The Innovation Group

The Innovation Group is Wunderman Thompson’s in-house creative think tank for the future. The practice produces groundbreaking thought leadership, consumer insight and sector innovation content.

It offers a range of consultancy services that help clients not only understand what’s happening now and next, but how to action this in the framework of their brand.

The Innovation Group also offers creative innovation labs, ideating and rapid prototyping concepts based on future change with its team of futurists, creative directors, strategists and researchers.

For more information, contact us at

Leadership team

  • Emma-Chiu-9685-Colour

    Emma Chiu

    Global Director

    Emma Chiu heads up the Innovation Group’s creative innovation. She curates and leads all visuals and creative in the group’s content. She leads creative consultancy products and presents across all Innovation Group specialisms. She also leads creative execution of Innovation Lab products, designing and commissioning relevant experts to create concepts for brands based on trends.

  • Emily Headshot

    Emily Safian-Demers

    Senior Trends Analyst

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    Marie Stafford

    European Director

    Marie joined Wunderman Thompson in 2004 and leads the European division of the Innovation Group, delivering insights, trends and thought leadership to the agency’s clients. In a complex and fast-evolving consumer landscape, Marie and her team uncover the forces, themes and trends driving disruptive change in our lives. Marie regularly presents the team’s findings to clients and prospects as well as speaking at conferences and networking events.

    Prior to joining Wunderman Thompson, she worked for the digital specialist and consultancies PwC and CSC, among others. Armed with a French degree, she started her career at a Francophone research agency called SVP, where she managed a diverse portfolio of clients across Europe—a walk in the park, after a year teaching impossibly cool Parisian teenagers.

  • Elizabeth Cherian_MG_0883

    Elizabeth Cherian

    UK Director

    Elizabeth Cherian steers the content and creative direction of our European trend research.  She also leads strategy for all consultancy services deployed from the London office.

    Elizabeth previously worked for Stylus, where she launched the Fashion & Beauty offer in 2011, having been recruited from Central Saint Martins where she completed her MA. With more than five years prior experience as a fashion designer in the luxury market, she brings invaluable industry experience to her forecasting and consultancy roles.

    Born in the US, Elizabeth speaks Spanish and Italian, having lived and worked in Buenos Aires, Madrid and Florence. She holds a BA in philosophy of religion from Boston University and is a passionate oil painter.

  • Chen May Yee, APAC Director, The Innovation Group

    Chen May Yee

    APAC Director

    Chen May Yee is APAC Director for the Innovation Group, keeping clients abreast of consumer trends in one of the world’s most dynamic regions.

    She has worked as a journalist in Malaysia, Singapore and the United States over the last twenty years. She started out as a correspondent for Agence France-Presse and the Wall Street Journal in Asia, and later worked in the US at the Minneapolis Star Tribune with a team covering healthcare, medical devices, real estate, food and consumer issues.

    Since moving back to Asia, she has edited international news for Singapore’s Straits Times and written stories on trends and culture for the international editions of the New York Times and Forbes. She is based in Kuala Lumpur.



Wunderman Thompson’s in-house research unit that develops and exploits new quantitative and qualitative research techniques to understand cultures, brands and consumer motivation around the world. SONAR™ is led by Mark Truss, Worldwide Director of 
Brand Intelligence.

Leadership team


    Mark Truss

    Worldwide Director of Brand Intelligence

    “You can’t just surround a problem with data and expect that it will surrender, you need real insights.” Mark Truss oversees research and insights at Wunderman Thompson, where he has pioneered a new type of research process that allows for faster data collection and insight synthesis, with far less time and cost than in traditional structures.

    This innovation allows Wunderman Thompson to respond very quickly with real insights to changing environments and situations that invariably affect our brands. Mark is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and an Advisory Board member at Berkeley College.

    His work has been covered in Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Ad Age and Adweek and he has appeared on PBS’s Charlie Rose. Before Wunderman Thompson, Mark was senior vice president at market research companies The NPD Group and Ipsos. In his spare time, Mark plays lead guitar and sings for his band, The Outliers—a band of market researchers.

  • Heather Field Director of Brand Intelligence, JWT Intelligence, SONAR Headshot

    Heather Field

    Director of Brand Intelligence

    Heather Field is Director of Brand Intelligence at Wunderman Thompson.  Heather has 17 years of experience helping brands uncover hidden truths about consumers, cultures and brands that drive engaging communications across a variety of media channels and has partnered with global brands such as Ford, Air Canada, Puma, J&J, Unicharm, Walmart, Nestle, and Vonage to help them uncover insights and inform strategy.

    Before joining Wunderman Thompson in 2007, Heather held positions at market research companies The NPD Group and Ipsos gaining in depth experience with concept optimization, forecasting, developing syndicated databases and custom research practices.

    Heather is also a member of the Advertising Research Foundation’s “Foundation of Quality” committee.  She has a strong interest in preserving and driving high quality research standards at Wunderman Thompson as well as in the research industry at large.

  • Amy Song SONAR Headshot

    Amy Song

    Director of Brand Intelligence

    Amy Song is Director of Brand Intelligence at Wunderman Thompson.  Amy’s career in the market research industry spans 15 years, during which time she has been recognized for creatively and thoughtfully uncovering consumer insights and developing targeted recommendations to address business challenges. At Wunderman Thompson, she has partnered with dozens of global brands, such as Pfizer, Walmart, Nestle, Rolex, and J&J, and led research efforts for new business and thought leadership pieces.

    Prior to joining Wunderman Thompson in 2010, Amy spent time at Phoenix Marketing International where she partnered with brands including American Express, Ameriprise, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer on brand and advertising tracking. She began her market research career at Sponsorship Research International (SRi) developing customized sponsorship and experiential marketing measurement solutions for clients.

    Amy has lent her time and expertise to various research industry bodies, including the Advertising Research Foundation’s “Foundation of Quality” committee, tackling some of the thorniest issues facing the market research industry today.

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    Diana Orrico

    Director of Brand Intelligence

    The world today is awash with data, but not all data is created equally.  And we also live in a world of limited time where we need to get to conclusions quickly.  To this end, Diana has developed a keen sense of delineating good data from the bad, and more importantly, Diana has developed an industry reputation for understanding how to get to useful data.  Additionally, Diana is known for understanding the difference between interesting and important.  Why does any of this matter? Getting it right, getting it quick, and getting to the heart of the issue is what every client needs.

    As a Director of Brand Intelligence at Wunderman Thompson, Diana has partnered with brands across a variety of industries, such as energy, healthcare, alcohol, CPG and tourism/travel.  Diana also has a particular interest in the intersection of consumerism and culture, exposing deeply-camouflaged insights to deliver impactful business results for marketers and brands.  Diana was the lead methodologist in developing the quantitative research protocol for numerous cultural explorations regarding women in society today, something Wunderman Thompson calls Female Tribes.

    Before joining Wunderman Thompson in 2014, Diana held positions at market research companies GfK and Knowledge Networks, focusing on healthcare and pharmaceutical verticals.

    Diana is an active contributor to the research industry at large and industry and trade groups promoting female empowerment.

    Outside of work, Diana is an active athlete, and immerses herself in a wide range of learning endeavors.  She holds a B.A. and MBA from Rutgers University.

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    Craig Passkoff

    Senior Research Manager

    Prior to Wunderman Thompson I worked at a large B2B technology brand, on the research team, focusing primarily on qualitative and quantitative research related to branding and customer experience.

    At Wunderman Thompson I work on the SONAR team, under the Wunderman Thompson Intelligence umbrella. I am based out the NY office but work with all Wunderman Thompson offices and client teams across the global network.

    Over the past few months I have been working with Wunderman Thompson Health on some new business pitches and have worked with Wunderman Thompson on a creative and exploratory projects. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like to hear more!

  • Joyce Melito Headshot, JWT Intelligence, SONAR

    Joyce Melito

    Intelligence Analyst

    Joyce Melito is an Intelligence Analyst in Wunderman Thompson’s Intelligence unit.  She is a seasoned business intelligence professional with years of deep experience across numerous data and information sources.  Joyce plays a critical role at Wunderman Thompson providing timely, accurate and seemingly impossible to find news, data, and information to staff across nearly all departments within the agency, focusing on strategy, business development, legal, and senior corporate leadership.   Joyce joined Wunderman Thompson from Saatchi & Saatchi New York, where she was the Director of Library Services.

    Joyce has a BA in English from Fairfield University, and a MS from the Palmer School of Library & Information Science at Long Island University.

    An Anglophile, she is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and The English-Speaking Union, and even belongs to a British mystery book group.



Focuses on the innovative application of data and technology to inform and inspire new marketing solutions. It offers a suite of bespoke analytics tools.

Leadership team

  • Will Sandwick Headshot Head of Analytics JWT Intelligence

    Will Sandwick

    Head of Data and Analytics

    Will Sandwick is the Head of Analytics at Wunderman Thompson NY where he leads a discipline responsible for creating a vision and application for all data the agency collects on behalf of its clients.  He joined the team in May 2017 and has been spending the majority of his time advancing measurement and optimization for J&J, Rolex, and Northwell Health.  Will brings over 8 years of marketing analytics experience to the agency having previously served at R/GA, Droga5, The Barbarian Group, and Blippar.  His past work includes creating systems to measure ROI, processes that allow speed to optimization, and developing tools that fuel creative insights for clients including Nike, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Jockey, Chobani, Etihad Airways, and L’Oreal.

    Will’s passion lies in using data to enable rapid testing of creative hypotheses.  He is an avid speaker and has given talks at the Miami Ad School, New Inc., The Samsung Accelerator, and CCNY Branding and Integrated Communications. Additionally, his work has been cited/quoted in periodicals such as Adweek, Advertising Age, Creativity Online, Forbes, CNBC, ClickZ, and MediaPost.  

  • Joanne Beltran-Lam Headshot 021318

    Joanne Beltran-Lam

    Associate Analytics Director

    Joanne Beltran-Lam is an Associate Analytics Director at Wunderman Thompson.  She has ten years of experience in the digital analytics field, after discovering a love of leveraging results-based insights to constantly improve any marketing effort.  In her current role, Joanne works with clients and agency partners to bring an objective and holistic perspective to success measurement.  (Translation: she is obsessively tracking, measuring, and optimizing at every touchpoint).  She has assisted in building a solid foundation of data, information, and knowledge to make better decisions and grow businesses for numerous clients including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Diamond Trading Company.

  • Cassidy Wilson Analytics Headshot

    Cassidy Wilson

    Analytics Manager

    Cassidy Wilson is the Analytics Manager at Wunderman Thompson New York. She joined the team in November 2017 and brings over 3 years of marketing analytics experience to the agency, having previously worked on numerous Fortune 500 companies across a wide range of industries.

    She is passionate about connecting data with business results, understanding the audience and their perception towards the brand, and helping brands adapt as times change. While at Wunderman Thompson, she has been working to expand measurement opportunities, grow businesses, and improve campaign effectiveness by making optimizations for clients including Northwell Health, Aspen Dental, Grand Marnier, and Nestle.

    When she’s not digging through numbers, you can find Cassidy hitting the slopes or going on a hike.


About the Wunderman Thompson Company

Wunderman Thompson Intelligence is the futures think tank and innovation unit at Wunderman Thompson. We identify new consumer behaviors, zeitgeist shifts and innovation in lifestyle sectors. We believe in a holistic, nuanced approach to research and strategy, combining design and science, and qualitative and quantitative aspects.

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