NEWS9 December 2019

2019 Breakthrough Business of the Year: Differentology

Awards News UK

At the MRS Research Live 2019 awards, market research and consumer insight agency Differentology won the Breakthrough Business of the Year category.

Initially a subsidiary of a creative agency, it first set up in 2013 as a single person running the insight function and by 2017 was a standalone business.

As it has moved from advertising effectiveness to strategic insights, its annual turnover grew by 36% and it’s increased headcount from 6 to 21, with more planned.

Its client list is predominantly in the telecoms, media and technology areas and includes BBC, Sky, ITV, Viacom, The Guardian and Disney.

In terms of its research it uses traditional methodologies alongside facial coding, AI-driven sentiment analysis, machine learning semiotics and ethnography.

Innovation is central to its work and it runs ‘innovation to go’ sessions where a team member presents an innovation outside the research sector and shares how they think it can be applied to this industry.

Lizze Gilthorpe, managing director of Differentology, said: "So far we’ve grown the business organically through word of mouth, and referrals, so it definitely helps to get our name out there. Winning the award on the night was amazing, and clearly there were some sore heads the next day… but we’ve celebrated it, and now it’s down to business. We’ve got some big ambitions, and we’re really just getting started on the journey to where we want to go."

The judges said of its winning submission: "A fantastic entry that met all of the criteria for breakthrough business of the year. The speed at which Differentology has transformed from a one-person operation to the scale of the business it is now is extraordinary. This is an ambitious team that is clearly not scared to challenge preconceptions – it’s exciting to watch."