Executive team

Sarah Davies, Founder

I have always had a fascination with understanding behaviour and started my career as a qualitative researcher in 1994. In 2000, I joined HeadlightVision to set up the qualitative side of the business. In 2005, HeadlightVision merged with The Henley Centre and I became MD of the new business.  In 2008 the business was rebranded as The Futures Company and I became Global MD, heading up the Qualitative & Innovation team. I also set up the Indian office.

I have worked on a number of key global clients, including Diageo, Nestle, Cadbury, Unilever & Aviva and am particularly interested in understanding emerging markets and emerging consumers. I have worked extensively in India, China & Indonesia. My focus is on using innovative research techniques to drive brand and consumer strategy, as well as exploring how new behavioural thinking can be applied to client challenges.

I am currently joint Vice-Chair of the AQR committee and have been actively involved in developing  industry thinking around Behavioural Economics.  BE provides fantastic opportunities to better understand consumer behaviour...exciting times!

Crawford Hollingworth, Founder

I have a background in Applied Social Psychology and started my career as a strategic planner in BMP DDB and subsequently worked at leading agencies including AMV BBDO and Chiat Day. In 1996 I founded HeadlightVision in London and New York, a behavioural trends research consultancy which pioneered future facing research methodologies. HeadlightVision was acquired by WPP in 2003. Following mergers with The Henley Centre and then with Yankelovich in the US, I took on the role of Global Executive Chairman of the newly branded The Futures Company.

In the early 2000s we saw an explosion of understanding coming from behavioural economics. These frameworks and concepts allow us to make more sense of human behaviour than ever before. We launched The Behavioural Architects in 2011 to embrace this new learning, and it was the first UK agency with BE as its foundation. Our aim is to reinvigorate research methodologies as well as to develop new ones and to build bridges between the real world and academia. I have written and spoken widely on the subject for various institutions and publications, including the MRS, Marketing Society, Market Leader, Aura, AQR, London Business School and Impact magazine.

Sian Davies, Founder

I started my career in management consultancy where I gained experience in business and marketing strategy and was trained in a diverse range of research methods and marketing science techniques.

I joined The Henley Centre in 1996 as co-editor of Media Futures and went on to lead the Communications consulting team, becoming Global CEO in 2005. I oversaw two mergers, first with HeadlightVision and subsequently with Yankelovich, leading to the creation of The Futures Company.  

Alongside my management responsibilities I worked with key global clients, including BT, RSA, the BBC, PepsiCo and Nestle. I focus on blending creativity and rigour to create foundational insights to drive brand and consumer strategy. I also enjoy the challenge of embracing new thinking and exploring new ways of understanding consumers. B E is exciting because it helps to explain so much about what drives and influences us. It also takes me back to my days as an undergraduate wondering how economic models could capture the complexity of human behaviour. Now at last I have the answer!

Sharon Zhou, Founder

A passionate qualitative practitioner, I started my career in the 90’s at the Market Research Institute – the first qualitative research agency in China. In 1995 I joined Oracle, the predecessor of Oracle Added Value. I moved on to Millward Brown in 2001 and became Qualitative Account Director leading a team of 5 people. 

In 2006 I co-founded Research Essentials in Shanghai, whose vision was to deliver insights, brand and communication solutions inspired by genuine understanding of the people, culture and changes underway in China. My key clients include Kraft, Unilever and J&J (XJP).

Behavioural Economics provides insights into the many paradoxes about consumers that we as qualitative researchers observe and experience. I’m excited about the prospects ahead of us!

Qing Wang, Founder

Trained in Germany, I started my career in brand marketing at Henkel KGaA in Dusseldorf. I spent 10-years working acrossa range of categories and geographic and cultural locations, including Europe and the MiddleEast, finally returning to China in 2004 to lead the Chinese launch of Schwarzkopf Hair Line.  

I have always been fascinated about how different contexts can shape and impact our behaviour in all areas of our lives, as consumers and also as individuals. This fascination finally led me to move on and co-found Research Essentials in 2006. I’ve worked on a number of key global clients, including PepsiCo, Unilever and Sony Ericsson.

Merging with The Behavioural Architects will allow us to extend our international reach and critically tap into new thinking from the behavioural sciences, in particular Behavioural Economics. In this changing era, there is a big challenge and opportunity for qualitative research to embrace new thinking and help clients to stay ahead of change.

Mike Daniels, Founder

I began my career as a qualitative researcher in London with Diagnostics. I then became an agency planner working in the UK, the USA and Australia with agencies including DDB, Clemenger BBDO, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Ogilvy & Mather where I became Managing Director of the Sydney office in 2010.

Before starting The Behavioural Architects’ Sydney office in September 2012, I set up and ran my own successful Research and Strategy Business, Russian Doll, a naming choice that reflects my deep desire to always delve down into the core of the matter.

It’s hard not to be interested in psychology when you are the son of a psychologist! Shaped by nature and nurture to be the curious type I studied Psychology - and Ecological Psychology in particular - in order to be able to better analyse human behaviour.

With Behavioural Economics there is finally a real-world science of decision-making which respects the fundamental importance of context in our lives and that helps us to understand why we behave as we do.