‹ Success Stories


Audience understanding and branding research to improve customer perceptions

The brief

Equans is a global market leader in the sector with 74,000 employees leveraging 200 years of expertise. 

In the UK & Ireland, Equans is a provider of technical, FM, regeneration and energy services – with specialist capabilities in smart buildings, green mobility, district & embedded energy and decentralised renewables.

Equans’ 13,500 UK & Ireland employees combine these activities to help businesses, public sector organisations and government to embrace the energy transition towards net zero, and also the digital & industrial transitions that are redesigning the way we move, work and live.

The business had recently had a period of change – from a branding and ownership perspective.

In light of those changes, Equans was looking to better understand its strengths and weaknesses regarding:

  • service delivery & administration
  • brand perception, incl. identifying opportunities and evaluating the ‘value’ of the brand

Our research solution

In order to understand Equans audience and brand perceptions, Sapio conducted 20 online in-depth interviews with current Equans customers.

Contacts were provided by Equans and included customers across the UK from a variety of different sectors – including healthcare, mobile services, Central Government, and more.

Interviews lasted approximately 45 minutes and were conducted with individuals who held Management or Director level positions in a Facilities / Estates / Technical Services role.

Research outcomes and impact

Sapio undertook the design and execution of the work as well as the analysis of the data collected, presenting it back to Equans’ Executive Board.

The research helped to identify how customers perceived Equans, its key strengths and weaknesses, and also key opportunities for the business to explore.

Based on customers’ experiences, opinions and perceptions, we were able to help Equans identify key areas to achieve stand out among competitors and to help them improve customer experience.

As a result of the research, Equans has launched a company-wide project led by their Executive leadership team.

Using the key areas for improvement highlighted by the Sapio project, a number of work streams have been setup that will allow the business to track progress and make key improvements on the areas raised.

Richard Morgan, Head of Customer Experience at Equans UK & Ireland, commented:

The work Sapio carried out has given us clearer visibility on our customers views and perceptions. It has enabled our organisation to have an increased focus on the areas that really matter to our customers and to also celebrate the positive feedback that we received as part of the process.”

‹ Success Stories


Subtitles an unexpected hit, in so raising the visibility of Captioning Awareness Week.

The brief

As a charity dedicated to making art more accessible to the deaf community, Stagetext wanted to know how people in the UK feel about subtitles, and whether they would support their bid to make them more available in live shows, like musicals and plays. The project aimed to raise visibility of Captioning Awareness Week.

No research around the subject existed yet, so Stagetext aimed to use the exclusivity of the data to support their thought leadership efforts.

Stagetext wanted to know how people in the UK feel about subtitles

We collected the opinions of 2003 people in the UK

Our solution

After a brief stage of questionnaire advice, we put a quantitative survey in field, collecting the opinions of 2003 people in the UK, spanning every range and gender. The data took five working days to collect, and at the end it yielded some very interesting findings for Stagetext, including the fact that the younger generations – deaf or otherwise – make ample use of subtitles and would welcome them at live events too.

The news of the research was covered by top tier new outlets

The outcome

The data provided Stagetext with a new, exclusive point of view, which they used to fuel a successful thought leadership campaign. The news of the research was covered by top tier new outlets, like the BBC, The Times, The Huffington Post and The Guardian. It was even mentioned in overseas papers, Il Corriere della Sera in Italy, just to name one.

Stagetext also had the chance to talk about the findings in an interview at London Live.

The stats will still being publicly quoted on national and international news one year later, exceeding the camping metrics. This was compounded by public support from the likes of Donmar Warehouse, British Museum, the Barbican, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Royal Exchange Manchester.

“The fact that the data was so unique really helped them get the coverage”

Ian Morton from Campaign Collective, the communication agency supporting Stagetext
‹ Success Stories

The Together Project

Sapio Research’s charitable initiative enables The Together Project to raise funds to launch Crafting Connections.

The brief

The Together Project is a charity that creates intergenerational experiences, boosting wellbeing, reducing loneliness and enabling stronger, happier communities.

During the first lockdown in March 2020 The Together Project had to cease their intergenerational music group, ‘Songs & Smiles’ which invited 0-4 year olds (and their grown ups) into older people’s care homes and communal spaces.

However, they soon launched Hand in Hand Together, an initiative aimed at reducing the isolation that the lockdown brought. Children were encouraged to create hand print art works, which were then sent to residents of care homes – and vice versa. Stories and pictures were swapped in the post, allowing the youngest, oldest and in-between generations to feel connected and spread a bit of happiness between themselves.

This initiative sparked the idea for Crafting Connections – an arts and crafts exchange, pairing children with care home residents. However, the team at The Together Project wanted to find out more about their potential audience and whether this initiative was just an idea or had grounding as a live project.

Through the research they wanted to:

  • Speak to parents, guardians and carers of children aged 0-14
  • Understand their opinions and values around intergenerational contact
  • Hear what effect the pandemic has had on families
  • Understand how frequently children and grown ups do arts and crafts
  • Know the barriers and benefits to doing arts and crafts activities
  • Understand charitable donation habits
  • Understand behaviours regarding subscription boxes for children
  • Measure consideration of the proposed concept

This insight would enable them to:

  • Decide whether to move ahead with the project
  • Scope and refine the offering
  • Create materials to support grant applications

Our solution

Sapio Research’s first charity giveaway was launched at just the right time. The Together Project applied via our online form, and were randomly selected via an online generator as the lucky winners.

Sapio donated a project worth over £2,500 which included:

  • Questionnaire advice and consultancy support
  • Survey programming, hosting and incentives
  • 2,000 consumers’ opinions
  • A PPT report outlining the key findings and next steps signposting.

Key findings

The research revealed that 86% of parents and carers would like to do more arts and crafts with their children, and 90% were interested in taking part in the initiative.

We also learned that the majority feel it is important for their children to interact with people of different ages and backgrounds.

Those interested in taking part in the initiative would expect to pay an average of £10 per month.

The Together Project supplemented the consumer research that Sapio ran with interviews with care homes and their residents, who expressed great excitement about the idea.

The insights gave them confidence to proceed with their plans and evidence to demonstrate the potential value the programme would bring.


Research insights allowed the team at The Together Project to substantiate grant applications and create materials to support fundraising efforts to get the project off the ground. £45,000 was required to take Crafting Connection to market and create the first 500 friendships (at which point it would become self funding). Thanks in big part to the consumer demand demonstrated by the research, the funding target was achieved.

In February 2022, Louise Goulden, founder and CEO of The Together Project got in touch to let us know that Crafting Connections had been created and launched and we couldn’t be happier for them.

The project was the epitome of a well-rounded and thorough research project and we’re so glad that Crafting Connections has been launched and is bringing joy and friendship to people around the country. A great example of the power of market research.

“I’m truly delighted to be Crafting Connections’ ambassador. Creating art has so many benefits, whatever your age – from enhancing imaginative thinking and improving coordination skills to boosting your mood – and I love that this project has such a worthwhile purpose at its heart. I can really imagine the joy that both the children and the older people will experience when they open their friends’ pictures each month – what a wonderful thing to be part of”

Award-winning illustrator and author Nick Sharratt is Crafting Connections ambassador

The research project has been such a valuable tool, both for giving us the confidence to proceed and for bringing funders on-board. As a relatively young, small charity, market research at this scale is not something we’d engaged in before, but the insights delivered means we’re definitely considering it for future initiatives.

Louise Goulden
Founder & CEO
The Together Project
‹ Success Stories

Tangle Teezer

Award-Winning PR | Hair-raising research tackles underrepresentation and wins hearts.

The brief

Tangle Teezer wanted to create an authentic emotional connection with the natural hair community. They hired Don’t Cry Wolf to create an activism campaign to celebrate Black and afro hair, engage the natural hair community, and improve representation.

Knowing that the right tone and angle would be crucial to the campaign, Don’t Cry Wolf commissioned Sapio Research to:

  • Understand perceptions of beauty and representation through media and literature.
  • Create content to support the launch of Tangle Teezer’s HairyTales.
  • Inform the creation of a new line of brushes for kids with Black heritage hairstyles.

Create an authentic emotional connection with the natural hair community

1,800 online interviews with self-identified Black parents and children (aged 6-17) across the UK and US

What we did

To reach the heart of the target audience, we conducted 1,800 online interviews with self-identified Black parents and children (aged 6-17) across the UK and US.

We used a series of images to gather perceptions of beauty from children of Black ethnicities aged 6-17 and their parents.

A considered analysis provided thought-provoking data and headline statistics to enable Tangle Teezer to start relevant conversations with their desired audience.

Key findings

The research revealed that more than half of Black parents in the US (51%) and the UK (59%) said Black characters in books usually play on stereotypes and negatively depict Black culture.

We also learned that the target audience comprises avid readers, with books and literature being their 5th most popular topic of conversation. But only 12% of children’s books in the US and 2% in the UK feature Black characters.

The outcome

Research insights inspired Don’t Cry Wolf to help children see more heroes who look like them through bedtime stories. The solution would engage the whole family and tackle the genuine problem of underrepresentation.

Enter HairyTales, a series of books that re-write classic fairy tales—placing Black protagonists and afro-textured hair centre stage.

Our research also enabled Tangle Teezer to launch a new hairbrush line alongside the PR campaign.

Best Selling, Multiple-Award-Winning Results

The campaign was a rip-roaring success!

  • 300 press and influencer coverage pieces, including three one-minute segments on ABC’s Good Morning America and BBC News.
  • Over 60,000 site visits to the publisher’s site following the TV segments.
  • A subsequent distribution deal with one of USA’s top department stores.
  • One of the books was adapted into an animated video with over 250,000 views on YouTube.
  • Don’t Cry Wolf report a 10 x bigger return on investment compared to other Tangle Teezer YouTube content.

“Over half a million people in our target audience took action by buying books, watching the film or engaging directly with it on social media.”

Don’t Cry Wolf

The campaign received numerous accolades:

The Drum Awards for Social Purpose

Campaign of the Year
(for profit)

Best PR Campaign

Chair Award


Best in Representation of Diversity & Inclusivity in a Campaign

Brand Film Awards

Consumer Goods

PRCA National Awards

Purpose Award

‹ Success Stories


How including an insights proposal differentiates Marketing Agencies at the pitch stage.

The brief

A property developer in the South of England was preparing to launch a new brand, directed at a young, social and trendy audience, very different from the one they were used to. To get their new division ready to go, the developer invited Storm12, and another creative agency to pitch for the work on the launch campaign and the website. As the conversation went more into depth, Storm12 realised that their client was not completely familiar with this new audience and was open to finding more about them. So, they decided to include market research in their approach to inform their communion strategy and creativity.

Find out more about a new audience

Interviewing 252 people living in London or the South East, with an annual income of £15k or more

What we did

Storm12 got in touch with Sapio Research and together we built the plan and a questionnaire to pin down the new brand’s prospect audience. We wanted to discover what drives the home selection process, the barriers to purchasing a house, whether the builder’s brand has any influence, and the degree of location awareness the public has. In order to do that, we interviewed 252 people living in London or the South East, with an annual income of £15k or more. The survey was sent out to our online panel, and in a week we had our results back.

The outcome

The two creative agencies in the running gave the brand very different approaches. One had a purely creative take on the brief, the other, Storm12, the successful agency, offered more confident decision-making and deeper insights by using external research. The more thought-out pitch won the client.

The insights Storm12 went on to collect ensured their messages resonated with the most relevant audience and they had clear ideas on how the new brand should develop. As an added bonus it also produced a years’ worth of content to help amplify the brand launch.

The proposal supported with deep insights from the research won the pitch

If you’d like to know more about this project, watch our interview with Stefan Buss, Head of Client Service at Storm 12:

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