‹ 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

Praxis Medicare

Understanding market opportunity for an AI-driven digital healthcare technology solution.

The brief

The start-up Praxis Medicare was looking to understand the market opportunity for a digital healthcare technology solution. Designed to help organisations (particularly SMEs), the system, which is based on historical healthcare data, uses Artificial Intelligence (AI), plus employees’ responses to help minimise absenteeism, improve engagement, increase staff retention levels and attract high calibre members of staff.

The advanced digital health risk analytics programme was awarded a grant by Innovate UK to test its commercial feasibility as it fitted into the Government brief of:

  • improving patient outcomes
  • offering new approaches to healthcare that transform its delivery
  • reducing the demand on the health system

This feasibility project specifically set-out to understand the required tonality of an AI proposition and its resonance if the output was Productivity/Econometrics based or Employee Engagement/Retention focused.

Understanding the market opportunity for a digital healthcare technology solution

A series of exploratory in-depth face-to-face interviews and a quantitative research phase

What we did

A series of exploratory in-depth face-to-face interviews, using professionally developed customer journey stimulus and story boards, were completed to explain the concept and help to understand the potential issues and perceived benefits. This was then complemented by a quantitative research phase to validate the findings and help develop a go-to-market strategy. Particular insight was provided around dashboard UX/tonality, price point analysis and the characteristics that prospects needed to exhibit. All of the interviews were completed with business managers in high churn industries with specific responsibly for HR and talent acquisition.

The outcome

The project gave Praxis the evidence it needed to meet the review criteria of Innovate UK, the insight required to develop the system further and a route map to take the solution to market.

‹ Success Stories

Maths – No Problem!

Enabling a disruptor in Education Publishing.

The brief

Maths – No Problem!, a family owned publisher offering a teaching maths for mastery programme consisting of a print, digital and CPD offering, is on the brink of becoming one of the biggest disruptors in its space.

As the only provider to be approved for the Government’s Maths Mastery programme (a £41 million Government investment, match funding mastery textbooks for 8,000 Primary Schools), Maths – No Problem! wanted to fully harness this opportunity, whilst maintaining the integrity of its programme. Maths – No Problem! wanted to understand the competitive landscape, what drives schools to choose its programme, what’s working well and understand areas for potential improvement. Although the feedback needed to be from users, it couldn’t be a conventional customer survey as the users are not yet experts in the new maths system; their opinions needed to viewed from a different perspective as Maths – No Problem! drives programmes that will impact the leaders of tomorrow.

Understanding the competitive landscape, what drives schools to choose its programme, what’s working well and understand areas for potential improvement

Twelve tele-depth interviews


A phased, mixed methodology was designed which complemented the customer immersion work already being undertaken by the organisation. Twelve tele-depth interviews were conducted with maths leads in new and old accounts that covered a range of primary school demographics. While many findings were expected a number threw a curved ball into the understanding of the competitive landscape. The programme progressed to the quantification stage as planned, but upon reflection of the insights its focus was quite different. There followed 147 online interviews were subsequently conducted online.

The outcome

Not only did the programme produce a raft of insights relevant to product development needs, but insights around platform UX, marketing campaigns and customer service were also identified. The results solidified current thinking and took it way beyond the project’s initial objectives; the qualitative stage alone being credited as being more helpful in terms of strategy development than the outputs of a conventional consultant commissioned a little earlier.

Although the use of the insights is in its early stages, Maths No Problem! is already well on the way to smashing renewal and new business targets, and its Net Promotor Score is outstanding. It’s also won the IPG Independent Publishing Award for Education Publisher of the year 2017 and the disquiet among competitors suggests that it’s a disruptor to be reckoned with.

The Maths — No Problem! Primary Series is now the only recommended textbook for schools on the mastery programme.

The Maths — No Problem! Primary Series is now the only recommended textbook for schools on the mastery programme

‹ Success Stories

Charles Russell Speechlys

Policy recommendations based on insights from the Social Care Sector to reinforce the firm's positive reputation.

The brief

Reinforce the law firm, Charles Russell Speechlys’ positive reputation and offer Partners a platform from which to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise. Insights also needed to inform a division’s business and relationship development strategy, and lead to content that could be shared publicly. Given the uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote the adult social care sector was one such sector where the impact of leaving the EU needed to be understood and expertise shared.

Reinforce the firm’s positive reputation

19 in-depth interviews

What we did

Sapio Research devised a programme of 19 in-depth interviews via phone with care home directors and owners, covering more than 1,300 elderly, domiciliary and specialist care homes, within excess of 39,000 beds. The work identified the proportion of non-UK nationals working in the sector and estimated the impact on future recruitment and retention. We identified best practice in this area and elements within the landscape that were likely to exasperate things, even identifying specific calls to action.

The outcome

Our client was able to confidently enter into the immigration debate recommending that the Government put carers on the skills shortage list, open up Tier 2 to ‘non skilled care workers’ and that simplifying the process was essential to maintaining a good quality care standard with availability. The point of view (which was published in a white paper) led to invitations to present at vertically targeted conferences and interviews on The Today programme Radio 4. The outputs were even referenced in House of Common debates and client relationships were strengthened.

Confidently enter into the immigration debate with policy recommendations

‹ Success Stories


Initiating a conversation to understand what was causing gender imbalance in the Fit Out sector.

The brief

BW was aware of the gender “in balance” that existed in the Fit Out sector and wanted to initiate a conversation by understanding what was causing it, what could be done to help improve the situation and how more women could be attracted into the Industry. The initiative needed to be positive, focused on the importance of “balance” and be something that key employers in the industry could align with.

Initiate a conversation by understanding what was causing gender imbalance

A series of workshops with women of different ages and seniority from the range of disciplines

What we did

A series of workshops with women of different ages and seniority from the range of disciplines that make up the Fit Out Industry: Architects, Project Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Office Designers, Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) consultants etc. The workshops, which were run under “Chatham House”, rules set out to: understand the issues, identify potential sources of prejudice and identify ways in which the industry could be promoted in a more positive light. While convectional facilitation processes were used these were complemented by projective techniques to help make the outputs as creative as possible.

The outcome

A different perspective on the causes of the gender “in balance” challenges facing the industry and a series of actions that could be taken to help improve the situation. Combined with the momentum and goodwill engendered by the workshops BW was in an excellent position to lead a campaign and help bring about change in the Fit Out Industry.

A different perspective

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