Nursery Blog

MRS Awards 2020 Finalists

Extremely proud and excited that The Nursery has been named a finalist at the 2020 Market Research Society (MRS) Awards for Creative Development Research for our work with Shell.

Well done to all the other nominees – see you on Monday 7th December! 

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Starting a job in lockdown – who cares?

When the news came that lockdown was imminent, the whole world started feeling very nervous. My personal version of these nerves kicked in fully. Apart from the obvious threat of getting sick from what we now know is an awful disease, the added pressure of work was on. I had accepted my new job way before we knew the real severity of the pandemic. I was working out my notice before starting...

Home Sweet Home?

I am sure that I read somewhere that the three most stressful life events people go through are moving to a new house, changing jobs and having a baby. I’ve done all three and would have to say shifting all my possessions from one pile of bricks to another two miles down the road is pretty high on my ranking.

I’m not alone: in a 2015 Which survey 70% of respondents said selling their house was...

Brands and trust; the protectors, pioneers and promoters

COVID has created a new lens for people to view brands through, a lens with higher expectations. People now have opinions on how companies treat their staff, how tuned in or tone-deaf brands have been in their communications and how values or priorities have been revealed during the pandemic. This is not necessarily about winners or losers in lockdown, but rather how an extraordinary event of...

The Subversive Joy of Memes

At its core, social media is sharing. Some people use it as a virtual diary, the morning newspaper, for sheer laughter and entertainment, to engage in hot topics or even to feel like they are collectively watching a show with millions of others.

No one can question the creative flair that exists in these virtual social spheres. From memes to dances, social media is a creative melting pot of...

Creatures of habit?

It apparently takes an average of 2 months to form a habit, and around 9 months to properly embed one. It struck me that it’s now been 5 months since we were first told to stay at home, so habits formed during these difficult and strange few months might be starting to set in – in theory at least!

I’ve been reflecting on which lifestyle changes I’ve made and kept, and which have already proven...

The Golden Age of Fitness

It was mid-May and every time I looked out of the window for my 4pm daze he’d be at it again. Using my front wall as a prop to practice his press ups, checking his form in a car window - a patch of pavement on a quiet side street had become this man’s exercise oasis.

It wasn’t just my new friend; lockdown liberated the masses to start or try new forms of exercise. Local parks transformed into...

A look ahead to post lockdown qualitative research

It’s hard to believe that it’s only 4 months since The Nursery, like every other research company, had to switch our face to face interviewing to the virtual world, literally overnight. This created a huge shift in our working styles and practices. It feels like a lifetime ago.

As workplaces tentatively emerge from lockdown, there is plenty of discussion to be had about what parts of our...

Is your data working hard enough?

Our clients and partners are gathering data all the time. Recently we have noticed a few common issues being voiced: 

  • We tend to collect and gather data from lots of different sources, but rarely look at the overall picture 
  • Data we have collected could be better organised and more accessible  
  • There are lots of different points of view in the business, because different people are...

Shaping the video game market of the future

Open up any article relating to Covid-19 and video gaming and it becomes apparent that the sector is revelling in lockdown.  Use of video games has exploded as it becomes the way for millions of people to pass the time and stay connected without contracting Coronavirus.

But does this bubble have to burst?   

At present, all we see are stats to confirm growth; increase in volumes of...

Research can’t predict the future, but it can illuminate the present

Over the past few weeks we have been talking to several clients interested in carrying out qual research but who then hesitate before they give us the green light. It doesn’t seem to make sense, they say, if we talk to people in these strange / weird / unprecedented / uncertain (delete according to preference) times as they are emerge from lockdown, their responses will be very different from...

Does it spark joy?

Nine weeks into lockdown and we’re inching towards release. It’s not going to be business as usual, but it’ll certainly be one step closer.

What have we done with our time inside? And how can we prepare for the next phase of our lives as we emerge from our bunkers blinking into the sunlight?

At home I realise it’s been a combination of activities that will have set me up for the next stage.


There's no place like home...

What we previously knew as normal has well and truly gone, certainly for now, and the vast majority of us will have been at home now for almost two months. Now we all love being at home, spending time at home with our family and getting home after a long/stressful day at work. But when we were first told that we had to almost permanently stay at home; to work from home, that almost all places...

Working Your Patch of Land

Our homes, our kitchen and linen cupboards, our businesses, and even ourselves are transforming as we spend time at home. My current weekend project is turning a solid patch of concrete builder’s rubble into a new garden. It’s fair to say at the start I had no idea how to do this. 42 days into Lockdown later I’ve watched a few YouTubes, borrowed a fork, found some pegs and some string....

Back to the future: what has the pandemic taught us about food and drink?

The pandemic has fundamentally affected the way we relate to the food we eat and as we experience lockdown it has become a source of comfort and reassurance as well as basic physical sustenance.

In many ways it feels as if we have travelled back in time: ‘back to the 1950s’ is a phrase we keep hearing when we speak to people about how their lives have changed since the pandemic forced us all...

Video gaming – rising industry amidst global crisis. Research challenges and practical implications.

Current state of video gaming industry under COVID-19

Amidst the on-going global health crisis and direct damage it causes – namely, temporary closures of many businesses and overall economic stagnation – video gaming industry as a whole, starts to soar high as seemingly never before. Reports from various sources indicate massive surge in online traffic related to video-gaming [1], number of...

The Pursuit of Positives (in a Pandemic)

My morning routine for years has been to get up in a blur at 7am, grabbing a cereal bar to scoff on the way before diving out my flat and on to the tube, with no more than a rushed ‘see you later’ to my boyfriend.

The last time I did this was three weeks ago, but it may as well have been three years ago as so much has changed since then.

It has been hard to adjust. I have more time on my hands. I...

We are now officially Investors in People!

We are delighted to announce that The Nursery has been officially accredited as an Investors in People business.  This recognises The Nursery as an industry leader in developing and supporting its people and followed a rigorous assessment process.

The Investors in People Standard sets out the criteria for high performance through people based on a framework of leading, supporting and...

What have you been buying other than loo roll?

We have all found ourselves in very unfamiliar and uncertain times. Like the situation, consumer’s buying habits are far from normal. This got me wondering - aside from bulk buying toilet paper, antibac gel and dried pasta - what unusual purchases have people been making as a result of COVID-19?

10 days ago, my breakfast bar suddenly became my home office. In an attempt to make it a more...

The virtual world of face to face qual research

All of our working days have changed massively in the last week and although we wouldn’t wish it, we’ve all have had to adapt quickly. For the qualitative team at The Nursery, our biggest issue was that we had several weeks of face to face qualitative fieldwork set up for March and beyond, in both the UK and internationally. Some of our client’s first instinct was to cancel or go online, but...

Our approaches in lieu of in-person qual

While traditional in-person qualitative research isn't an option at present, it doesn't mean that face to face research is impossible, nor that qualitative insight gathering needs to be put on hold.

The Nursery has already completed a lot of live, online group and individual discussions this week leading to some reassuring observations:

1. People have been keen to take part - it's a welcome break...


Our research - they say it matters

When put on the spot, consumers will tell us they are ‘signed up’ for sustainable businesses. We spoke to 1000 consumers of whom

And the motivation is driven most strongly by factors relating to sense of self:

67% claim to feel more positive about themselves when buying from sustainable brands

And even 54% agreed that buying from sustainable brands was a form of...



The Nursery team have been pondering and researching issues around sustainability for brands over recent months. It is a hot topic and one that is growing in importance and shows no signs of dissipating. Fuelled by curiosity and a sense that this issue is one that touches most of the brands we help to grow, we undertook a three-stage research survey in which we:

  • Explored the...

People really like Mrs Brown's Boys and Twitter is yet again outraged

On Monday night Mrs Brown’s Boys won The Best Comedy Award at The NTAs, an award voted by the public. Twitter (not for the first time) exploded.

Ricky Gervais was 'robbed' by Mrs Brown's Boys at National Television Awards claim fuming viewers

… said The Daily Mirror. The Daily Mail felt people weren’t happy either:

Viewers are left fuming after Mrs Brown's Boys beats Fleabag to take home best...

Our Top Twelve 2020 Predictions

The Nursery predicts the big trends for 2020!

With so many of our predictions coming true in 2019 - single use straws being banned and re-useable food coverings replacing cling film - The Elizabeth line not opening - Brexit not happening and avocado ice cream becoming a thing, it would have been ludicrous not to have another stab at what the big trends might be for 2020!

So, we have consulted our...


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