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ampersand research market research nottingham qualitative & quantitative
ampersand research market research nottingham qualitative & quantitative

Perceptions of Nottingham survey

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

A few years ago, we were working with one of Lincolnshire’s biggest employers to understand why they were experiencing issues surrounding the recruitment and retainment of staff to their organisation. As part of the research, we explored the perceptions and associations of Lincolnshire with those living in and out of the county and learnt some interesting facts about our neighbouring county. For example, did you know someone from Lincolnshire is known as a "Yellowbelly"?!

Fun facts aside, knowing what first comes to mind spontaneously when people think of a brand, product, service, or even city is important to assess, as this is the key to understanding the associations people have and can lead to the development of distinctive brand assets.

Being the curious researchers that we are, we wondered what people thought of our hometown, Nottingham. We speculated based on reactions we had heard whilst travelling the country.

Was it the ratio of women to men?

Goose Fair?

The famous football club?

We came up with a lot of ideas, but wanted robust numbers. So, we decided to conduct a short survey about perceptions of the city amongst a nationally representative sample of people living outside of Nottinghamshire.

One of the questions asked was:

“What first comes to mind when you think of Nottingham?”

The folklore heroic outlaw famous for stealing from the rich and giving to the poor also stole first place with almost half of participants (47%) stating that Robin Hood was the first thing they thought of when thinking of Nottingham.

Proof that the legend still lives!

Other responses of note included:

Sherwood Forest = 12%

Nottingham Forest = 6%

Universities = 6%

The subject of what Nottingham is known for has surfaced a number of times in conversations with our clients and suppliers over the years and we always direct people to our research. We frequently receive comments that it is helpful to see robust numbers that either confirm or challenge their thinking. Some still associate the city with a bad reputation it picked up in the 90’s around gun crime “Shottingham”, but less than 1 in 25 made any negative comments about the city in our survey.

We recently shared our findings with a journalist and realised that it has been 7 years since we conducted this research, and a lot has changed in that time – to the world and the city – so decided it was time to rerun the research to find out what people associate with Nottingham now!

This time we’re considering including more questions about people’s impressions of Nottingham to get a fuller picture of perceptions.

Is there anything you would like to know, or could help your organisation?

Drop us an email to or give us a call on 0115 993 2343.

ampersand research

always and in all ways researching


Survey results based on N=278 interviews with those aged 18+ living in the UK but outside of Nottinghamshire. Conducted 26th October 2015.


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