Client Q&A: Andrew Dalglish, Savanta

We sat down for a Q&A with Andrew Dalglish, Marketing Director at Savanta, to hear about his experience of working with Earnest to bring the Savanta brand (including a “f***ing brilliant” strapline) to life.

First of all, could you tell us a bit about your background in the research industry?

I worked at BPRI, part of WPP, for five years before co-founding Circle Research in 2006 to focus solely on B2B research. Circle continued to grow until it became part of Next 15’s insight division MIG Global in 2017, and I stayed on as Circle’s managing director.

We soon realised that, with the other agencies at MIG Global, we each had very complementary offerings and often found ourselves either buying services from each other or in direct competition.

So the logical solution was to bring all of the agencies together and create a company that can offer the best of a big agency, delivered with an independently ‘boutique’ mindset. That’s where we are now with the creation and launch of Savanta, where I head up the marketing team as Marketing Director.  

What were your criteria for choosing an agency to bring Savanta to life?

As you know, the most important element of a brand is not the logo or the colour scheme, but what the brand itself actually stands for.

I knew that we’d need a specialist B2B agency that was able to marry top-drawer creativity with robust strategic thinking, as well as having considerable strength and experience in senior stakeholder management. This last quality proved crucial in our decision to move forwards with Earnest.

During the initial brand workshop stages, Earnest brought our senior stakeholders into the journey right from the get-go, encouraging them to get involved with and support the process. This was a critical move as it gave everyone a sense of real ownership and participation in the evolution of the brand.   

What were the stand out moments for you on this project?

A cornerstone experience was when Earnest presented the strapline to us. I was actually quite nervous because it was a moment that, if it didn’t feel right, could easily have sent us all back to the drawing board.

But as soon as you put ‘Make Better Decisions’ on the screen I thought to myself “That’s f***ing brilliant!” It perfectly encapsulates what we want Savanta to be. That was a real highlight for me because, after conducting thirty client interviews as part of the foundational research for this project, I knew you’d found a way to express exactly what they are looking for in just those three words.

It’s a very versatile strapline too, because not only does it speak to the aspirations of our clients and target markets, it also works brilliantly as an internal mantra. For example, when it comes to talent management, we can ask people what ‘making better decisions’ means to them. It also works as a reference point for personal career management, encouraging people to ask themselves ‘am I making the best decision right now?’

The creative really brought all of this to life wonderfully. The decision to use a colon as our graphic device was a stroke of genius that instantly gives us so much creative potential. Our internal teams have enthusiastically bought into it and are coming up with new ways they can play with it. It’s really energised people.

How do you feel about the Savanta brand launch?

The brand launch booklet was a really beautiful piece of marketing comms, and not just in terms of the creativity, but the messaging within it too. The team here adore it and you could see the smiles on their faces when they first picked one up. It was enormously valuable on day one and you could tell people were thinking ”Yeah, I’m proud to be part of this.”

The website has also had so many compliments The brief we gave you was to create something that feels a million miles away from the tired, old websites of other research companies – and I believe that’s been achieved. The user experience is seamless and intuitive, and the use of the Savanta pink gave it instant differentiation. The feedback both from clients and internally has been fantastic.

The vinyl records as our brand launch event invites were another real stroke of genius that has gone down an absolute storm with our clients. Whoever came up with this concept deserves a medal.

This has been such an amazing opportunity to produce genuinely interesting and creative work that helps us to stand out and show everyone that we stand for something.

To find out more about Savanta and what they are doing to help people Make Better Decisions, go to