conduct focus groups, but I’ve also stayed up late or woke up super early to observe groups being moderated in countries like China, Brazil and Australia.

Observing fieldwork allows us to provide support to our local partners should they need it, and immediate access to the research insights as they are generated.

This also makes us better equipped to keep our clients updated without delays, and our post-group write-ups always come in handy when it comes to writing interim reports, particularly for multi-staged, qual and quant research projects.

This keeps us engaged, connected and present! Even if we observe remotely, for just a few hours we can be in different corners of the world, witnessing the creation of meaning and allowing ourselves to be inspired!

Where possible, we conduct fieldwork ourselves

On several international qualitative projects, it’s been proven more cost-effective to travel and conduct fieldwork ourselves when language did not pose a barrier. I’ve conducted face to face interviews in Spanish speaking markets across continents, and I’ve recently moderated an online community in French.

Beyond cost efficiency and a higher level of control, this allows us to be better grounded in the research and prevents the insights from being lost in translation.

Global stories with local chapters

With an international research project, especially a multi-market one, there are many stories to tell. There is the global narrative that goes beyond borders, but there are also the local stories that have their own voices and threads.

It’s common practice at Mustard to ‘lock ourselves in a room’, either on our own or collaboratively with our clients, and run storyboarding workshops sometimes for an entire day, looking for commonalities, differences and generating insights that are always ‘so what?’ tested. Although exhausted, we come out on the other side with beautifully crafted stories that we take great pride in.

Finally, learn and self-reflect along the way

We’ve developed the right tools, networks and processes that help us conduct international research to a high standard. However, we also acknowledge the need to constantly improve, and we’re continuously learning from the latest thinking in the sector, as well as from our clients, partners and participants. And some of us are even further refining our language skills!

Conducting international research is a true privilege. At Mustard we always come prepared to dive in with the excitement of a new challenge and the humility of being part of something bigger. If you want to go on this journey with us, we’d love to hear from you!

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”

Zurich

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Tangle Teezer

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Brighthouse 

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