Earlier this evening I went to a talk by Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent. The company launched in 1998 and sell fruit smoothies in the UK.
I go to this kind of business event fairly often, but I have to say Richard Reed was the most engaging, personable and inspiring speaker I’ve seen.
He spoke with a real passion about developing Innocent from a start-up to the multi-million pound business it is today. But most of all, he talked about strategic marketing issues in a simple and clear way.
All too often people fall back onto complicated charts, tables, Venn diagrams, flowcharts and the like when explaining marketing strategy.
Richard used none of these, yet communicated a clear brand proposition and positioning, talked about the lessons he has learnt along the way, and managed to be informal and entertaining throughout.
He talked about using consultants and research – but made a really good point that when it comes to it, marketing is gut-feel. It’s not a science, and you should never try to use research as a decision-maker – it can only inform decisions that you make because you believe they’re right.
If you get the chance I’d recommend you go to a talk by Richard. For students the Innocent story makes a great case study for various things, and for the marketing professional he inspires and shows that the conventional approach doesn’t have to be the only way to work.