Innovation Drives Growth

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What We Do


The Ideas Machine team has worked on hundreds of innovation projects driving growth for some of the world’s best known businesses and brands.




Helping clients deliver innovative marketing and brand strategies is our bread and butter. We have sat on both sides of the fence – agency and client side. 


Innovation starts with insight, so we spend a lot of time doing research-we run qual groups, in home interviews as well as less conventional ethnographic approaches to getting new and interesting insight. 


From call centres, and food halls, to a ‘virtual museum’ we have worked on customer service and customer experience innovation for  hotel chains, retailers, financial services and utilities providers.

Who We Are

The Ideas Machine Network


Vic is an expert innovator with over 18 years experience. She led the Customer Experience team at Whatif London, was Marketing Director for a national media company and ran digital strategy for the Abu Dhabi F1 at Yas Marina Circuit. A Cambridge grad with an MSC in Organizational Psychology, Vic leads The Ideas Machine network and teaches Innovation and Strategy at Ashridge Business School.


Canada’s newest insight, research and innovation business. This clever team, operating across Canada and North America is led by Shelli Baltman, formerly MD Whatif London.


Emma brings a spark and energy to even the hardest tasks. Over 20 years Emma has worked with household name brands generating insight, innovation and brand solutions.


Mulan focus on entrepreneurship and innovation programmes for technology and consumer brands and are currently taking a UK music brand global.


MOK is the brains behind the beehive. His enthusiasm is infectious and when we need innovation training, ‘pazzaz’ and an extra touch of class added to our projects, MOK and his team are on speed dial.


Led by Graham Bishop– these guys live, eat, sleep and breathe shopping and customer experience. The Ideas Machine collaborates with Hidden Gorilla on cust-ex projects having worked together as founders of the Whatif Customer Experience team.


An independent consultancy of hybrid thinkers and doers that create innovation and customer experience solutions that lead to real change on the ground, stretching businesses into new areas of growth.


Nadia brings a real world sensibility and coal face entrepreneurial lessons to projects and offers expert business coaching to entrepreneurs and startups.


Credited with bringing Heston and Delia to Waitrose, she is an experienced board level brand expert bringing years of both agency /client side nouse.


Led by Ben Duckett, Spy brings big brand design thinking from a no-nonsense shop. Working on clients like L’Oreal these guys come with cast iron Wolff Olins pedigree and smart creativity..


Owned by design whizz Matt Stone, Visualised bring meetings, concepts, product designs and brands to life quickly and expertly. Matt has visualised thousands of client sessions, turned ‘post it’ note output into glorious concepts.


Owner of Real World Planning Helen Weavers is an industry legend, agency planners across London rely on her unique insight and expertise.

How We Work

The Ideas Machine is a network of innovation experts. This is how we work.


Creative team members range from graphic designers, product designers, filmmakers, and storytellers, to trend hunters and techies project by project.

Insight First

The best ideas are rooted in great insight. Hunting for killer insights takes us to weird and wonderful places. Exceptional customer research underpins most of our project work.


We work closely in partnership, co-creating with our client teams. Workshops and hands on creative sessions are the order of the day.

Real World

We follow ‘lean start up’ principles, prototyping,& gathering feedback from users and customers fast. From mobile ethnography through to full ‘live’ store experience mock ups and digital applications.

What We Focus On

Our innovation projects focus on
  • New directions for brands
  • Development of new products and services
  • Uncovering new customer /user insights for marketing teams
  • Helping organisations deliver innovation – designing innovation processes
  • Customer experience
  • Digital transformation

We start with insight and focus our creative process on ideas that drive change and growth. Experienced client and agency side, we speak fluent brand, marketing and digital.

We have academic experts in organisational psychology on our team meaning The Ideas Machine brings both real world experience, matched with the latest academic research in the field.

See what our clients say about us

“Vic is one of the most innovative people I have worked with. She is a great project leader, she deals brilliantly with ambiguity & is a genius when it comes to driving a team to think differently & outside the box. She has a very flexible way of working, is very collaborative, is a great listener & a real team player. I would recommend her team’s skills & expertise to anyone who needs to inject fresh thinking into their business.”

Sophie R. Marketing Director, Northern Europe

“The Ideas Machine helped the Museum develop a strategy for a client. They were fast, creative, and insightful.Matthew Cock CEO VocalEyes, Formerly British Museum Department Head”

Matthew Cock CEO VocalEyes, Formerly British Museum Department Head

“Stuck in an analogue mindset, Vic came in to move Yas Marina Circuit firmly into the digital space, building its strategies and assets across web, mobile and e-commerce. It now sits as a case study in motorsports and within the UAE as a whole.”

N McElwee, Director Yas Marina Circuit

“The Ideas Machine are part of our global guru network of amazing innovators. Regardless of the brief, they consistently over deliver in terms of creativity, quantity and sheer uniqueness of ideas. There’s no one better at coming up with greatness!”

Shelli Baltman MD Hotspex Innovation, Canada

“We are not big users of consultants as a business, but we have had real value from Ed and Vic in the area of understanding our customers and what they are thinking. This is adding real insights in to how we do business and what we need to change. It is changing our paradigm thinking.”

Robert Forrester CEO Vertu Motors Plc.

“Simply outstanding!! The facilitation we received was structured yet flexible, focused yet extremely creative… and most important it was fun! The team was very engaging and committed in helping us on an extremely short notice. They invested great time, energy and efforts. Such commitment to help us is to be commended. They were key in helping us carefully (and creatively) shape our idea. Highly recommend them.”

Tomas Gerges Shell UK

“The Ideas Machine are super bright, engaging and impactful. I love working with them.”

G Ford. Director Executive Education Programmes.


“The Ideas Machine were able to respond to our brief with great tenacity and
commitment. They produced insightful content whilst managing a collaborative process
that skillfully engaged a wide range of stakeholders.”

Beatrice Vears, Head of Brand Marketing. Premier Inn

Who We Work With


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Get in Touch

If you’d like to join the team, or have a question about an innovation project you are working on, please email us: