In the very first of our Member spotlight posts, we catch up with Dr Eleanor Trimble of behavioural insights brand, Nudge. We talk her favourite things about Use.Space, representation of women in science and cheese & Marmite sandwiches.
Tell us more about Nudge Insights and why you started it:
Nudge Insights helps clients to understand how their customer thinks, feels, and behaves. We are a research-based consumer insights company, using the latest technology to uncover subconscious responses to various types of marketing stimuli or products. By monitoring brain activity and tracking eye-movements we identify opportunities to improve customer engagement and experience.
It all started with a group of friends whilst we were doing our PhD’s. I was fascinated to apply my research to the real world, and see how we could use it to improve the customer experience. 95% of consumer decisions are made subconsciously, and I realised that if we could understand those subconscious responses then we can use the data to improve the purchase decision people make. It’s been an interesting journey so far, but I love being kept on my toes. I feel so lucky to have a job that means I’m constantly researching, learning, and applying that knowledge to solve problems.
As a woman working within tech and science, do you feel you are equally represented as a female?
I don’t think women are equally represented, not in my experience amongst tech and science start-ups at least. I’ve just been to the Women in Silicon Roundabout conference and it was incredible to see so many other women who are pursuing careers and businesses in science and tech industries. There were talks about female representation in industry, and there seems to be a consensus that although it’s not perfect things have come along way in the past 5-10 years, and major corporations are making significant efforts, employing whole teams dedicated to introducing more diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
If you could invite 3 famous women (past or present) out for cocktails, who would they be?
Michelle Obama – because, well, she’s Michelle Obama! An inspirational, intelligent, hard-working woman. I’d love to hear all about her time in the White House and maybe try to get her honest opinion of some current political families *sips tea*…
Emma Thompson – another phenomenal woman, stands by her guns, sticks up for what she believes in, incredibly talented and intelligent, and just seems like she’d be a laugh.
Adele – she seems like the kind of celebrity who despite being super mega famous, when you meet her you would feel like you’ve been mates with her for years.
Is there a woman in your own life who particularly inspires you?
My cousin Harriet. Not only because she’s my super cool older cousin, who let me tag along to house parties when we were younger. Or because she’s incredibly intelligent so has always helped me with school work and exam revision.
Two years ago she was diagnosed with a grade 4 brain tumour, and her resilience and persistence of enjoying life and dealing with her diagnosis honestly inspires me every day. If I ever feel tired, or stressed, (or sorry for myself!) I can just think “what would Harriet do” – Harriet doesn’t sit around feeling sorry for herself, she accepts that life is really hard sometimes, but just gets on with it. She a huge inspiration to me and a constant reminder, that you can still have fun, still be successful no matter what life throws at you.
Not only that, but she’s taken a shitty situation and used it to help others. Along with my other cousins, they’ve organised so many charity events that they’ve raised over £200,000 for The Brain Tumour charity. She’s also started an Instagram page (@thatcancerlife – little plug there) to spread awareness of what it’s like going through various cancer treatments. It’s dedicated to letting people know all of those things you might have wanted to know about cancer but felt too shy to ask, and always finding “the humour in the tumour”.
If you could hop in a time machine, go back 10 years and give little Eleanor some pearls of wisdom, what would they be?
I think I would just tell myself to keep going. Don’t worry about the small set-backs, they really don’t matter in the end. Pick yourself up, work hard, explore your interests, and follow the opportunities that this opens up.
I’d also tell myself not to worry about not knowing exactly what you want to do with your life. I still don’t know what I want to do with my whole life now, but I know that it doesn’t matter. I’m enjoying what I’m doing now, and if I can be happy, constantly learning, constantly growing, then where ever this takes me will be great.
Why did you choose Use.Space?
There is a lot of choice in Manchester at the moment, but I chose Use.Space because it has a completely different feel to all of the other coworking places I’ve seen.
As soon as I walked into Use.Space I fell in love with the place. I think the décor is the right mix of a bit wild and unique, whilst feeling relaxing and calm. I just know the kind of people it’s going to attract are going to be like-minded, creative, innovative people. I’m really excited to see the space develop.
Human behaviour is a big part of what you do – how do you see people interacting differently in a coworking space as opposed to a ‘regular’ office?
The biggest difference I’ve noticed is that there is a more relaxed atmosphere in coworking spaces. Now, I’m not saying that no-one working in a coworking space has ever felt stressed (many of them are early stage start-ups afterall) but the atmosphere is designed to relieve stress and lends itself to supporting health and wellbeing.
Most people who’ve chosen to work in coworking spaces care about their wellbeing and mental health, and appreciate flexible working hours so they can have a healthy work-life balance. In my experience ‘regular’ offices feel much more rigid, much more strict.
Another difference is the collaboration. Despite people having their own companies, their own projects, their own opportunities and problems, there is still a sense of supporting each other. You can ask others for advice because something you’re currently going through someone else might have dealt with recently. A start-up can be a lonely job when you’re just getting started, so a close community was really important for me.
What’s your favourite thing about Use.Space?
I love that I can feel like I’m sat in a sunny green garden, even when typical Manchester is wet and grey outside! There’s such a comfortable, refreshing feel about the place.
Have you had a meeting in the famous indoor Greenhouse yet?
The gorgeous greenhouse! I haven’t had the pleasure yet, but hoping to very soon.
Finally, Marmite – love it or hate it?
I don’t love it, don’t hate it, I am indifferent towards Marmite. Weirdly I’m writing this on a train and two strangers sat near me have just started a conversation about whether they love or hate marmite. Sounds like they’re both fans of Marmite and cheese sandwiches – might be one I have to try. Perhaps I’ll become a lover.