Managing Partner Phillip recaps what he learned at the Make Disruption Pay event in Edinburgh.

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at Make Disruption Pay at the Ghillie Dhu, an event organised by the marketing team at Dentsu Aegis Network and our Edinburgh network colleagues in association with Entrepreneurial Scotland. The event was a great success with a number of thought-provoking speakers from around the UK. 

Maddy Sims and I introduced the key topic of the event, how to build a brand in 2019, specifically how to balance investment on performance vs brand. I loved Maddy's conclusion, that inspired by tech companies, brands need to focus on both "the sausage and the sizzle". 

Kate Forbes MSP, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy didn't mention sausages or sizzle in her speech! But she did cover a number of important initiatives to help Scotland's workforce and businesses continue to develop and win in the digital economy, including #ScotlandIsNow, the "global marketing rebrand launched last year" that we were involved in developing.

David Wilding, Director of Planning at Twitter, gave an entertaining presentation with a well-balanced view of how brands could (or maybe shouldn't!) be on the platform. Key take away: develop a strategy and then if Twitter supports your strategy use the platform in a way that fits. If Twitter doesn't fit, hold to your convictions and don't use it. No mention of sausages, but plenty of fried chicken.

Robbie Ashcroft from The Story Lab used the brilliant quote "Content without an audience is art" and shared a new trailer for "You are not a loan" a really brilliant social experiment concept which I'm looking forward to following.

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Richard Shotton again, for more insight from Richard here's a bumper talk he gave for Google. And just before I was up, Kristian Tapaninaho the Founder of Ooni shared his business story from its Kickstarter origins to 50-strong, 500,000 tree-planting success today. His story felt like the most disruptive of the day, building a new type of business with closer relationships with customers and building a community of like-minded pizza lovers.

Last and hopefully not least was me. My talk showed how we at Whitespace can help our clients develop better products (the sausage) and market them brilliantly (the sizzle). I shared five questions to help the audience think about how their businesses could improve their customer experience:

  • Find the weakest point in your customer journey and fix it
  • ​Decide how you want your customer to feel
  • Define your role in your customers' lives
  • Really get your customers talking
  • Nurture the best ideas

And then I shocked them with the quote that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the most important brand differentiator. If we or the wider Dentsu Aegis Network aren't already helping you make better sausages and sizzle, drop me a line, I'm sure we can.