the akin (/əˈkɪn/) is a women-led consumer research and strategy studio based in London. We were founded in 2017 by Sarah Johnson to bring about futures that are intersectionally feminist, ecologically regenerative, and anti-racist.
In addition to client work, the akin publishes multi-disciplinary research on societal shifts, subcultures, technology, creativity and lifestyles. See our work here.
We monitor the signals of a changing society in our bi-weekly Substack. This helps us and you understand how culture is changing, how you can contribute, and how you can adapt your business.
is an occasion when you and your team step away from the "office" to immerse yourselves into a community or culture. We specialise in the organisation and facilitation of brand-related offsites that are culturally- competent and safe for the community we're visiting and your team.
help your engage in intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject or project. Our workshops are action-orientate and designed to facilitated to uncover and address socially or politically sensitive brand and innovation conversations.
are an opportunity to allow you and your team to gain otherwise inaccessible insight from the people and experts driving change in your industry. We organise and facilitate intimate dinners for you and your team to engage in semi-facilitated thought-provoking conversation around a specific topic as you share a meal with the Changemakers you've heard about it.
help us understand how a specific new idea, technology, or framework is impacting our worlds, industries, or communities. Experts help us understand our probable futures and how we can practical influence their field to build the futures we want. Especially important for complex or highly-specialised socio-technical questions.
a plan for high-level growth driven by a launch into a new market, like a new country, or a new product category.
A good expansion strategy is informed by brand strategy, cultural insights for the new market, and current and future audience typologies.
is a profound and sometimes uncomfortable truth about a person and/ or peoples evidenced by their behaviour, experiences, beliefs, needs and desires.
Insights offer a business opportunities for innovation. Left ignored, insights may become a risk or threat to the business.
is a way of organizing a brand's different parts and how they each relate to one other. It helps businesses understand how their products, services or content platforms work together and complement one another.
The oww [One-World World] is the predominant idea in the West that we all live within a single world, made up of one underlying reality (one nature) and many cultures. Popularised by Arturo Escobar, the one-world world is a demonstration of the West’s imperialist habit to claim it is ‘the world,’ forcing other worlds to confirm to its rules, to diminish them to secondary status or to nonexistence, often figuratively and materially.
is used to answer questions like “how much” or “how many.” Quantitative data is structured, ie numbers and values, making it a more suitable candidate for data analysis.
We conduct quantitative research via surveys, experiments, and market reports.
is used to answer open-ended questions like "why". Qualitative data is un- or semi-structured data – aka messy.
We conduct qualitative research using focus groups, 1:1 interviews, expert interviews, case studies, cultural theory, or cultural narratives.
someone who is embracing, encouraging and proactively creating change.
Changemakers are a subset of Early Adopters who create future cultural narratives. They are critical allies that help businesses create long-term appeal instead of short-term ‘hype’.
are a directional change – a shift in a community's values and/or needs. This shift is felt and seen in culture - behaviours, products, services, events, - on a macro and micro level. Futures are spread by Early Adopters – of which our Changemakers are a specific subset – into the mainstream over time.
We translate these value shifts and emerging needs into a futures framework that businesses can use to inform their strategy execution.
are critical business tools that defines a business's audience "types" using behavioural or attitudinal characteristics. This is then combined with quantitative data to define 'how many' or 'how much' of the addressable audience is each "type" so the business can prioritise its resources to acquire or retain each "type".
helps us understand how the world, an industry, or a community is changing on a macro-level. We use them to contextualise what changes have happened, and how people feel at scale to extrapolate what changes might come, and why. Cultural insights provide clarity to complex systems and help us identify and frame business opportunities.
help us understand how the world, and industry, or a community is changing on a micro-level. We use researchers from the communities we’re researching to deep dive into how people are feeling about the world around them and why. These consumer insights help us map what these consumers want and need now and in the future.
a plan to increase brand awareness or new user acquisition through internal and/or external communication tactics.
A good communication strategy is informed by brand strategy, business strategy, and audience typologies.
a plan to improve market share, performance or brand perceptions through product or service innovation.
A good innovation strategy is informed by the brand strategy, brand architecture, and audience typologies.
Critical for a purpose-led business. Brand strategy is a plan to 1/ to increase brand awareness and value and 2/ helps employees stay "on-brand" as they asynchronously prioritise and align their work towards their brand purpose.
A good brand strategy requires a differentiated brand – purpose, mission, and tone-of-voice – and audience typologies.