Easter is just around the corner and we wanted to do something special to celebrate with you. We’ve given our team members an Easter makeover, creating an exciting Easter egg hunt game for you to participate in.

Starting Monday March 27th we will post an animated GIF on our team page every day until Friday March 31st. Each GIF will feature one of our team members who has been transformed with an Easter theme. Your challenge is to spot the team member who has had the makeover and send us an email with your answer. Everyone who correctly identifies the team member of the day will be entered into a prize draw. The more days you participate, the more chances you have to win.

Here’s how to enter:

1. Go to our team page each day –
2. Click on the team pictures until you find the one you think has been given a makeover.
3. Email your answer to

Prizes include:


Hotel Chocolat: The Ultimate Easter Hamper
Is there anything better than finding a luxurious Easter egg this time of year? Well, we think there might be — finding a whole hamper of them! Nestled within the chic wicker basket of The Ultimate Easter Hamper, you’ll uncover an array of petite and large treats for all the family. There’s something for everyone in this comprehensive collection, though it might be hard to know where to start…

Liz Earle: Eight Piece Patchouli & Vetiver Gift Set
With a fresh, earthy scent featuring notes of warm patchouli and woody vetiver essential oils, this luxurious body care set blend soothes and helps skin retain moisture to provide long-lasting hydration, while delicately scenting skin. Powered by ingredients expertly selected for their efficacy, including shea butter, avocado oil, echinacea extract, hops extract, borage and natural source vitamin E.

Salter: Professional Mixologist Kit
Bring the bar home and mix cocktails your way whether it be blended, shaken or stirred thanks to the Salter Professional Mixologist. This generous 1.5L glass jug blender is perfect for making a delicious round for friends and family. With 2 speed settings and a detachable design, this 800W mixer crushes ice cubes and frozen fruit with ease. Get the complete at-home cocktail experience using the included cocktail shaker, strainer and jigger to turn everyday ingredients into artisan cocktails.

NEOM: Three Piece The Marvellous Moment of Calm Gift Set
Create your very own marvellous moment of calm with this blissfully relaxing collection which contains a Real Luxury Magnesium Body Butter, Home Mist and a Scented Candle. Taking time to create calm is something we’re passionate about. The NEOM Scent To De-Stress range has been specially formulated with natural fragrance, which not only smells wonderful but also has a deeply calming effect on the mind and body. A complex blend of the purest possible essential oils, including lavender, jasmine and Brazilian rosewood, all expertly blended to help you feel calm and banish stress.

Emma Bridgewater: Monty Portable Dab Radio
The Polka Dot Monty is a Which Award-Winning Best Buy Digital & FM Radio and portable Bluetooth speaker, designed in partnership by Emma Bridgewater and British audio brand MyVQ. With DAB/DAB Digital & FM Radio, Auto scan, wireless Bluetooth, 3.5mm aux in, USB port for charging, Acoustically designed case and ultra-wide full range stereo speaker, EQ with presets and MyEQ to personalise settings and Alarm Clock with Weekday and Weekend settings, as well as Snooze, Sleep and Countdown.

We hope you enjoy this festive game and look forward to celebrating Easter with you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Coming Home

I’ve been involved in and around market research from a young age, when my Mum was a recruiter and we used to hold focus groups in our lounge at home! During secondary school and A-Levels I’d help out with participant recruitment or hosting in our Viewing Facility, Aspect, and after studying Psychology at University, I decided that I wanted to forge a career in the research industry and joined Acumen as a Fieldwork Manager. At the time Acumen was in it’s infancy, headed up by Abi, I became its second employee and I’ll never forget the thrill of winning new clients and the utter delight to hear fieldwork had gone well.

Having note-taken for many researchers over the years and being a naturally inquisitive person, I decided that I wanted to see what life as a Researcher was like, so I moved to London where I worked for a number of agencies (Research International / TNS, now Kantar, Spring Research, now Material and Razor Research), initially starting in Quant research, before moving to Qual and becoming a Research Director, as well as a Board Member of the Association of Qualitative Research (AQR) taking responsibility for skills and training of those newer to the industry.

After around 8 years in London, I decided to move back North and re-join the family businesses, setting up Full Colour Research and supporting Acumen clients who needed additional resource with moderation and reporting on projects. Alongside my work as a Researcher, over the past couple of years I’ve had an increasingly active role in Acumen so am delighted to now be officially returning to the fold as Chief Operating Officer, working alongside Abi to ensure that whilst Acumen have grown in size, we remain true to the values that were instilled all those years ago. I’m excited to work with the teams on training, understanding the impact of great participants on the overall project and offering my perspective as a researcher into how project managers and recruiters can best support, add value and make our lives easier. I’m excited to innovate and work with the team to ensure our systems and processes set up apart from our competitors and allow us to show the agility and forward-thinking nature that the research world needs. With Acumen offering Qual, Quant, Healthcare, Social, B2B and International research, I’m excited to use the skills I’ve acquired in my career to date to help Acumen deliver the best possible service to clients and I have realised that I still get that same thrill from winning a new client and hearing how well fieldwork has gone as I did all those years ago.

Showing up for our clients is what we do

There is a lot of talk about values at the moment. People and companies are really trying to explore what, at their core, is important. It seems to us that this is a very healthy thing to do, so we would like to take the opportunity to share one of our fundamental values. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, it’s more important than ever for organisations to take the time to reflect on their values and ensure that they are aligned with their mission and goals. At Acumen we are proud to have “Positively Delight” as one of our core values and believe that it sets us apart from the competition.

Here’s what we mean when we talk about positively delight… This value embodies our commitment to excellence and our relentless pursuit of delivering the best possible outcome in every situation. To us, this means having high standards, always striving to be the best we can be, and approaching every challenge with a can-do attitude.

We believe in taking personal responsibility for our actions, acting with integrity and transparency at all times, and being proactive in anticipating and solving problems. We also believe in sharing our knowledge and experiences with others, as well as showing up for our team and clients, always being there to support and help whenever needed.

At Acumen, we have been striving to live up to this value since our founding nearly 20 years ago. We are proud of the culture we have built and the impact we have had on our clients and communities. We are committed to continuing to positively delight those around us and make a positive impact in everything we do.

Don’t take our word for it, here is some recent feedback:

Experience of Cancer Patients and Caregivers

Acumen’s Healthcare team recently conducted a study on behalf of a cancer charity aiming to understand the experiences of cancer patients and their loved ones. The study had a total of 56 participants including 20 cancer patients undergoing treatment or in remission, and 36 loved ones who provided care for those in treatment, those in remission or those who had lost a loved one to cancer. The study was challenging due to the sensitive nature of the subject, but the feedback from the participants revealed a positive experience for all involved.

The study was conducted with the aim of providing insight into the experiences of cancer patients and their loved ones. The participants included individuals from various ethnic backgrounds with a focus on Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani backgrounds.

Despite the sensitive nature of the study, a large majority of the participants found it to be a positive experience. They expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to take part and thanked the team for their understanding, professionalism, compassion and attentiveness. Many participants even went as far as to leave feedback for the moderators, describing the study as an interesting and cathartic experience, as well as an honour to take part in.

The study showed that cancer patients and their loved ones face significant challenges including physical, emotional and psychological struggles. The participants revealed that they found it helpful to share their experiences with others who could empathise and understand their situation. For many participants, the study provided a platform to express their emotions and concerns, which they may not have had the opportunity to do before.

The study also revealed that healthcare professionals could benefit from more training and support in dealing with cancer patients and their loved ones. The participants highlighted the importance of healthcare professionals being compassionate, understanding and attentive to the needs of their patients and their families. It is evident that healthcare professionals play a crucial role in the care and treatment of cancer patients and their actions can significantly impact the patient’s experience and overall well-being.

In conclusion, this study conducted by Acumen Healthcare was a success. The participants found it to be a positive and cathartic experience and the study provided valuable insights into the challenges faced by cancer patients and their loved ones, highlighting the importance of compassionate and attentive care from healthcare professionals. The Acumen Healthcare team’s commitment to conducting studies that provide valuable insights into healthcare and patient experiences is commendable, and their efforts should be applauded.

2023 how it began

Holly, one of the Recruitment Specialists in our B2B and Social Research Team, discusses some of the exciting projects to have kicked off 2023 with a bang.

“In the first project, I completed this year, the client wanted to conduct market research with a face-to-face component, of 40 participants. The research was focused on Food and Hospitality businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Contacting smaller and newer businesses through standard processes, particularly for food vans, market stalls and businesses with low hygiene ratings was expected to provide a challenge. To address this issue upfront, we spent time building contacts with street food vendors and market stalls in Wales and Northern Ireland. Additionally, we took the opportunity to make direct f2f contact with businesses where possible, this proved fruitful.

Using these multiple methods of sourcing participants provided a diverse selection of the target group, which proved invaluable for our client.

Hot off the heels of this B2B project, I was involved with a project where we were commissioned by a UK Water Company to work on a study which aims to engage with 35 participants who are part of their more vulnerable customer base, ie who are likely to fall within at least two of these groups (unemployed, low household income, in debt, digitally challenged, low reading/writing skills, physical disabilities, mental health issues, and older people 75+). The client was also looking for Eastern European participants who have lived in the UK for less than two years.

The target groups have low representation online, and we had the additional complexity that they had to live in specific geographic locations, so we had to use additional tools to build contacts and also engage with community groups where appropriate.

When screening these participants, the topics needed to be addressed carefully and sensitively in order to put people at ease and allow our clients to gain meaningful insights.

It was really enjoyable working on these two projects and I am looking forward to my next challenge.”

If you want to discuss your next project, please contact us on

Positive Energy

With the news of the Energy Bills Support Scheme being given to households, our Project Manager Clare Deer has recently undertaken an exciting project that is very much topical to this current conversation.

Although not limited to, the project involved 6 workshops in locations such as Coryton, Thornhill, Hardwicke, Dumfries, Anfield and Toxteth, with a focus on discussing the future of domestic heating and energy networks. Teamed with the implications these changes may have for consumers across the UK, this project was particularly interesting as it enabled us to hear individual circumstances regarding the energy crisis.

As an added layer there was also a focus on hearing the voices of those currently living in areas not connected to The National Gas Network. Albeit a challenge, we employed various untraditional methods of recruitment such as on-street, local advertising and social media to target individuals who weren’t as easily accessible via database methods.

The project was a success and we’re looking forward to seeing the results of this study feed into future discussions around this.

If you wish to work with our team on your next project please contact

Computer says, ABSOLUTELY!

Database recruitment is a key method in finding fantastic participants but it clearly comes with some caveats. How big? How is it managed? What information does it hold? How is it different from a panel? These are all important questions and not all databases are created equal!

Here at Acumen we have the UK’s largest database with participants who have actively signed up and are warm to take part. It is managed in-house and participation is closely monitored, meaning we can focus our attention on recruiting new, fresh participants. Last year alone over 55,000 unique participants applied to take part in our research projects.

“What if the people I need aren’t just sitting on your database waiting for your call?” We don’t feel that giving a project back because participants aren’t on our database is acceptable, especially in a world where it is so easy to find and contact people. So in-house recruiting from scratch through a variety of sources is very much part of what we do. Where possible, our in-house recruiters will join your briefing call together with the project manager so nothing gets lost in translation. We deliver real-time updates so there are no last-minute surprises before fieldwork. We pride ourselves in thinking outside the box when it comes to recruitment, so we can recruit to even the most complex of quotas including hard-to-reach participants. We will work together with you to design the approach, agreeing who to contact and how we will reach them.

Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords here at Acumen, but are lived through our members of staff and are always top of mind when recruiting participants – something we think should be standard on all projects.

Quality standards are also assured and Acumen are committed to maintaining the high standards for which we are known. In 2007 we developed our own fraud and repeat participant prevention system – Acumonitor. Available only to Acumen’s clients, ensuring that we offer only the freshest participants who match the exact criteria that our clients need for their research. We were also pioneers of the MRS / AQR Recruiter Accreditation Scheme and helped establish the framework for it.

We pride ourselves on being flexible on project timings and tight recruitment windows. So, if your client is in a hurry to get work conducted then give Acumen a call to discuss the requirements.

Computer says, ABSOLUTELY!

“She’s Electric”

We are starting the new year with a look back to one of Holly Slater’s favourite projects from 2022, including a welcome return to in-person research. Holly says

“Having always found the automotive industry to be fast-paced and interesting, particularly the emerging electric vehicle sector, it was great to have recently undertaken a project on electric vehicles with this rapidly growing audience.

The project included sourcing owners of specific electric vehicle makes/ models, accompanied by various quotas around purchase duration and attitudes towards the purchase journey. Participants were invited along to a face-to-face session where they were asked to feedback on some new emerging electric vehicle concepts, interacting with actual prototypes. The specifics of the sample, teamed with the face-to-face methodology made this a logistically challenging project, although it was a very satisfying recruit when learning the participant feedback directly contributed to optimising a leading manufacturer’s new product launch.  

I’m very much looking forward to those new EV briefs landing in 2023!”

As sales of electric vehicles continue to grow, we can expect the market to become more competitive and the need for the insight provided by market research to remain as valuable as ever.

If you want to speak to someone about your 2023 projects and how Acumen can work with you to fulfil your research goals please contact Becki Pickering, and to see some of the services we can offer you can click here.

Coffee to go

Richard Lumour, Quantitative Project Manager at Acumen gives an insight into an in-field coffee-tasting project.

Mid-November, 18th and 19th to be precise, I was tasked with being the project lead on a coffee taste test in Newcastle. Quite the logistical challenge, 420 coffees over 2 days, 2 different types of coffees, from 3 different vendors!

Personally, I love a good logic puzzle. This kind of project was my first hall test, but immediately I could mentally see all of the challenges and tasks that needed ironing out. And it all felt like it was going to be fun.

Obtaining cash incentives, organising a recruiter team (and their accommodation), sourcing a venue, getting all the cups, stirrers, and milk, along with tracking quotas, checking the survey, and finally getting all of the items to Newcastle, lots of small tasks to make one big project.

After a half day of driving in torrential rain to get to Newcastle, I met with the team tasked with intercepting passing shoppers to recruit them. After COVID, it’s been nice to get to meet our recruiters in person. There’s only so much you can communicate over the phone, but by speaking in person, and seeing their processes, you can give a steer when needed to achieve the desired goals.

Finally, after the last lattes had been consumed and evaluated, it was done. Having not had the opportunity to work anywhere North of Manchester, it was a pleasure to work alongside the recruiter team. The quotas were full, and the client was happy with the data we sent across. I made sure to pick up a Newcastle favourite food (a stottie cake) at the recommendation of one of the team!

If you want to discuss your next hall test with us, email