We are NOT a sausage factory!

… and other reasons to work with a small to medium sized, independent market research agency like Mustard! Rebecca Harris explains…

When we’re commissioned by a new client, we always ask the question ‘why did you choose us?’ out of curiosity. A client once told me, “Well… with those BIG agencies (I think you know the ones she was referring to!), it’s like a sausage factory.” When we’d stopped tittering, she explained that with those big, global agencies, she felt like she was one of many, many clients (sausages!), on a conveyor belt, going through a standard process until being spat out at the end. No special ingredients, no personalised recipe, no hand crafting and no bespoke output.

Whilst I can see the benefits of the sausage factory approach (I have observed some of them firsthand), there are many advantages of choosing a small to medium sized, independent research agency, like Mustard, for your insight needs. Here’s my top 5 reasons why…

1. Senior people are ‘hands on’ throughout

In my own experience, the bigger agencies wheel out the most senior members of staff to ‘top and tail’ research programmes (unbeknown to the client). They actually have very little involvement in the project! This is not the case at smaller agencies, where there is less of a hierarchy and a more ‘all hands to the pump’ mentality. This increases the quality of the research.

2. More diverse leadership teams

In my experience, the senior leadership teams in the big, global agencies are very skewed towards middle-class, straight white males from London town, which hinders their ability to understand and empathise with not only their wider teams, but also research participants. They just don’t get the real world! Our more diverse leadership team lends itself to a more positive culture, and better research outcomes.

3. Your project matters to us, A LOT

Chances are, that every project commissioned evokes a ‘whoop whoop’ around the office, and a sense of joy – whether it’s worth £5k, £50k or £500k, all of these wins help to keep our business going, to pay our overheads and reward our committed staff. We don’t take any projects for granted, and deliver them all to the same high standard. This means that we appreciate every client, and this shines through in our service, and our work.

4. We are agile!

We can shift resources quickly, we can pivot when something is not going as expected, and we can adapt the approach as the findings unfold – you won’t hear us taking a ‘computer says no’ type approach, or encountering long delays when the project scope changes. With less red tape and more flexibility in our offer, we can work very efficiently.

5. YOU are going to feel good

In the same way that it feels good to ‘shop local’ and support a small business instead of lining the pockets of fat cats – especially in these tough economic times – the same will apply when commissioning market research. You’ll feel a much greater sense of satisfaction in partnering with an agency like ours.

In summary, clients sometimes want sausages – and that’s ok! But if you’re looking for a carefully curated meal, served with love, you might be better partnering with an agency like Mustard!

I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on why choosing a small to medium sized, independent research agency, like Mustard, is beneficial – let me know your thoughts.

Rebecca Harris

Research Director