We are a research and strategy collective. We are interested in people, not consumers. We blend market research with the latest thinking from a diverse range of academic and commercial disciplines such as psychology, behavioural economics and design thinking to help our clients realise the full potential of their ideas.


Our Principles


We focus on people, not consumers

At house51 we think differently. The truth is that people don’t think deeply about most brands. We believe that research should focus on what is really important to people, and understand how brands, products and services can fit in with real lives.

Our principles are inspired by the latest people-centred thinking and practice across business, academia and policy making.

People are highly adaptive, intuitive and effective decision-makers. They may not be the rational ‘econs’ of standard economics, but they are not hopelessly irrational either. So, we deploy innovative approaches that help our clients develop better relationships, products and services for the real world.

Real world understanding is based on four key principles:


People do things that make them happy


Thinking takes effort, so people use shortcuts


People are herd animals, we are strongly influenced by what others do and say


People have an innate need for fair play, but what’s fair depends on context




The truth is that people don’t think deeply or even care about most brands. Yet conventional brand research tends to focus on overly rational and abstract metrics that matter to brands, but not to people.

We have deep experience working across the planning cycle for many of the world’s leading brands. From market scoping, brand strategy, CSR and positioning through to tracking.

Our work is differentiated by combining implicit and explicit techniques to understand both unconscious and conscious response. Our real world principles frame KPIs and targets in terms of outcomes that help brands understand what they are contributing to the pleasure and purpose of people’s lives.


Our expertise is in early ideation, creative development and copy testing through to evaluation of in-market work.

Behavioural science tells us people are ‘cognitive misers’ with limited attention, thinking power and imagination . But there is no one-size-fits-all model. Depending on context, people differ significantly in their ability and motivation to process communication at an unconscious (System 1) and conscious (System 2) level.

So, we focus on maximising the potential of communications to win attention and drive brand salience by ensuring the work is fully calibrated to the psychological profile and real world behaviour of the intended audience.


Our team combines commercial social research spanning diverse sectors including government, charity and not-for- profit organisations with academic research which focuses on applying the principles of behavioural economics to key policy challenges such as promoting healthy lifestyles and the post Brexit landscape in the UK.


People find it difficult to think about the future, having a bias towards the present and the status quo. They are unreliable witnesses to their future needs and desires. These fundamentals of human psychology present significant challenges. It’s why many creatives and designers view innovation research with suspicion. Our work spans early identification of new market territories, through to concept and message testing, pricing and packaging.

In all cases we use a range of innovative methods inspired by psychology and design thinking to control for bias, make innovation tangible and ensure that new ideas and products reach their full potential in the real world.




No one wants to reinvent the wheel. Our network provides access to the latest thinking in behavioural science.

Our behavioural lens gathers insights and principles that are relevant to your brief. We use it to repurpose and unlock the full potential of your existing data and knowledge. It provides a comprehensive roadmap for future research and planning.


The literature on behaviour change provides a wealth of evidence and case studies on what works.
We harvest this knowledge to identify precise implementation tools and create practical guides for execution.


How We Do It

We deliver real world understanding through these approaches:



Latest News

Here is a flavour of some of our latest news and thinking:

  • Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion

    house51 and BMB reveal the untold story of anger in Britain.

    Our study explores the mood of the nation, looking at the surprising upside of anger and how it can be seen as a force for good.

    Read more here

  • How TV Sponsorship works

    Our innovative and groundbreaking study for Thinkbox explores how TV sponsorship works

    Read more on the Thinkbox website

  • The psychology behind Future of Generations

    By integrating market research and behavioural economics we helped OMD UK to bust some myths about generational stereotypes for their ground-breaking Future of Generations project.

    This article featured in IMPACT magazine.

    Read more on our blog here.

  • Brexit Bites

    house51 provides a different angle on Brexit using behavioural economics and game theory

    Read more on our blog here.

  • Brainy Bar

    You might have seen us at the 4th Brainy Bar event talking about how implicit research helps us reach deeper insights


  • There’s much to do

    Our proprietary study provides a new perspective on ‘mindful consumerism’ and the trust that people place in their fellow citizens, political and business leaders and 60 of the UK’s top brands.

    Read more on our blog here


    “When Things Go Wrong And People Are Afraid”

    house51 presents a different angle on Brexit using behavioural economics and game theory to understand polarisation in Brexit Britain


  • IIEX 2017

    We’re chairing ‘Reinventing Research’ Session at IIEX Europe

    Find out more here

  • MRG

    house51 provides a different angle on Brexit using behavioural economics and game theory

    Read more on our blog here



We’ve known each other a long time. We arrived at house51 via senior roles at leading agencies like Hall & Partners, HPI and Conquest. We’ve worked with many of the world’s most iconic brands and deserving causes including Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, Audi, MasterCard, NSPCC, Kellogg’s and BA.

We work together and with a diverse range of collaborators to provide our clients with new perspectives and a genuine alternative to the traditional agency model.

Ian Murray

+44(0) 7960 943406

Catherine Heaney

+44(0) 7974 112514

Grant Bird

+44(0) 7970 217230


Our Values

  • h51


    ‘I think we all have empathy. We may
    not have enough courage to display it.’

    Maya Angelou

  • h51

    Life-Long Learning

    ‘Try to learn something about everything
    and everything about something.’

    Thomas Huxley

  • h51


    ‘Every collaboration helps you grow.’

    Brian Eno

  • h51


    ‘Our business is infested with idiots who try to
    impress by using pretentious jargon.’

    david ogilvy


Contact Us

London Office

4th Floor
86-90 Paul Street

Glasgow Office

272 Bath Street
G2 4JR

Get In Touch