We are a strategy and customer experience firm unlike any other.

A mixed bag of mavericks, visionaries and change-makers.

Enough about our clients though, meet the team.



matt watkinson author.jpg

Matt Watkinson

Matt is an internationally-renowned author, speaker and consultant on customer experience and business strategy.

The proposal for his first book, The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences was rejected by twelve different publishers before the Financial Times Press took pity on him. It has since been described as the definitive book on the subject, winning the CMI Management Book of the Year Award in 2014. 

His career as a speaker began with the release of his first book, when he presented to a dozen bored marketing execs in exchange for a classy looking ballpoint pen. Since then he has become a sought-after keynote presenter, addressing thousands of industry leaders worldwide, netting him enough branded stationery to last a lifetime. Matt’s second book, The Grid was released by Random House in 2017, after four years of research and development.

As a consultant, Matt has worked with market leaders in air travel, healthcare, banking, luxury goods, retail, telecoms, snack food, automotive and pharmaceuticals, amongst others. Many clients and colleagues have become life-long friends, hence the name of the business, which he co-founded with long-time collaborator Ben Smith.

You can contact Matt at mw@matt-watkinson.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn.


Meet some of his friends

Here is a small selection of the subject matter experts we’re proud to call friends. Some are clients turned colleagues, others have worked together for over a decade. All have had exceptional careers.

 Ben Smith

Ben Smith

Ben has worked in design since 2000, when he finished his studies at ENSCI, an industrial design school in Paris.

He has undertaken projects for The UK National Lottery, Home Retail Group, Microsoft, lastminute.com, and Transport for London where he led experience design for their growing portfolio of mobile applications. 

Ben and Matt have been working together for a decade, with Ben directly contributing to both books, and our other IP.

 Janina Gebhard

Janina Gebhard

Janina advises business leaders on strategy and operations. She is also a qualified accountant, certified auditor and human resource manager.  

She has worked in sectors as diverse as law enforcement, waste management and e-commerce, where she most recently set up and rolled out the first international subsidiary for the UK-listed e-commerce giant ao.com. 

Janina and Matt have been close friends since business school way too long ago.

 Claire Durrant

Megan Butler
User experience and service design

Meg's career started in environmental science, but she branched out into experience design and has since helped online recruitment companies, translators, luxury retailers, pharmaceutical companies and pet food manufacturers better serve their customers.

She part-owns a bar in Edinburgh that it's probably safest she lives several thousand miles from.

 Pavlos Themistocleous

Anne E. Beall PhD
Research partner

Anne is an authority on market research. She is the author of Strategic Market Research: A Guide to Conducting Research that Drives Businesses, and is CEO of Beall Research Inc. — our research partners.

Anne specialises in large-scale, complex strategic studies for Fortune 500 companies, and has conducted research on brand positioning and equity, loyalty and switching behaviour, new propositions and customer segmentation.

 Nicholas Jellicoe

Nicholas Jellicoe
Marketing communications

Nick has spent over 30 years in blue chip marketing roles, including heading communications at Rolex SA for ten years.

Before Rolex, Nick worked in Rome for the Italian jeweller, Bulgari, and in London and Miami with American Express.

Matt and Nick connected over a shared interest in customer experience in 2013, and have been firm friends ever since.

 Emma Pickering PhD

Emma Pickering PhD
User research

Emma has a PhD in user evaluation of digital products and services, and was head of user research for Visa Europe. 

Her research skills span all phases of product development, and include creating internal research capabilities and teams.

Matt met Emma working on a project for Vodafone Group several years ago and they've kept in touch since.

 Claire Durrant

Claire Durrant
User experience and service design

Claire has helped a variety of high-profile brands achieve a better user experience, including:

Bupa, Vodafone, Tesco, Transport for London, Jaguar Land Rover, Electrolux, PRS for Music, and Pottermore.

Matt helped Claire land her first major user experience contract back in 2011. She has been making him feel inferior ever since.

 Pavlos Themistocleous

Pavlos Themistocleous
Creative Director

Pav was Digital Executive Creative Director of Publicis London, and prior to that, Head of Digital Creative at Ogilvy One. 

Over his career he has produced exceptional creative work for clients including British Airways, Land Rover, IBM, and BP.

Matt and Pav first met at Ogilvy, where Pav experienced a major project failure — trying to teach Matt some dress sense.