FEATURE7 December 2022

2022 Agency of the Year: Kokoro

Awards News UK

UK – Kokoro has won Research Live Agency of the Year at the 2022 MRS Awards.

Kokoro at MRS Awards

In the past year, despite the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kokoro posted the strongest year in its 28-year history, with a 115% year-on-year increase in profits to £1.3m.

Turnover was up 16% to £7.2m, and headcount rose by 20 people to a total staff of 58.

Kokoro is female-founded and has equality and representation as core values, with women accounting for 63% of the board, 59% of employees being less than 35 and 15% working part-time.

The company has an employee-led listening group, called The Feeling, and has boosted its regional presence with a new Leeds office.

Supporting employees includes providing 28 days of holiday, celebrity-chef cooked lunches, 10 socials annually and paid time-off for volunteering.

Consequently, Kokoro’s retention rate is around 87%, with 28% of staff promoted, 90% receiving a pay rise in the past year and an agency-wide average 10% bonus.

Four graduates joined Kokoro this year, and the company spent £250,000 on 3,000 hours of formal training and knowledge sharing sessions, as well as increased wellbeing investment and support for hybrid working.

There were 12 new clients bringing in £682,000 extra revenue and client retention was 69%, with 63% of clients growing their business by 34% on average.

Kokoro has also become more diversified with its income, with the top ten clients now contributing 45% of income, down from 70% a few years ago.

Forty-five clients bought the firm’s consumer barometer The Score, which produced 239 hours of content with 1,065 readers and listeners.

Alison Bainbridge, founder at Kokoro, said: “What a privilege it is to win Agency of the Year. This was only possible because of the insatiable curiosity of everyone at Kokoro – alongside a laser-like focus on the commercial impact of our work.

“We also benefit from having clients, across a huge range of sectors, who rightly set a high bar in terms of plugging into genuine customer understanding. We enjoy the challenge and, through collaboration, become stronger together.”

A full list of MRS Awards 2022 winners can be read here.