Award for Independent Consultants 2021: Spotlight On Nick Bonney, Deep Blue Thinking and Doodlebone

25 Oct 2021 | Research & Business Knowledge

The ICG has some of the most talented and experienced researchers in our industry and we are delighted to have them recognised in the MRS’s awards process. The MRS/ICG Award for Independent Consultants, now in its sixth year, is designed to recognise the contribution of researchers who choose to work as micro-businesses rather than in a larger agency environment.

Spotlight today is on our Finalist, Nick Bonney, Deep Blue Thinking and Doodlebone:

Digging Your Data – How Deep Blue Thinking Helped Doodlebone Champion the Independent Pet Trade

The pet food category is dominated by large well known brands but bizarrely when it comes to accessories such as collars or harnesses, there is a very little brand affinity. Doodlebone are aiming to change that by establishing by building a brand that can not only cater to the mass market but also tap into new market segments e.g. more active or style-led products. Through a phase of social media monitoring and qualitative research with both dog owners and pet retailers, we helped them refine the positioning both of their current ‘originals’ range and potential new range extensions. We then built a segmentation of their retailers using their own transactional data to help them understand which ranges they should be targeting at which retailers. It’s been great to work with a growing, family-owned business such as this where we can see an immediate impact of the research we’re running.

What Nick loves about being an independent consultant and his membership of the ICG:

Nick Bonney, Deep Blue Thinking

I set up as an independent consultant as I felt I was getting too far away from doing what I loved. It’s given me the freedom to get back to why I started in research over 25 years ago which is understanding what makes people tick and helping businesses make better decisions as a result. The ICG has proved invaluable since I started. Particularly during the pandemic, being an independent can feel quite isolating and it’s great to have such an experienced network of people to draw on for advice. No matter how random the question, you’ll inevitably find someone who’s tackled (and solved!) it before.

Being nominated for this award is a lovely endorsement of the kind of work Deep Blue Thinking has been running. As ever with this award, it’s a really strong field and I’m delighted to be considered alongside them .