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Problems to Innovation

Photo by Polina Zimmerman: 

We can not solve problems with the same thinking that created them.

Albert Einstein  

I am a strategist that develops User and Customer experiences for brands, marketing, products and services, I also help businesses scale and startups go to market. I solve things.

A a digital native born in the late 60s. At three, I sat on my father’s knee and watched a man walk on the moon live on black and white TV with half of humanity. I certainly did not realise then that I had adopted the Apollo generation’s view that with technology and the human spirit, almost anything could be achieved.

In my formative years, I was involved in firsts for VGA to video, 3d animation, digital sound sampling, live linkups, and streams, always enjoying improving user experiences.

In my corporate career, I helped launch the Apple Newton (forerunner of the iPhone) , launch Microsoft Office, created award-winning retail outlets, built public art and even designed an experience fit for a queen. Together with my NED roles, I offer extensive business experience and a deep passion for problem-solving for innovative start-ups and global brands alike.

My value? I am your side of the fence; I deliver for your company with improved experiences and profit.

If you want to talk, please connect on LinkedIn or use the form at the bottom of this page. 

Launch of UK first delivery robot Kargo

Kargo is a British self-driving robot for last-mile delivery invented by William Sachiti, founder of the Academy of Robotics 

I started working with Wiliam and the team back in 2019, helping to deliver the public launch at the Goodwood Festival of speed.

Following Goodwood, I took up a role as Interim Head of Comms and Investor Relations with Kargo.

In late 2020 Kargo was registered for the road and started road trails with Pharmacies delivering drugs to care homes and with Eurovia in Hounslow for road surveying and reducing the carbon footprint of repairs and transport.

 

An Experience fit for a Queen

I was asked to produce a Royal Visit by Milton Keynes Council, incorporating the official launch of the MKDons football stadium and the opening of the HUB MK; this included art direction, communication plan, press, PR and budget management.

The event allowed me to create a 6500 child logo reveal. Children from local schools arrived on a constantly moving fleet of 44 buses; each had an allocated seat and a particular coloured sweatshirt; at the appropriate moment, the children took their coats off, revealing a perfect MKDons logo covering one side of the stadium. Working with Micheal Birch, a well-known theatre director, we created a huge on-pitch, a choreographed story of the town, scripted with a custom music score, and Dame Cleo Laine sang the national anthem.

Setting the standards in retail experience

This was a project with 20/20 developing what became the benchmark in mobile phone retailing at the time. Mobile payment, live phones, free wi-fi, free seminars, the concept was called “Pulse” as there was a pulse that went around the high-level lights in each store to reflect the level of engagement it had so at night gentle in the busy day a heartbeat, looking at how digital could be seen as less “ridged”.
This was the benchmark of how mobile phone stores were created.

Making a difference

I developed the brand and the positioning and have been at the core of the proposition development and go-to-market. JustCarbon drives finance through to project developers, who extract the Co2 we have all created.

It supports and helps fund carbon sequestration recorded using blockchain to assure transparency.

Popup viral gigs in London Underground

Activating a joint initiative with Yamaha Music Pianos and Transport for London, launching public pianos in Tottenham Court Road with a Tokyo Myers popup, Canary Wharf with a Jools Holand popup and King Cross with Jamie Cullam.

How to launch a popup gig with Jools Holland. (Video)

Tokyo talking about the project with pianos in public spaces. (Video)

Viral content  when we left the pianos there for the public to enjoy. (Video)

 

Aitum

Launched in 2022 now with over 30K downloads and growing Aitum is a OBS plugin that allows streamers to create content more simpler and with more control and creativity.

It targets Twitch streams but will be available for YouTube and already can output to TikTok.

If none of that was clear, ask your 14-year-old son or daughter.

Raising the experience in retail

GAME required a “Store of the Future” to test and understand customer desires, this project was in 2012, and in the GAME stores today, you can see the colour-coded layouts, live gaming areas and phone and accessories areas.

Retail is about returns and experience, some of the results: The store outperformed the network by 30% LFL. Sales are up across ALL categories vs control (most notably in software and accessories). The analysis revealed this was due to try-before-you-buy.

Staff requests to work in this store at record levels for any store to date, and staff satisfaction levels are extremely high, resulting in one of the lowest turnover rates seen in the network. 9/10 from the national gaming magazine in a mystery shop was a great endorsement of the experience from the target audience.

IBIS lates pop up live social event

IBIS hotels wanted to authentically connect with a younger audience, not just to use pictures of young people or try to copy another youth brand. So we embarked on growing the following on Facebook and Twitter and introducing Instagram. Once we had a growing audience, we then focused on engagement online. After achieving the first stages, we went on to amplify the partnerships and events they were sponsoring. (Video)

Sponsorship activation at the Bright Big Screen open-air film festival the brief was to achieve engagement with the audience. We created a character out of the IBIS TV advert, Chimie (The Chiwawa); after making a Facebook fan page and gaining a following, where you could follow the adventures of Chimie, we produced some short films which instructed you how to take a selfie and win and were used before and after each film. (Video)

Mecure Award winning bloging game

This was the first of its kind, and it was a live real-time game played between bloggers and influencers for the purpose of promoting a global campaign for Mercure hotels. It was a mix of a game show, online engagement and mass social sharing. (Video)

It achieved 108K likes, shares and comments, 54k tweets and over 7 m reach.

The format is a powerful way of engaging and creating measurable reach from any influencer or blogger’s work, and yes, it can work for B2C or B2B. This was awarded a DRUM social buzz award.

BuxtonThreeTwo

Are a specialist food and beverage agency working from concept through product and brand development to implementation, all sustainable and kind to the planet? I helped them develop their offering and tools. Becoming a NED and strategic advisor, they wanted to exit the business and after 18 months of working with them, we had a deal on the table.

A city centre piece of art

One day in discussion with John Moffoot, we talked about how Milton Keynes had no “old town square,” there wasn’t a natural meeting place for occasions or a proper cenotaph… that is where the journey started. 

I remember being challenged by an artist saying, “you can’t just decide to create a centrepiece for a city?” I thought, why not? About eight years and £1.2m raised, it was born in late 2011 and, in my view, set free, as it would only succeed if people wanted a shared public place to remember, celebrate and share.

2023 Update, MK Rose was used on a TV advert for Milton Keynes, the royal visits and the vigil after the Manchester bombing. In short, owned by the community.

In bed with IBIS

I wrote a series of “film spoofs” based around the IBIS Sweet bed, as this was the product feature IBIS wanted to push. Some would say it an impossible brief to create awareness of beds to a youth audience from a hotel chain. Some of the videos gained over 100,000 views organically and were used on Facebook, at the event, cutdowns on Instagram and eventually YouTube.

Starwars spoof

Titanic

Frozen

Toy Story

My personal favourite, Taken

Gavin W H Anderson 

My clients tend to be C-suite executives with problems, marketing directors with challenges, and start-ups that have stalled. I also help agencies as well as brands.

I am happy to meet, chat, go for a walk, or just connect on LinkedIn.

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