We held our first ever Gluesnight on Thursday at chic Soho cocktail bar, The Little Scarlet Door, in the company of renowned planner James Hurman and an audience of esteemed guests.
James is a true polymath – a man who switched careers from IT to advertising, where he had an impressive career not just in planning but in general agency management, before becoming an entrepreneur in his own right, launching first Toothcrush and then Tracksuit.
He’s also an acclaimed writer (not just of business books: he’s a children’s author too) and he’s currently the founding partner of Previously Unavailable, an innovation studio in Auckland, New Zealand.
He joined us to share some takeaways from his latest book, Future Demand, which explores the realities of how start-ups grow beyond their eager early users. It provides evidence and insight into how to build your brand among the much larger group of customers who’ll buy from you in the future.
In a question-and-answer session we explored how these ideas might have implications for sustainable media strategies too.
Then we got down to the serious business of the evening, which involved the venue’s speciality cocktail, Dirty Dancing...
Here are our key learnings from the night...
James key point was that “high short term growth is a poor indicator of long term success”.
He summarised “the power of brands to build short and sustained value for businesses”. What he called “harvesting current demand and creating future demand”.
He talked about the strong evidence of what it takes to build strong brands:
- The need to bake in the brand ( media ) budget from the beginning. To align "effective share of voice" (ESOV) with business KPI’s over time.
- The need to build familiarity ( saliency ) to deepen brand "trust".
- The need to build brand "meaning" to drive engagement.
- The power of a "simple brand idea" to be a driving guiding light in everything a business does.
- How strong brands are built on "emotional connection" because it helps us as human beings to navigate an ever increasing complex world.
- The need to build "distinctive assets" to avoid being "bland" and standing apart from the competition.
- How all brands should think like "start-ups" as we continuously need to recruit the next cohort of consumers.
- The importance of measuring and tracking both current and future demand to keep all stakeholders aligned.
At Electric Glue we “champion the power of media to build brands”. It seems to us that a lot of the knowledge around how to build strong brands is often ignored in media strategies and delivery. We feel strongly from experience that media can and should play a fundamental role in helping our clients build strong brands.
If you're interested in continuing this conversation further we would love to hear from you and share more our point of view and experience.