What Happened at October 2017's Knowledge Guild - 'What's The Big Idea?'
Monday 2nd October saw Speakers Corner and The Brewery host out biggest Knowledge Guild showcase to date. In our fourth year of partnership, and ever-growing, those who have been to a Knowledge Guild before will know how the event works. Three times a year we scour the land for the brightest and best speaking talent, bringing them all to one place to entertain and inform our clients on their chosen subject – this October we focused the night on marketing and branding. Calling it ‘What’s the Big Idea? Growing Creative Thoughts Into Brands’ we put on the speaker showcase in the Porter Tun – The Brewery’s grandest space. With the help of a star panel of speakers, we certainly managed to match the big room with some pretty big ideas.
Our guests in the Porter Tun
The night kicked off with a queue of guests around the block as the excitement buzzed for our final showcase of the year. As our clients were brought into The Brewery and welcomed with a glass of champagne, the networking commenced while our speakers waited behind the curtain, polishing their keynotes.
At 7.00pm our host for the evening Jeremy Vine kicked things off in his usual witty manner, warming up the crowd and introducing our stellar line-up. First up, we had an interview with Jo Malone of Jo Loves, followed by a keynote from Dan Germain of innocent, then we had a panel discussion from Rafe Offer, the Founder of Sofar Sounds, Kate Anketill the CEO of GDR Creative and Holly Tucker the founder of notonthehighstreet.com.
Jeremy Vine hosting The Knowledge Guild
Jeremy brought Jo to the stage and quizzed our first speaker on her iconic brands and unusual nose – apparently Jo’s sense of smell is on par with specially trained police dogs – so no wonder she makes such exquisite fragrances. We were truly offered a window into Jo’s life as she shared the highs and lows of building a brand, the steely determination of being a world-leading entrepreneur and what creativity truly means. Claiming that “I didn’t have anything but my nose” Jo’s emotional rollercoaster journey from building her brand to letting it go really made the audience realise the true meaning of passion – to Jo creating fragrance isn’t a job or a love “it is who I am”. Following the interview, Jo treated us to a fragrance tapas demonstration, showing our audience members a new paintbrush fragrance. Believing that the customer is not king, but they want to be engaged with, Jo did just that when she offered the 380-strong audience a unique experience.
Next up was innocent’s Dan Germain, known for creating their irreverent tone of voice from scratch, Dan talked us through how to do marketing well. Starting his presentation with wisdom from Kenny G and Kevin Costner, Dan has the audience laughing before he’d even got to the good stuff. Continuing in a similar vein, he shared with us some gems from the innocent story – like why businesses need a purpose, the work that the innocent foundation does and why it’s important to do things that don’t pay back. The keynote was truly befitting of innocent’s brand, ending with an image of the iconic banana phone, Dan claimed that the £17.99 purchase was to this day (18 years on) their best investment.
Dan: "Do stuff that doesn't pay back"
Dan’s speech wasn’t the only treat from innocent at The Knowledge Guild, as true to form they kitted out the whole event with smoothies, proving that being philanthropists will help people to love your brand.
Following Dan, Jeremy welcomed the panel onto the stage. A blend of entrepreneurs, creatives pioneers, and brand builders, the speakers’ different experiences and insights truly complimented each other. Kate Anketill opened the panel by enlightening us all to the future of retail, explaining that we can expect to see more personalised and participatory platforms. Holly Tucker agreed, saying that one of the foundations for starting notonthehighstreet.com was a realisation that the best businesses were personal ones – people wanted real, crafted goods. Rafe Offer also had wisdom to add to this, as the founder of Sofar Sounds, he has created a movement which depends highly personal and intimate experiences.
When the panel were asked how brands can compete with the giant that is Amazon, Holly offered an interesting opinion as she said that there is a desire for Amazon in the marketplace, as we all need things quickly – citing the typical trouble most parents have when their child has broken their pencil case and desperately has to have one the next day. But, outlets such as notonthehighstreet.com exist to bring colour to their consumer grey and provide people with something a little more. Something a little special that they can talk about at their dinner tables.
Holly: "Be challenged to do better and beat giants like Amazon"
Jeremy superbly fielded questions from the audience and Twitter, leading to some delightful nuggets of information from the panel, we found out that Rafe’s role model is his mother and one of innocent’s biggest faux pas was onion juice.
Following the panel discussion, the speaker section of the event came to a close, leaving us all with food for thought. Moving onto real food, our audience were treated to platters of traditional Spanish pintxos by the Brewery and the opportunity for more networking. Wrapping up another great event at the Knowledge Guild, we are can’t wait to start planning 2018’s schedule of showcases.
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