Launchpad Research marked its 20th birthday in May this year. After all the celebrations, team adventure offsite day, food, fizz, fun, and frivolities had died down, it has been a time of reflection for the business founders and team members [some of whom have been with us along the full journey], as so much has evolved and changed in the ways that we operate since we first opened our doors …
Back to when we started in 2002: Launchpad began as a Qualitative agency – quite simply because that was the background and forte of the 2 founders, Jill Appleby & Brigitte Barrett. However, it soon became apparent that in order to fully address briefs and widen our client base, we had to develop Launchpad into a full-service market research agency; hence we brought an experienced Quantitative manager onboard to address this requirement, closely followed by a Field Manager and expanded our team of in-house researchers…. Our days of being a Qualitative-only agency now a thing of the past!
Our early days evoke so much nostalgia with memories that are a world apart from today: not least of all a proliferation of paper questionnaires – all individually coded and involving hours of data entry, our wonderful field interviewers out on the streets across the UK armed with clipboards, piles of questionnaires and laminated showcards, and purchase orders received via fax – we always knew when a project was confirmed back then by the whirr of the good old fax machine!
Across the years research has evolved almost unrecognisably, with a plethora of methodologies, tools, and techniques at our disposal, revolutionising the way we operate; Launchpad’s digital transformation has been derived from years of ongoing exploration, experimentation and investment to make informed decisions on our next advancement. Most notably, the dawning and rapid evolution of the digital age, has changed data collection dramatically, with many methodologies moving online, streamlining the way we, and the sector, now work, with a less labour-intensive approach, resulting in faster insight delivery.
Moving into 2020, the Covid pandemic had a profound impact on how we operated too, particularly in terms of running Qualitative research. We could no longer travel to meet consumers face-to-face, so we quickly responded by shifting that service into the digital space too which has been a marked success.
2022 sees the return of face-to-face research, but also a magnanimous shift in consumer behaviours and businesses adapting to the new ‘e-world’; we continue to deliver online research, as it facilitates multiple benefits such as enabling a broader geographical reach – a huge benefit when recruiting niche target samples – significant cost-savings to our clients, and not least of all, reducing our carbon footprint by eliminating unnecessary travel.
2022 & beyond…so, as we reflect on the evolution of our business, here at Launchpad Research we look forward with great anticipation and excitement at what the next 20 years will herald … whilst we don’t have a crystal ball, for sure it will continue to evolve via technology breakthroughs, with the prospect of AI integration, and in parallel with consumers as their day to day living also continues to develop rapidly via tech. The need for speed by companies to make evidence-based decisions is a key focus for Launchpad to meet such demands. Consumer panels, communities, in-the-moment research tools, and dashboarding [to name but a few] are becoming more and more valuable as sources of delivering agile, cost-effective insights to our clients – we’re already on it!