who we are

meet the team

chris thomas

founder

Our fearless leader Chris has close to two decades of market research experience. As well as being a qualified Practicing Market Researcher, he’s also produced fantastic results for many of the world’s leading FMCG brands with his fresh thinking and commitment to excellence. Full of drive, good humour and energy, Chris is crazy about continuous improvement and always finds a way to evolve traditional research practices to deliver a better experience: for participants and clients.

 

becky mead

managing director

Becky joined the world of research 13 years ago in the UK, before moving to Sydney in 2009. Her experience with local and global agencies crosses a wide range of brands and markets, from FMCG to services and media. Becky's a hands-on leader, managing projects end-to-end to ensure the client's needs are at the heart of the entire project. She's excited by segmentation, usage and attitude, brand positioning, concept and offer testing, and market opportunity studies.

 

andrew turner

associate director

Andrew has been in the market research world for 14 years with extensive experience across a wide range of methodologies - both quant and qual. Andrew specialises in FMCG research including sensory, brand, packaging, U&A and segmentation. He's applied this expertise across food, beverage, liquor and household goods as well as grocery, services, building & construction and OTC pharmaceuticals. Phewy! Andrew's research philosophy is “I'll tell you what you need to know, not what I think you want to hear”. He enjoys having a story to tell with the data.

natalie baker

senior account director

Natalie brings to PLAY an extensive background of consumer insight experience, primarily from working in client-side roles at large FMCG and retail companies in Australia. From U&As, ad and concept testing, occasion mapping and brand tracking to customer experience platforms, she is well versed in conducting and utilising research to transformative effect. Her vision for research is simple: "Insights should clear, concise and readily understood by all client-side audiences." She believes insights can encourage cross-team collaboration and help inspire action by making the customer at the heart of all decision-making.

emma ditterich

senior account director

Emma brings extensive senior-level agency experience from working on projects across Asia Pacific, Europe, USA and the UK (one of her former homes!). Her research expertise spans FMCG and retail with a particular focus on NPD and innovation. Emma has a special interest in shopper research and category understanding. Diagnosing barriers to purchase and spend along the customer journey or path to purchase is her jam. She loves delivering simple insights and changes that actually yield growth.

 

mia bakkaren

event coordinator

Our favourite Dutchy, Mia's stellar background in hospitality is a great foundation from which to coordinate our sensory and product tests. Effortlessly running our 30-booth CLT while keeping the PLAY team in order is no small feat, but Mia's smarts and admirable levels of calm make it all look too easy. 

katherine savage

research consultant

Katherine has been in the research game for nine years. Her experience spans consumer, retail, tech, media, social, employer, financial and auto, working for brands such as Mars, HTC and Twitter. Katherine specialises in innovation research, in particular, U&As and market landscapes, segmentation, concept testing, pricing studies and conjoint, as well as path to purchase studies. She loves working collaboratively with clients and embedding results to drive change.

helen finn

account director

Helen has 17 years research experience specialising in FMCG and sensory research. During this time, Helen's successfully guided FMCG's product development, from idea screening to concept through to pack and (specifically) product refinement. A finalist in the AMSRS Research Effectiveness Awards for ‘Commercial Excellence’, her product segmentation work identified a new product category and resulted in growing the ‘first mover’ brand by 21% overnight! Helen loves that she gets to eat ice cream and drink the occasional wine at work…. all in the name of research!

 

ira rustandi

research consultant

With an innate talent for numbers, Ira joined the research world just over a decade ago as a quantitative researcher, and throughout her career, has specialised predominantly in FMCG brands. Over the years, she has worked on projects across various industries and has extensive experience with a wide range of techniques. Ira loves discovering patterns in the numbers and translating these into clear, simple stories for clients.

carla alipit

research manager

Carla started her career in consumer insights seven years ago working with multinational research agencies. She built her expertise in customer satisfaction, mystery shopping and U&As in industries such as FMCG, automotive and retail. Carla loves talking to people and learning the ins and outs of the consumer journey. Sharing her discoveries with clients gives her a sense of purpose and joy.

kristina thomas

community manager

Kristina keeps our Shopper Social community happy and engaged. She is a dedicated content creator; sharing fun and creative ideas for parents and DIY enthusiasts for up-cycling and creating innovative homes and gardens. Having previously developed and implemented Pfizer Pharmaceutical's Community Engagement program across Australia, Kristina has a deep understanding of what it takes to build community engagement and strong member relationships.

rox cadiz

research manager

Rox is a passionate researcher who, for the past five years, has collaborated with many large FMCG brands on quantitative projects. Her background is in concept and product testing, brand health tracking, and mystery shopping. Curious by nature, Rox enjoys being involved in every part of a project and working with clients towards fresh insights.

raymond villegas

survey programmer

Raymond is a self-confessed techie. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering and is an experienced Software Engineer with three years of experience in Survey Programming, specifically in the services industry. He has a passion for eSports, music and of course, setting up awesome surveys!

PLAY is a boutique, results-oriented, creative consumer market research agency with a culture of continued improvement, and an unfaltering ‘can do’ attitude.

 

Our vibrant, passionate team possess diverse experience from both agency and client side, and we have experience (both internationally and locally) in a range of quantitative and qualitative approaches, that drive meaningful insights.

 

We are agile and innovative in our approach to research; proud to have long-term relationships with our clients, and lucky enough to be located on Sydney’s beautiful northern beaches and in the city of Melbourne, Australia.

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“PLAY’s ability to simplify what is sometimes a complex innovation research process worked perfectly. They approached the challenge efficiently, and quickly identified how the new packaging would deliver against our brand’s KPIs, and where there were opportunities to optimise the new designs further.”

Michael Sergeant, Group Marketing Manager
Campari Asia Pacific

“PLAY’s no-nonsense approach and ability to quickly get to the heart of the problem makes them the perfect partner for us. They tackle the business issue with methodologies that are spot on for our timeframes and budgets. Recommendations are relevant, actionable and delivered in a way that makes them extremely easy to digest.”

Ned Tesic, Head of Marketing
Sydney Markets

“PLAY have shown a strong understanding of research approaches, consumer brands and the FMCG categories we operate in. They have successfully turned around fast research projects as required but they have also challenged us and worked in partnership on a number of more strategic challenges.”

Mark Whitby, Regional Consumer Market Insight Manager
Unilever

"Play is my go-to market research agency because of their can-do attitude, their willingness to try something new, their continual strive for the best technology and products as well as their sharp, concise, insightful reporting. They are fun to work and play with."

Alison Turner, Quantitative Research Manager
Nestlé

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