FEATURE23 December 2015

2015 Review: the biggest success stories

Features Trends UK

The artist Pablo Picasso said “action is the key to all success”. So who has taken action and reaped the rewards this year?


“The Conservative party election campaign.” Deborah Mattinson, founding director, BritainThinks

“Jeremy Corbyn is authentic and it shows. His ‘success’ also demonstrates that authenticity may be a necessary requirement but it is not enough in itself.  Come back fakery and spin, all is forgiven?” Peter Totman, head of qualitative, Jigsaw

“Dublin and Ireland – the fastest growing Euro economy area in 2014 and again in 2015. I visited Dublin in September 2015 for the ESOMAR Congress and I was blown away by the development there since my last visit in 2009. The Irish Government’s fiscal policy is attracting a staggering amount of tech investment with the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook and eBay regionally headquartered there (to name only a few). The city is always buzzing but with an increasing amount of ‘brain gain’.” Christian Dubreuil, managing director, Northern Europe, Research Now


“The discounters going mainstream – hats off to them. And Leicester City proving that football can have fairy tales too!” Anna Cliffe, joint managing director, Trinity McQueen

“Apple and Tim Cook. Tim has successfully achieved the impossible and has followed Steve Jobs in leading Apple from strength to strength. He continues to grow the company and keep it relevant, and has managed it to become the world’s largest, while at the same time being inspirational in coming out in an age when gender and sexuality is still a firm corporate glass ceiling.” Richard Wareing, CEO and co-founder, ResearchExchange.com

“This year seems to have been the year of the health tracker. Brands such as Fitbit and Garmin have enjoyed great success in developing technology that allows users to track their sleep, exercise levels and heart rate, all in one handy device. The interesting element from a consumer perspective, is that users seem completely happy sharing this very personal information. I wonder if that would be the case if it became linked to insurance premiums and the like.” Andrew Wiseman, managing director, ICM Limited

“The non-stop growth of disintermediation brands, with Airbnb and Uber leading the charge.” Virginia Monk, managing director, Network Research

“Airbnb’s growth as a brand – which it has achieved without huge marketing campaigns, instead using digital, social and word of mouth. It has created the sort of ‘virtuous circle’ between advertisers (the people renting out their homes) and those wanting to use the service that Yellow Pages achieved years ago. Airbnb has been extremely successful as a digital disruptor, and is forcing bigger brands to rethink what they’re doing.” Amanda Phillips, head of UK marketing, Millward Brown


“The rise of mobile ethnography and storytelling, helping organisations become more instinctive and empathic towards customers.” Dan Stracey, chief inspiration officer, Dub

“The continued rise of neuroscience. More and more companies are realising the potential of looking at how consumers engage emotionally with a brand. Jane Rudling, managing director, Marketing Sciences Unlimited


“For me it is the way in which new thinking about consumers has increasingly shaped our activity. Technology is fundamentally reshaping brands’ and indeed governments’ relationships with people – market research has needed to move on to reflect this.  Notions of customer loyalty and brand equity are rapidly being reappraised in the light of this, with the consumer experience increasingly taking centre stage.” Colin Strong, managing director, Verve Ventures

tomorrow we'll look at the disappointments of the year