In 2020, I set up Ask Nigel Hollis. If you are interested in having me consult or speak, just get in contact. In addition to posting new thinking on the blog, I am reposting highlights from the old Millward Brown/Kantar Millward Brown/Kantar blog that are no longer available online. I am also working on a third book called The Brand Bias which explores how brands anchor future purchase intent.
In 2004, I stepped down from the Millward Brown Board and took on the role of Chief Global Analyst. In that role I helped shape the company’s viewpoint on all things related to marketing and market research. This role saw me write two books, many articles, present on industry platforms, and consult with clients in many different industries and countries. I started blogging about brands and marketing in 2006 and continued to post each week for the next 14 years. When Millward Brown was folded into Kantar, I continued in the same role.
In 1996, I partnered with Rex Briggs at HotWired on the first study of online advertising, proving that banner ads could have a branding effect in addition to clickthrough. In 1997, I initiated Millward Brown's foray into online research. As a separate unit from parent company Millward Brown Interactive focused solely on online research, both custom studies and the development of self-serve systems that anticipated many of today's online, automated research platforms.
In 1994, I joined the Millward Brown Board, responsible for Research & Development. In that role, I led the team that developed and launched the BrandDynamics brand equity framework in 1996, which later became the platform for Kantar's BrandZ. At its height, Millward Brown had offices in 58 countries, requiring the R&D team to improve and adapt all the company’s research tools to work across different industries and cultures.
In 1987, I moved to the USA, thanks to Millward Brown’s acquisition of Ad Factors. There I was responsible for business development in Midwest and West. In part due to my efforts, Millward Brown’s client base expanded rapidly. I later moved to the East Coast to head up the company’s Connecticut office.
In 1983, I moved to Millward Brown, then a small market research agency employing about 50 people. At Millward Brown, I learnt from two of the brightest minds in the industry, the co-founders Maurice Millward and Gordon Brown, and worked with a wide range of clients from Unilever to Vauxhall (GM), Allied Breweries to Sealink Ferries. And I got my first taste of innovation, working with Gordon Brown on the development of the Link pretest.
In 1979, I graduated from Lancaster University with a BA Honours in Economics and started my career with the Foods Division of Cadbury Schweppes in the UK, where I was involved with designing, commissioning, and reporting custom research for then-famous brands like Typhoo Tea, Smash and Marvel.