NEWS27 July 2010

Mattinson and Cooke seek to ‘get Britain thinking’ with new venture

People UK

UK— Deborah Mattinson and Viki Cooke, the founders of Opinion Leader Research and former joint chairs of Chime’s research division, have revealed details of their new business, Britain Thinks, which aims to “get Britain thinking”.

Mattinson told Research the company will focus on “the big issues of our time”, using qualitative, quantitative and deliberative research methods to gauge the national mood and apply the learnings to clients’ business questions.

“Britain Thinks will be trying to get under the skin of the context that our clients are operating in, and applying that to the business dilemmas that they have,” she said.

The company also wants to get companies to sponsor public debates on major issues that affect them. These would be conducted using deliberative methods, both in person and online.

Mattinson and Cooke revealed they were working on a new business earlier this year when they left Chime.

Britain Thinks will launch fully in the autumn, but is already working with clients including a management consultancy and a PR agency, looking at attitudes to public spending cuts, as well as message testing and reputation work.

The firm will be based in London and will initially focus on the UK, but Mattinson said the intention is to go international “in the fullness of time”. She expects to have a core team of five to ten people by the autumn.

Mattinson recently published a book, ‘Talking to a Brick Wall’, in which she chronicles her work conducting and analysing focus groups for the Labour Party between 1986 and 2009, and how she feels politicians and voters have “stopped listening to one another”. She hopes the new business will help encourage more “grown-up” debates around important issues.