About us

What we are

At Brand Genetics, we believe the Future is Human. We use a human-centred approach to insight and innovation to help our clients understand what people will want next. And we champion positive Innovation as the way forward, innovating for human happiness and wellbeing.

We’re called Brand Genetics for a reason. We launched in 1996 proclaiming “All marketing is Darwinian”, using the principles of evolutionary genetics to guide our approach to innovation. Understanding people – the DNA of what makes individuals unique – remains at the heart of our human-centred insight and innovation work today.

But while our principles remain the same, today’s innovators face new challenges and require new solutions, so we continue to break new ground. Despite being an established business, tackling global projects for major corporates, we maintain our start-up mentality, with a willingness to challenge innovation inertia. It’s this inherent dissatisfaction with the status quo that still motivates and inspires us today. We continue to work at the future’s edge, delivering structured strategic problem solving and human-centred insight and innovation to help our clients answer the question “What’s next?”

What we’re not

We are incredibly proud of what we do, but we’re also clear about what we don’t do. So, don’t hire us if you want:

  • A Big Agency –we’re boutique but agile and fast, rather than being big and corporate
  • Quantitative Measurement –we are focused on understanding whypeople do what they do and what they want next, not measuring what they do
  • Executional Delivery –we’re thinkers, not makers; our specialism is front-end insight and innovation (though we recognize the importance of making our thinking ‘real’ and realistic)
  • A Comfortable Ride – succeeding in the future will be challenging, so we believe we need to be as well: we will challenge your sacred cows, provoke fresh thinking and speak truth to power

Who we are

Andrew Christophers

Andrew Christophers

At Brand Genetics since the start-up days in 1998, specialising in food, drinks and FMCG, plus running both insight & innovation projects and training. Previously had 15 years client-side experience across Cadbury on their food brands portfolio, as head of marketing for Guinness’s lagers, and as head of innovation for KP Foods (United Biscuits). Manages a kids football team and remains a long-suffering fan of Newcastle United.

Tom Ellis

Tom Ellis

Innovator & brand strategist with experience across a wide range of clients and categories. Previously MD of brand & innovation consultancy Big Green Door, and Director of Strategy & Research at brand agency 1HQ. Enjoys pioneering breakthrough methodologies to unlock new insight and growth for brands & clients – creating solutions that work in the boardroom and the market. Front row rugby player, once of England students, now just on the carpet with his two kids.

Fiona Barnett

Fiona Barnett

Fiona is an experienced consumer insight and brand strategy specialist, endlessly intrigued about what makes people tick and brands thrive. A Marketing & Psychology graduate, and Board Account Planner at AMV BBDO, she has run numerous multi-market projects cracking strategic challenges across insight, innovation, positioning & architecture as a Consultant Strategist at Big Green Door. With a recent Certificate in Creative Writing from Cambridge University, Fiona is an aspiring radio drama writer and a keen bee keeper.

Marc Edwards

Marc Edwards

An insight & innovation specialist with a track record of driving value in products and brands through strategic planning and ideation. Marc started in R&D at P&G before moving to consumer-facing roles with the WHO and Sara Lee, more recently heading up the Home Care CMI team at Reckitt Benckiser. Won Presentation of the Year at the 2016 MRS Conference. Marc is a wannabe mystery novel writer, fluent Welsh speaker, and bank-roller of three rapidly growing-up kids.

Lesley Salem

Lesley Salem

Lesley is a highly experienced creative researcher and a dynamic innovator, whose passion is in finding new and intuitive ways to reach deeper human ‘truths’. Previously Lesley has held senior Director roles at Razor Research and Spinach, with a specialism in kids & family audiences, also working at FutureBrand and HeadlightVision, with client-side spells at both Unilever and The Body Shop. Her mantra is to make a positive difference across all aspects of life and work, which includes mentoring, organising community events and daily mindfulness.

Cliff Fawcett

Cliff Fawcett

A dedicated innovation and brand strategy consultant, well versed in tackling challenges across brand positioning, architecture, insight and opportunity spotting. An ex-Big Green Door Strategist and Psychology graduate, with extensive experience across food, drink, digital, personal and home care. Cliff is a climber and photographer who loves to travel.

Camila Marcondes

Camila Marcondes

Based out of Brazil and heading up our LatAm business, Camila is an experienced creative strategist who has been running and leading insight & innovation projects for more than half a decade at Brand Genetics – both locally and globally. Born in Rio, previously an award-winning Innovator at creative agency Biruta, with an MA from London College of Communications, and an MSc in Future-Focused Innovation at Goldsmiths in London. Photographer, surfer, climber and (perhaps inevitably) a Brazilian football fanatic!

Liz Thompson

Liz Thompson

Liz is an insight-led, human-centric strategist, who uses her interest and passion for understanding consumer behaviour to spot new business & innovation opportunities. A born problem solver from Pennsylvania, Liz has a background in neuroscience and psychology and has previously held senior strategy roles in New York at Bluemarlin, Dragon Rouge and The Decision Lab. Self-proclaimed puzzle fanatic, movie buff and ice cream aficionado, she enjoys discovering the world and exploring human nature through travel, food and literature.

Paul Marsden

Paul Marsden

Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer motivation and wellbeing. PhD in media influence, researching psychology of wearable tech at the London College of Fashion. Applies psychological techniques to uncover new insights and opportunities for brands. Author of Connected Marketing and The Social Commerce Handbook. Fluent in French. Big NBA Miami Heat fan, reformed bodybuilder and diving fanatic.

Mia Christophers

Mia Christophers

A product of the Ipsos MORI graduate programme, Mia has experience across media, communications and research. Previously a Senior Associate at FreshMinds, she also worked on healthcare for 2 years at Ipsos, including a 6-month secondment at Unilever. Mia has worked in planning at 7Stars Media, has a first class English Language degree from Cardiff University, and an MRS Advanced Certificate distinction in market research. She loves travel, fashion, health and nutrition.

Ben Preston

Ben Preston

A real entrepreneur, Ben has already founded a chocolate milk start-up (Old Farm No 1) and a ski event and lifestyle business (Shred Ski). With a first class BSc in Business Administration from the University of Bath, he previously worked in business development at HelloFresh, breaking records for marketing achievements. Ben is a keen sportsman enjoying ice hockey, floorball and especially skiing, and taking any chance to get out to the mountains.

Joëlla Vera Bril

Joëlla Vera Bril

Joëlla has a passion for art, culture and fashion, with a first class degree in Creative Direction for Fashion from London’s University of the Arts. With experience in social media, visual communication and film, plus trends and luxury brands, Joëlla also has an interest in digital innovation. Born and educated in The Netherlands, and fluent in Dutch & English, she enjoys traveling, reading and practicing yoga.

Clemmie Prendergast

Clemmie Prendergast

Clemmie has a wealth of experience in behavioural science and psychology, having worked at Vogue, The Financial Times, The Empathy Business and The Hunting Dynasty as a behavioural analyst. She has a first-class degree from LSE with dissertations in the online health revolution and the political economy of Barry’s Bootcamp. Clemmie is also founder of Fat Girl, an online community raising awareness of body image and eating disorders.

Nathania Messer

Nathania Messer

With a passion for both innovation and consumer understanding, Nathania has travelled extensively, giving her a real thirst to understand global cultural insight and behaviour. Having studied English Literature at the University of Birmingham, she worked as a consultant at Mash Strategy Studio, across a range of multi-market insight, positioning and innovation projects. Nathania helped create an ethical and more sustainable boutique hotel start-up in Bali, Indonesia.

Neha Ahmed

Neha Ahmed

Born in Pakistan, educated in Saudi Arabia and resident in the UK, Neha is fascinated by culture, human psychology and social enterprise. With first class honours in Business & Management from Aston University and a Masters from LSE, she has worked at IBM in global resource management. Neha’s entrepreneurial ‘Educase’ idea – a portable desk for children in outdoor schools in Pakistan and Nepal – has won Rainmaking’s 2017 Innovation Start-Up Award.

Brando Guerreri

Brando Guerreri

With a name like Brando and initials as BG, perhaps a career at Brand Genetics was always inevitable! A graduate in Business Management from Queen Mary, University of London, Brando has experience via work placements at The Boston Consulting Group, PepsiCo and Havas Media. A native Italian and English speaker, he is also fluent in French and Spanish, and is passionate about design, (e)sports and spending time outdoors.

Olly Wicken

Olly Wicken

Qualitative researcher and strategic planner with 30 years experience on marketing’s front line – where brands and consumers meet. Expert in developing successful brands, positioning and communications. Former MD of qualitative research agency DRSM and former Planning Director at Grey, DMB&B and Leo Burnett. Olly’s word skills extend to writing screen plays, and he is also a published author with Watford FC.

Matt Michaud

Matt Michaud

Matt has strong insight pedigree, is design savvy and has always been inspired by innovation. With a wealth of experience across global blue chip accounts, Matt started at Flamingo, was European qual lead at PRS and head of insight & innovation at Elmwood. Trilingual in English, French and Spanish with good Italian and Portuguese. Combines his passion for innovation, cycling and good wine via his own apparel brand ‘Michaud à Vélo’ with its trademark Merlot trim!

Holly Moore

Holly Moore

Holly, one of our US-based associates, is a creative insights expert with over 15 years experience of unlocking the voice of the consumer. She has helped many of the world’s leading brands sharpen their relevance and decode shifting consumer needs. A native New Yorker with a global heart, Holly has a BA from NYU, a Masters in Social Psychology & Media from LSE, and a passion for refurbishing furniture and spending time in hardware stores.

Charlotte Melford

Charlotte Melford

An Associate Director with over 15 years experience of bringing insight, strategy & innovation to business challenges. Previously European Managing Director at Clear and co-founder of Stripe Partners, with experience spanning global strategy, consumer insight & innovation plus activation & engagement. Charlotte started life at the BBC as an internal consultant. A mum of three kids and two kittens, she’s an enthusiastic cook and happiest enjoying a sundowner in sunnier climes.

Rachel Clare

Rachel Clare

An experienced brand & innovation strategist and global trends expert, specialist in future-focused insight development. Former Associate Director at The Henley Centre, with experience at The Body Shop and Futures Company. Passionate about understanding changing consumer values & lifestyles. Born in Dublin and raised in London, Rachel’s story-telling abilities also extend to novel writing.

Liza Makarov

Liza Makarov

Specialist in understanding different consumers and cultures, translating that insight into business opportunity. Expert ethnographer and strong visual thinker, with a background in trends and design. Ex senior consultant at PDD product development, with degrees in Social Anthropology and Business Innovation. Native Russian speaker who understands emerging markets, and has a passion for design, snowboarding and the great outdoors.

Amanda Ayoub

Amanda Ayoub

An American from New Mexico, Amanda is our resident neuroscientist, with an MSc in Psychology from Glasgow University (studying electrical brain stimulation) and now an MSc in Applied Psychology at the London College of Fashion (studying facial perceptions). With a passion for consumer behavioural neuroscience and interesting facts about the brain, Amanda like traveling, enjoys organising, and finds that cleaning calms her.

Kate Evans

Kate Evans

Kate is a strategic insight and innovation expert with 12 years’ experience of turning insight into action for some of the world’s biggest brands. Well versed in brand positioning, brand architecture and strategic innovation, and a seasoned qualitative practitioner, she was formerly Insight & Strategy Director at Clear, M&C Saatchi and an ad agency Planner. Outside consulting, Kate has put her money where her mouth is as Co-Founder of a beauty business.

Julz Donald

Julz Donald

Julz is an experienced brand strategist, with a specialism in futures and insights. Julz has spent worked across North America and Europe, most recently as Group President, Consulting for The Futures Company, with clients including Unilever, Diageo, Coca-Cola, American Express, Samsung and Kraft. Despite living in New York for over a decade, Julz retains her unmistakable Scottish accent and somehow finds time to fit in kick boxing and being a Tinkergarten leader.

Andrea Sinclair

Andrea Sinclair

As PA, HR and office manager, Andrea is the organising force behind the Brand Genetics team – she was previously office manager at global insight & strategy agency Flamingo, running the UK office. With a background in hospitality management, Andrea knows how to make people feel looked after. She enjoys event planning, doing anything creative, and exploring new places to visit with her daughter.

Abigail Ireland

Abigail Ireland

FCCA accountant with over 20 years’ experience in the creative industry. Former Finance Director of events company Central Hall Westminster and brand consultancy Brandhouse, and ex-Financial Controller of Big Green Door. A keen traveller who is always planning her next trip, and also a big rugby fan, especially if Ireland are playing.