CONTRIBUTOR: Emma Castle & Joe Lynch


Who is Joe Lynch? What is it that makes him such an accomplished researcher, writer and trend spotter? Read on to find out.

Where did you grow up?

I’m from the UK originally and grew up in the north of England in what I would class as the second capital, Manchester. My parents are both Irish and I have a huge family but they both left the emerald isle when they were in their early 20s to start a new life in London, eventually moving up north to escape the rat race.

What’s your favourite thing about your work?

I’m an ideas kind of guy and love nothing more than trying to crack a problem or help a client solve any issues but, beyond that, my absolute passion is working with people from all walks of life, spending time with them, observing them, listening to them and really trying to walk in their shoes to better understand their needs, desires, motivations and importantly the things that tick them off. There’s nothing more rewarding than uncovering a fresh human truth that helps my client impact their bottom line.

What do you do at The B Hive?

I’ve done a variety of projects that all relate to research and consumer insights. From content writing, to writing keynote presentations, helping with workshop materials and developing internal tools, as well as being their ongoing trend spotter to ensure they stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest developments both from a business and traveller point of view.

What else do you have going on outside of work?

I wouldn’t say that I’m especially nerdy but I am fascinated with all the developments that are going on around us right now with regards to technology, robotics, automation and how all of this impacts the human side of our lives, so I love going to events or reading about such stuff … last year was delighted to be asked to sit on a panel that Landor were hosting to discuss the topic of ‘Man vs Robot and the future impact on branding’ together with the likes of Google, Deloitte and Coke.

Music remains a big part of my life and I’m really into food, mostly eating it but have become more adventurous of late in the kitchen and most of my friends refer to me as ‘The Feeder’ because I love to have people over and get them to stuff their faces on whatever I’ve been cooking. Right now, I’m in the middle of an ongoing debate about whether it’s time for me to get a dog as I’m a massive dog lover and now that I’m not travelling as much it would be possible to have a little furry friend to take care of.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I was pretty good at school, but the majority of my waking moments were spent doing anything related to music. At one point I was having music lessons for three instruments, was the member of two orchestras, two bands and was playing in local theatre.  That said, I had notions of becoming a musician, but they were eventually squashed after the reality of moving away and going to university where I had no free time to continue with my music.

What was your first job?

Like most kids I had a number of ‘small’ jobs when I was younger, from running the school tuck-shop (selling lollies and anything sweet), to doing odd jobs for neighbours, especially gardening. At college I was the restaurant manager for a children’s store and had various temp jobs doing office work. My first ‘big’ job right after graduating was with the global giant market research company, Millward Brown which I applied for having seen an ad which said something like ‘Do you like advertising? Do you love brands? Want to know what makes them award winning? and I was hooked straight away. 

If money were no object and you could have a year’s sabbatical, what would you do?

In truth I’ve sort of already done this. After relocating and working in NYC for a couple of years, I had a bit of an epiphany and took myself out of the rat race for 18 months and travelled across six countries working as a volunteer with various organisations that help disadvantaged kids. From Peru I went to Haiti, Nepal, India, Uganda and Indonesia but not sure I would call it a sabbatical, although I did manage to tick off a couple things on my bucket list while travelling: climbing to Everest Base Camp and the following year climbed Kilimanjaro. But if money were no object I’d love to charter a big yacht and pick twelve destinations and for each I would have a different (small) group of friends and family come sail the waters with me and it would be my gift to them.


What attracted you to the tourism business?

My degree (BA Hons European Business Studies with German) probably was the catalyst to me becoming fascinated with business, brands and mostly consumers and what made them tick. The four year degree allowed me to explore all different aspects of business and I remember the Marketing component really well (and the somewhat dire marketing research element that was included in the syllabus) but I can’t say I graduated believing I was going to end up in the research industry. My heart was set on entering into the world of advertising as a strategic planner. Once I’d looked into it and had a few interviews (and most of the roles were based in London and I was reluctant to live in the capital), I quickly realised that this wasn’t really for me but there was another side to the advertising world that was Millward Brown, then the global leaders in understanding what makes great advertising.

Where are your favourite travel destinations and why?

I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of Europe or fall out of love with places like Rome, Paris, Berlin or Barcelona.  Beyond that I’m dying to see more of South America, especially Cuba and Argentina, and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface with the time I spent in Africa and India so would love to go back there again.

What is the one thing you wish all your clients did?

Over the years I’ve had some legendary clients and when the relationship has been strong, it’s because of a foundation built on trust, honesty and transparency. Whenever there’s been a problematic relationship, I feel the root-cause was a lack of honesty. So, my one wish would be for unending amounts of no BS, coupled with mountains of fun because at the end of the day, it really is just work and nobody’s going to die. Life is so much bigger than the thing that helps you pay the bills!


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