TBA wins the AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Award 2018

4 December 2018

In October, The Behavioural Architects were shortlisted for the prestigious AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Qualitative Excellence Award 2018. In fact, we were the first company to become double finalists with two of our entries making it into the final four for consideration.

Last night, we attended the awards dinner put on by the Marketing Society. Emotions were running high, but we are thrilled to announce that The Behavioural Architects won the award for 2018!

Our work with social enterprise The Big Issue was selected for the award, in the face of tough competition from consumer insights agency Join The Dots, and independent insight consultancy Basis Research.

We worked with The Big Issue to try and address a problem many of you will be familiar with: ‘paying’ for the magazine but not actually taking a copy, a well-meaning gesture with altruistic intentions. It was an interesting challenge; people who give money to Big Issue vendors view not taking a magazine as helpful and rational (they can sell the magazine to someone else later for additional money). Furthermore, present bias means that Big Issue vendors are incentivised to accept the donations which fulfil the short-term goal of monetary gain.

Although this gesture is intended to be altruistic, it undermines the primary mission of The Big Issue, which is to provide ‘a hand up, not a hand out’. In the long run, paying for the magazine whilst also taking a copy is the most beneficial action for the vendors, and by extension the people buying from them.

By conducting in-context qualitative research and exploring this challenge through a behavioural science lens, we were able to understand the motivations of both customer and vendor and, as a result, develop a strategy to address this unique challenge. Using this insight, we developed practical behavioural nudges for re-connecting people with aims of The Big Issue, and the best interests of Big Issue vendors.

Using qualitative research to provide fresh insight into a variety of behavioural challenges is the foundation of what we do here at The Behavioural Architects. We are extremely proud to have our efforts recognised.The judges commented: "This is an excellent example of how good qualitative research can make such a positive impact in modern society.”

This research would not have been possible without the kindness and cooperation of the Big Issue vendors and their customers. We wish them all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing some of our ideas implemented next year.

Visit the AQR website here to learn more about the award and the amazing research of the other finalists.


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The Behavioural Architects' articles are always stimulating, entertaining and informative and make BE principles both engaging as well as usable for all our readers Editor Impact Magazine and Research-live.com
Our digital clubhouse which is designed to inspire, share best practice and delight would be very different without The Behavioural Architects Gemma Greaves Global Managing Director The Marketing society
Its client testimonials show it has made behavioural economics accessible and actionable MRS judges ‘best new agency’ award
TBA have brought behavioural science thinking to some of our challenges in a way that is accessible for colleagues from across the business and has created actionable outputs Martin Bryant, Senior Consumer Insights Manager, KFC UK and Ireland
The Behavioural Architects did a great job of understanding our needs in this multinational project. They used a behavioural-led methodology to deliver clear and actionable output Ruchika Khattar, Global Marketing Innovation Manager, PepsiCo
One of the best articulated deliveries of insight I have seen in 20 years in the research sector. Damian Stevenson, Head of Insight at the Amateur Swimming Association
The behaviour change research has been the lynchpin of our entire new strategy to get more people swimming Nick Caplin, Amateur Swimming Association, Director of Participation
I’ve worked with TBA on a number of studies... all of them have allowed us to get to a depth of insight into basic behaviour that has transcended borders. Catherine Moffatt, Vice President Global Shopper Planning & Customer Marketing, Diageo
The magic comes from how TBA works with us to get to simple, actionable ideas using the BE principles. Catherine Moffatt, Vice President Global Shopper Planning & Customer Marketing, Diageo
Every project has resulted in activities that have unlocked growth for Diageo but, importantly, they’re also pieces of work that we keep going back to and that continue to inform new activities long after the original studies were run. Catherine Moffatt, Vice President Global Shopper Planning & Customer Marketing, Diageo
We tasked TBA with a challenging brief on a national survey and they exceeded all our expectations throughout the process Jennifer Bufton, Sport England 
Their enthusiasm and relevant application of this theory alongside highly actionable and impactful insight delivery that really engages our stakeholders. Jacinda Norman, Category Insights Manager, Waitrose
The team at The Behavioural Architects Sydney have played an instrumental role in uncovering the key behavioural challenges for the Bundaberg Rum brand. Clara Lee, Senior Insights Manager, Diageo Australia
By using behavioural principles in analysing research, we’ve been able to go beyond the rational system 2 responses and tap into the deeper, subconscious system 1 responses that are often difficult to articulate. Clara Lee, Senior Insights Manager, Diageo Australia
For the first time in over a decade, we have clarity on the shift that we need to make to bring our brand back into growth. Clara Lee, Senior Insights Manager, Diageo Australia
The TBA team are a friendly, highly organised and intelligent bunch of people to work with. We consider them an extension of our internal Insights team Clara Lee, Senior Insights Manager, Diageo Australia
The behavioural science work conducted by The Behavioural Architects Sydney team has uncovered insights that we would never have uncovered by asking consumers questions directly Alla Nock, Marketing Research, Analytics & Capability Manager, Kimberly-Clark Australia
Observing consumer behaviour through a Behavioural Science lens has uncovered key nuggets that we have now used to influence behaviour. Alla Nock, Marketing Research, Analytics & Capability Manager, Kimberly-Clark Australia
The Behavioural Architects Sydney are a valued  business partner of the Water Corporation (Perth), who’s expertise and insights into behaviour change has been instrumental in helping to shape our communications strategy and to deliver an outcome that produces results.    Paul Tuffin, Customer Insights Manager, Customer Strategy & Engagement Water Corporation (Perth, Australia)