Who we are

Natalie Headshot

Dr Natalie Edwards

Director

One of Canopy’s co-founders, Nat works with clients to develop meaningful, commercially-viable and future-proofed innovations, market positions and communications through the practical application of cultural insight.

She has led complex global projects across categories from FMCG, finance and healthcare to media, automotive and tech - helping her clients understand and connect with consumers from the US and Latin America, Indonesia and South Korea.

She has a PhD in media, gender and cultural theory and an enduring interest in the construction and evolution of meaning in culture. 

Sián Pearce

Siân Pearce

Director

Sian specialises in semiotic analysis for brand redesign and market repositioning.

As a Director and cofounder of Canopy, she has conducted semiotics-led insight projects across markets from the UK to Argentina, South Africa and Indonesia, for categories spanning FMCG, alcohol, charity and automotive. A trained Demographer, she holds an MSc in Demographic Methods from the University of London, and before founding Canopy spent a decade in strategic communications roles in the energy and aviation sectors.

 

Victoria Gerstman

Dr Victoria Gerstman

Associate Director

Victoria works closely with brands to deliver business results through in-depth cultural analysis.

She holds a PhD in Culture, Film and Media and has worked in New York and London, on global brands across categories spanning b2b, gaming, alcohol, entertainment and retail. Her interest in cultural analysis began as an undergraduate at Columbia University, where she studied Anthropology and East Asian Languages. She also holds a Masters degree in Social Science from the University of Chicago.

Eve Simnett

Eve Simnett

Senior Analyst

Eve has a background in qualitative research and film production.

She has worked in markets from Brazil to the US, France and China, across categories from finance and media/tech to alcohol and publishing, on demographics including Gen Z and Millennials, and on topics from luxury, technology, young masculinity and female consumer engagement to empowerment, premiumness and the meaning of play.

Claire Thomas Headshot

Claire Thomas

Senior Analyst

Claire's interest in research techniques including semiotics and ethnography began when studying for her first degree at the LSE, where she specialised in Social Anthropology.

She went on to do a post grad in marketing at Kingston University to explore how research could be used in a commercial context. From here, she began a career in qualitative research, successfully running her own company (Mosquito) for several years, and most recently working at RDSi as a director.

Sam Ward Headshot Black And White

Dr Sam Ward

Associate Project Director

Sam specialises in closely-focused analysis aimed at uncovering the underlying meanings and opportunities in brand designs and across cultures.

He has a PhD in Media Studies from the University of Nottingham and has taught widely on the intersection of brand strategy and new technologies.

Ally Castle

Ally Castle

Associate

Ally is a creative strategist, specialising in content and communication in broadcasting.

A former Senior Planner for BBC Entertainment, BBC Comedy and BBC Three, Ally uses many techniques – including audience insight, content analysis, storytelling tools and workshop facilitation – to develop frameworks in which creativity and editorial judgement can flourish.

She has a passion for supporting others in the innovation process.

Russell Williams Canopy Insight

Russell Williams

Pathfinder

Russell is Canopy’s fieldwork pathfinder. Before joining Canopy, he spent 8 years working in the US tourism industry – and before that, some 12 years in the United States Navy and the Merchant Marines.

He has travelled widely across the length and breadth of the US, has extensive experience in project planning and logistics, and is particularly skilled in identifying and unlocking the changing meanings and insight use-value of places and spaces – both within the US and beyond.