Ajaz Ahmed Chairman of AKQA,
the worldâ€™s largest independent digital agency showed some impressive
examples of innovation in advertising, illustrating his point about the
importance of originality.
His key message was for his company to let their work do the
talkingâ€™. In other words, donâ€™t tell you customers how great you are,
Not surprisingly Simon Calver the CEO of LOVEFILM (a Â£100 million turnover company) is a fan of films, and so used examples to illustrate his four Pâ€™s of business success.
P1 â€“ â€˜Iâ€™m going to make you an offer you canâ€™t refuseâ€™ (The Godfather).
Focus on the consumer proposition first and worry about building the
brand later on. The three legs which hold up his company are choice,
value and convenience.
P2 â€“ â€˜Self preservation societyâ€™ (The Italian Job) i.e. Preserve the
cash in the business. Make sure you focus on the time it takes to get
cash in and out. If you get it right it gives you a competitive
advantage. Also analyse everything you do â€“ where you spend your cash
and how you do it.
P3 â€“ Spin City (American sitcom) Never under-estimate the
importance of PR. In his case they have three targets, their investors,
trading partners and of course their consumers. You have to be
constantly creating new stories about your business the papers will
want to publish.
P4 â€“ Passion (a choice of seven films according to Wikipedia)
Make sure you surround yourself with great people from the beginning.
â€˜Fiirst division people recruit first division peopleâ€™, which makes the
business great. Make sure you have fun too. Simon hosts a monthly BBQ
for his colleagues. Also reward your people on a quarterly basis (in
the case of LOVEFILM bonuses of between 10 and 20%. This allows for
more flexibility in changing targets in a fast growing business.
In conclusion, starting a business is probably the most rewarding thing you can do in your life.
Tristram Mayhew the founder and â€˜Chief Gorillaâ€™ of Go Ape, the UKâ€™s leading forest-based adventure company talked about Gorilla marketing.
Instead of focussing on their specific activities Go Ape are
branding themselves as â€˜creating adventuresâ€™, and are encouraging
everyone to live life more adventurously.
Gorilla marketing means turning your customers into an effective free sales force. These are his tips:
1. Wow them with what you do.
2. Delight them â€“ turn complainers into ambassadors.
3. Build a trust and charm based relationship
4. â€¦ and they will buy more, and more often â€“ Tristram openly
admitted that many of their ideas have been borrowed from the Innocent
5. Innovate, validate, cultivate.
Tristram strongly recommended The Brand Gap, it is very readable and nice and short too.
They are building a loyalty base using Tribe magazine (published every 6 weeks) to reinforce brand values.
They also make use of Social Media such as encouraging customers to post videos on YouTube, and have nearly 5,000 to date with hundreds of thousands of views.
By â€˜making friendsâ€™ with existing adventure bloggers and giving them
free Go Ape experiences they hope to generate positive reports online.
â€˜Doing good things.â€™ For example to help support gorillas in Rwanda
25 staff and 85 customers completed a fun run dressed as gorillas.
Will King is the â€˜King of Shavesâ€™,
creator of the cult shaving brand that has overtaken Wilkinson Sword
and Nivea to become number two to Gillette in the UK shaving market.
After 16 years of building the brand Will launched his own razor the
Azor one year ago almost to the day. They already have up to 10% market
share in the UK.
The Harvard rule of 4
1. No one has it
2. Every one will have it
3. Price for profit
4. Price for sale
Take an existing product and make it better â€“ eg iPhone, Innocent smoothies.
Change constantly, push boundaries â€“ it also helps to generates news stories for PR coverage.
Will introduced his SPACE strategy, which stands for Satisfaction of
Success, Passion and Persistence, Attitude of Action, Confidence and
Communication and Enthusiasm and Enjoyment.
There is a great degree of satisfaction in succeeding. If you
achieve great satisfaction, whatever that is, it may be having children
or running a marathon, but youâ€™ve got to work at that. Thereâ€™s no
substitute for hard work to get that satisfaction of success, which
feeds on to the passion and persistence bit. Things donâ€™t happen
overnight, it takes years to become truly successful..
Youâ€™ve got to have a can-do attitude to get things done; if you
canâ€™t be bothered who else will? The confidence and common sense part
relates to having confidence in yourself and what youâ€™re doing but not
being delusional; if you try to take on Apple with an iPhone itâ€™s a big
ask, but if you want to come up with a cover to protect the iPhone
clearly thatâ€™s something you could do.
Thereâ€™s a certain amount when youâ€™ve got to have confidence beyond
the success that you donâ€™t enjoy, especially when youâ€™re starting out â€“
people wonâ€™t give you credit, people donâ€™t believe youâ€™re going to do
it, people think youâ€™ll go bust, youâ€™ll owe them money, and youâ€™ve got
to imbue them with confidence if youâ€™re going to be successful.
And finally the enthusiasm and enjoyment piece; if youâ€™re not
enjoying it then nobody else is, especially if youâ€™re leading a
business. So have enthusiasm, have an edge about what youâ€™re about to
do because people do look to you, especially if youâ€™re running a
business or are involved in senior management. If you canâ€™t get them
motivated by transferring your enthusiasm to them, then how are they
going to transfer their enthusiasm either to the products you sell or
to the services you provide? Theyâ€™re not.