Who We Are

Upwords is a pioneer in online qualitative research.

We’ve been at this since 2008, and have built quite a track record of unearthing valuable insights for our clients. Along the way, we’ve won international recognition for what we do, as well as love from the people we work with.

We get marketers because we’ve been in their shoes. We dig for the consumer intelligence we know marketers will need to make better-informed decisions. We are lean and we work from virtual offices which translates as cost effective and agile. It also means we can scale up to do wide reaching international studies through our global network. With field-tested methodologies, we bring exceptional quality control to each project.

Upwords is a collective of top research talent anchored by Founder and Chief Insights Officer, Layla Shea and Insights Manager, Bronwen Ward. To stay agile and lean, we engage partners from our trusted network of multilingual moderators, strategists, analysts and project managers to suit the requirements of any given project.

Meet Layla Shea, Founder and Chief Insights Officer

Layla Shea

Founder and Chief Insights Officer

Layla Shea started Upwords in 2008. Ever since, she has been designing and moderating highly effective online qualitative research for major brands.

In the quest to uncover valuable insights, Layla’s background has set her up well. Formerly a marketer at Coca-Cola and S.C. Johnson, a research consultant and facilitator at Sklar Wilton & Associates, and a RIVA Trained Focus Group Moderator, Layla’s finely tuned skills help her connect with participants’ true feelings and she relishes the role of connector between clients, brands and consumers. She has conducted groups of C-level executives, web entrepreneurs, senior citizens, hard-to-reach teens and everyone in between. Layla is an expert at making the complex simple.

A leader in the North American online qualitative research community, Layla has won international awards for the impact she’s had on her clients’ businesses, and is a sought-after speaker at industry conferences.

Meet Bronwen Ward, Director of Insights

Bronwen Ward

Director  of Insights

Bronwen Ward has been immersed in every aspect of qualitative research at Upwords since 2014. Bronwen’s experience helping lead multi-country/multi-language studies, paired with exceptional attention to detail makes her a valuable asset to any project, particularly those global in scope and complexity.

Bronwen entered the qualitative world after a successful career in hospitality management, including a variety of senior roles spawning her interest in human behaviour. Since rounding out her management experience with a degree in Market Research, Bronwen has been leading all aspects of online studies for some of the world’s biggest brands.

Bronwen is passionate about understanding the ‘why’ and always digging deeper to inform her clients’ complex business decisions. Her clients can count on her keen – verging on neurotic – attention to detail throughout each project; from proposal to moderating, analysis, right through to delivering a final presentation that sparks new ideas and action.