Brilliant Reads: reactive content, better brainstorming and teaching old brands new tricks

Welcome to Brilliant Reads. This week we discuss the power of employee ownership, bringing legacy brands up to date and how to create reactive content.


Transforming legacy brands

For many brands digital transformation stagnates because of a misunderstanding of what is involved. They might have the right technology but their culture hasn’t caught up. In this piece we hear how Gap are tackling the challenge by implementing cross-functional teams that can react, analyse and launch ideas quickly. It’s not just about having the right tools but the right mindset. This starts with a shift in the mentality of the company, creating a culture where it’s ok to take risks.

Why Old-School Brands Like Gap Need to Learn New Tricks to Survive in the Digital Age
Adweek, 8 mins

Handing ownership to employees

The number of UK businesses owned by employees have doubled since 2010. These employee ownership models include worker co-operatives (businesses directly owned and controlled by employees like Suma) and employee trusts (employees are the main beneficiaries, such as John Lewis).

Why has employee ownership increased in recent years? People are looking for more than just a pay-check and being invested in the company helps employees feel a sense of ownership in their role. Employees also have confidence in their future and a deeper trust of the business. These collaborative, multi-skill cultures enabling major decisions to be made quickly – something all businesses can learn from.

Worker-owned businesses: ‘We get paid the same regardless of role’
The Guardian, 5 mins

Responding fast and remaining relevant

Reactive content is appealing to brands, taking advantage of those unpredictable, opportune moments can be invaluable. Yet it’s all too easy to get wrong – being too late, having a lack of resources or poor reception to the content all effects your reputation.

It’s a big challenge and we often hear from clients that want to know how to create better reactive content. We believe a framework and process is the key to maximising on these opportunities. You need to know how to reach your audience, have a process for responding fast, a plan for spotting the opportunity and guidelines for ‘safe’ topics that you can publish swiftly.

Reactive content: how to make the most of moments of opportunity
Brilliant Noise, 5 mins

Taking back control of media budgets

Digital marketing has hit a crossroads. Clients trust in holding companies has hit an all time low and they’re either taking their business elsewhere or doing it themselves. P&G have done exactly that. By reducing their digital ad spend by $200 million they have shifted their focus towards television, audio and ecommerce.

Taking back control of planning and measurement can be hugely powerful. When each element is owned by a different agency it is very difficult to maintain consistency, strategic clarity and a clear view of the customer journey.

P&G and WPP: How the sh*t hit the fan in digital marketing
Mumbrella, 4 mins

Finding solutions through quickfire questions

Every business wants teams that generate breakthrough ideas and solve problems effectively. However traditional brainstorming sessions can often lose momentum, resulting in poor outcomes. The secret to unlocking brilliant ideas starts with asking the right questions.

MIT’s Hal Gregerson has developed a methodology that starts with a meaningful problem. In a small group start by describing the problem as concisely as possible. People can only contribute questions, with no justifications allowed. Limit this to four minutes and aim for 15 questions minimum. You can then analyse the questions and pull out those that provide new angles on the problem. This method enables teams to use time effectively and unlock useful solutions.

Better Brainstorming
Harvard Business Review, 20 mins