Barnaby Station - A Global Briefing on the Culture, People and Ideas Driving Innovation
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Barnaby Station - A Global Briefing on the Culture, People and Ideas Driving Innovation Barnaby Station - A Global Briefing on the Culture, People and Ideas Driving Innovation Presentation Transcript

  • 2 WELCOME to the first Barnaby Station briefing on innovation and the culture, people, and ideas that are fueling its momentum. The year 2014 is poised to be another amazing year for innovation and business transformation and I am happy to bring stories and conversations that are shaping and influencing this movement. Imari Oliver Innovation Strategy & Experience Production We are living in an age where interruption and disruption of business as usual is the norm. Change is occurring often and rapidly and it is sometimes difficult to keep up with what’s next and worthy of your attention. What signals are the harbingers of change? Who is leading it? How will it impact your business - right now or tomorrow? How will technology or the new rules of engagement influence and shape your industry, brand, or business in the future? Through the stories and analysis, we look to set you on a path of contextual understanding. These stories and ideas could be the catalyst or spark for a new way of interacting or engaging with your communities, customers or fans. As some of my colleagues and I now believe, all bets are off as it relates to existing business models. What was true yesterday is no longer true today and even less true tomorrow. To this end, Barnaby Station is focused on being a conversation starter for the curious and action items for the doers. But, by no means is this the rather it is simply expressing and sharing ideas worthy of your attention and consideration. Barnaby Station is a roadmap to guide you when looking at new business models or the convergence of content, media, and technology. Maybe it influences you to partnerships, or, perhaps, spur you to look at things differently - using a new set of lens. There are a few things we most assuredly know about innovation. . It is the key to a more engaging and exciting future for businesses and individuals. It’s about pushing the needle forward or in a totally different and sometimes unexpected direction - creating new experiences and new value. With these briefings, I hope to share the excitement and passion about innovation and meeting the needs of unaddressed consumer markets and in time, maybe we can collaborate and create something ground-breaking together.
  • SECTION:1 THE CULTURE OF INNOVATION “ ” Innovation… is more than just planning new products, services, brand extensions or technological inventions... It's about imagining, organizing, mobilizing, and competing in new ways. “Design Thinking for Strategic Innovations” Idris Mootee CEO, Idea Couture
  • 4 INNOVATION IN CONTEXT The It’s about making real an idea that creates new customer value and new market opportunities. Only possible by having a laser-like focus on the needs of the customer Ensuring what you do improves their lives   Solving a pain point   Influencing a shift from current customer behavior to a new behavior derived from customer satisfaction “You want it to be one way, but it’s the other way” Marlo Stansfield HBO’s the Wire What problems are you solving? How do you leverage content, media, technology, product development, and service design to create new revenue streams and launch entirely new businesses? What happens when relevancy of your product or service is designed to meet the needs of your customers? The best way to create and sustain a is through a blend of expertise in: The convergence of digital technologies Intelligent design and thinking (how it works) Business and operation models and systems Human behavior (i.e., how people currently think and do) Cultural values (i.e., relevancy of needs, desires, and wants from diverse audiences Making innovation sustainable - imagination and the appetite to discard old rules and legacy thinking and instead apply new rules that become the catalyst for growth - is fundamental.
  • 5 AN INNOVATOR’S STATE OF MIND Take both a broad and deep view of the experiences around you. See the value in disparate form factors, industries, and platforms. Make nontraditional or unexpected relationships or partnerships. How do things work together? How are they interconnected? Play with various combinations of media, platforms, technologies, and capabilities to reach different solutions. Broaden the picture. The application of innovation happens when purpose, the belief, meets action, the result.   Why are we doing it? The purpose. What are we doing and how are we doing it?  
  • 6 FOUR smart ways to bring innovation alive inside your organization and to your customers The Trojan Horse Effect is the ultimate slight of hand long-term market capture strategy. You start by solving one problem in order to get to your market, then once beyond the gate you execute your real goal or take the time to discover the next or new opportunity of which to take advantage. This approach requires having two strategies planned in advance. While executing the first, you are continually shaping and reworking the latter based on learnings and facts gleaned from inside the gate. Popularized by Detective Bunk of the Wire, he believed that soft eyes allowed you to observe the entire picture - the fuzziness surrounding things - the not so obvious - versus looking at something with hard eyes with a focus on what’s in your immediate line of sight, often missing little details. Soft eyes is a way to see things you don’t expect to see, and identify opportunities that may not be readily apparent or sometimes missed. Your customers are not going to alert you to problems they have yet to experience. You need to see the playing field from a different vantage point and take inspiration from events, people, culture, and unrelated or adjacent experiences. You will stop relying only on the reports that everyone else is reading and leave the comfort of the bubbles. The Brand bubble. The Agency bubble. Instead, focus on winning the hearts and minds of your fans or your audience through . A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form or release incrementally over time. The hallmark of this thinking is slow and steady, but a constant approach to innovation. It is a commitment to a systematic introduction of new products or services building on previous iterations. New ideas should be familiar and not alienating to audiences. But the commitment to continuous change and improvement is solid. The insight with this model is that your business model for right only good for right now. Keep advancing forward. With clandestine thinking, the development of new products or services goes unnoticed by the general population until it is ready for mass adoption. This could initially appear counter intuitive, however it provides the opportunity to test in beta mode or with select groups of individuals and grow the idea organically without the public fear of failure. The goal, primarily, is to gather information on the market and audience through the introduction of products and features to gauge response and adoption. This can also be a pure research and analysis exercise designed to gain situational and operational awareness of your market and audience.
  • SECTION:2 THE PEOPLE AND BRANDS INNOVATING “ Advertising has lost touch with society and will only recover when it ceases to be the device for dealing with the problems of brands and becomes the method...for dealing with the problems of the next generation of consumers. -- Daniel Maree Founder & CEO, M-PWRD ”
  • 9 “ “I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans…I just want this to come out when it’s ready, from me to my fans. Surprise! An Instagram video was posted at midnight on Friday. Along with Beyoncé’s official Facebook page posting, this was the only indication that the music genre would never be the same. We witnessed a ripple in the model. Beyoncé, with the release of her latest album decided to deliver a memorable and unexpected experience directly to her fans. Not the first to pull off a stealth release, however with her social media reach and global recognition, it captured the imagination of fans, retailers, and brands all over the world in a way others haven’t. Whether intentional or not, what she accomplished was across the board disruption. 14 songs and 17 videos. A total re-imagine of how an album experience should sound, look, and feel. Followed the trend of binge viewing popularized by Netflix, Hulu and other on demand viewing models. Consume it all in a sitting. Content is king and storytelling is queen. Fans and audiences were given a state-of-theart sensory experience (audio and video). A few weeks later, she released “Self-Titled” a mini art feature on YouTube that was a behind the scenes look at the making of the album. Fans had to purchase the entire album. No singles released. Social media ruled the roost. Leveraging her massive online fan base, fans picked up on the story and began sharing and buying the album. Quality of content fueled the social and media conversation and attracted significant earned media. iTunes page takeover. Fans were directed to iTunes to purchase the album and were greeted with an all Beyoncé promo. 30-second video clip teasers posted on YouTube simultaneously with the album release. No advanced warning, marketing, or promotion. 100% clandestine. ” Launched on the heels of the season premier of ABC’s Scandal as chatter was at its highest. Was able to insert the release into the conversation from an active demo. Celebrities became part of the conversation and tweeted to their fan base extending the reach. Word of mouth was widespread. Mainstream media picked up on the story and began creating articles and editorial content about the album and the stealth release. Retail No retail distribution or physical product until 5 days after digital release. A direct-toconsumer model. Upset the retail apple cart. Target decided that it wouldn't sell the album because it was made available digitally before it was in stores physically. Beyoncé surprised 750 Walmart customers in Boston by distributing $50 gift cards, totaling $37,500 - as she shopped at Walmart. A new level of partnership and engagement beyond celebrity endorsements.
  • 10 designed for CONTINUOUS INNOVATION Deliberately or by accident, , which is a culture of continuous improvement and efficiency. Led by this philosophy which permeates throughout the company, Amazon is constantly re-thinking, reinventing and creating new business processes that strive to make each customer interaction with the brand an excellent one. This philosophy is further anchored by a commitment to putting the customer at the center of everything they do. “A willingness to fail. A willingness to be misunderstood. And maintaining a childlike wonder in the world.” Jeff Bezos CEO, commenting on the innovator’s mindset . This thinking describes a classic challenger brand, come from behind, start-up mentality. Approaching business this way, they are by default positioning themselves to disrupt the status-quo and are challenged to always find a better way to maximize and improve business operations and customer experiences. This perhaps is the catalyst for their innovation efforts and creativity as a company. This approach may be traced back to Jeff Bezos' belief that eventually Amazon will become obsolete and his plan is to continuously innovate in order to delay the inevitable. Ironically, in striving to satisfy their customers’ needs, Amazon inadvertently creates new revenue and business opportunities and disrupts other industries: They are on their seventh iteration of the Amazon fulfillment center. Developed software that has made shelving products so much more efficient that they can now store twice as many goods as in the past. It gives them the ability sell more products and from those learnings, they are now moving into same day online ordering and delivery of grocery items. Developed Amazon Web Services (AWS) to keep track of the volume of online orders. Turned it into a new business by expanding the infrastructure to store data and run websites on the cloud for thousands of companies. Even some of their competitors use AWS. May soon become their largest business. Became an original television programming content producer by transforming their customer base into a crowd-sourcing engine and letting them decide the shows they should produce. Almost guaranteeing a hit. Looking to disrupt the Hollywood model of how shows are developed and green-lit.
  • Q+A Patrick Smith & Paul DiNatale 11 blanks to help move the story forward. As masters of the short form, story definition has a totally new meaning. : We approach storytelling and content development from the perspective of what problem we are solving. We then create multiple narratives where each one addresses the problem in a different way. Paul: We like to get involved from the very beginning, which allows us to create a level of trust with the client. We become a safe pair of hands and the client fades into the background showing up again once it’s done. Paul: The first thing we realized is that asking the right questions is the best thing to do as it gets the client to begin thinking about things that can make the project better. The most important question we ask our clients is, “what do you want to do with this?” And it goes beyond what channel or medium the content will appear on. Is there a sponsor attached? If not, would you like one? These answers can dramatically shift our story approach. Rather than just create content that is a supplement to an original property they already have, we can design the content so that it solves other challenges or meets new business goals. Infamous Hero is a storytelling powerhouse. They offer creative development & post production services. Learn more about them at: : We learned that sometimes a story doesn’t have to have a middle, beginning or an end. In this age of short-form storytelling, it can be a powerful headline or a tweet and you can get the entire story from that. With short-form storytelling we like to include the audience. They already know the story, so they can help fill in the Paul: With short-form content, you don’t have a long time to set up the story. When it is done well your audience can just jump in and never get lost. : I got the bug when I was young. I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark and was hooked. I realized I had to make movies. I just started writing. In middle school I would submit stories to Marvel Comics. When I went to college, I wrote a bunch of scripts and as a junior in college I pitched and sold one to Sesame Street. Next, I realized that people will ruin your written material so I needed to learn how to direct and produce. My life has been an evolution of me trying to get into film and the path has been through animation, comic books, advertising, and creating wacky TV shows - always with the idea that I would pick up the skills to one day make a movie. Paul:I was a 70s and 80s baby. Hip-hop was huge and all around me. I started DJing. I went to radio engineering school and through that I started editing film and it spoke volumes to me. It was music mixing, but with video and I was hooked. Got into the business through editing. I had a knack for mixing video to tell stories. I became a participant in the story. I was not versed on film making, but I learned on the ground. I learned what it took to take an idea in your head and create with a team. You can’t create by yourself. It is a deep collaborative process and as an editor, I enjoyed my role in helping tell a story and bringing it to life.
  • SECTION:3 “ THE IDEAS & TECHNOLOGY FUELING INNOVATION ” A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock pile when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind. - Antoine Saint-Exupery
  • 13 Data is a Game Changer.  Electricity of the 21st Century.  Yes…it's that powerful.  A key pop culture moment that comes to mind when I hear Big Data is Billy Beane and the film Moneyball.  Billy Beane was a baseball scout who eschewed conventional wisdom of selecting players and instead embraced data and analytics to build a winning baseball team. It ushered in an innovative way for major league baseball to recruit, acquire, and manage players on and off the field.  Billy Beane never won the World Series, but his data analytics approach had such an impact that it became a part of MLB culture. Each day as companies find themselves getting closer to the Big Data tipping point, we may well find them increasingly in search of their own Billy Beane moment to optimize business models, adapt, or create new products and services or markets from data enhanced intelligence.   With the notion of winning “business” championships, the challenge with harnessing the power of “big data” is more than collecting and storing data, but in understanding: 1. What do we do with it?  2. How do we glean meaningful insights? 3. What should we pay attention to now versus what should we ignore until later? 4. Can we trust it?  Can it mislead us?  In addition, organizations have to keep in mind customer concerns around data security, privacy, and usage and have controls in place to mitigate those fears and build trust. Agreed. This is much to think and plan for. However, once an approach is determined and the rules are set… …Imagine the new products, services and content being designed around real behaviors and actions of people. Imagine unlocking the holy grail of personalization and true one-to-one marketing - moving from reaching people in the aggregate with broad brushes to, instead, automatically delivering  individual and unique experiences  based on intrinsic and extrinsic preferences, influenced by each individual’s unique data code and motivation. Imagine unlocking the power of your company’s operations, making smarter business decisions, allocating resources better and gaining more relevant insights to satisfy existing customers and acquire new ones. But, it’s not going to be a cakewalk. It will require time, resources, commitment and money. Every day, volumes of data both structured and unstructured are generated: transactions, social media, images, video, the web, mobile devices, sensors, machines, consumer and enterprise content.  This variety of data, once collected, processed, and analyzed  only with the right tools and the right emotional and functional value attached to it - can be useful as a competitive catalyst. It will then power new opportunities for innovation at a time when disruption, increased competition, a shifting customer landscape, and the mission of continuous business growth are the new normal.
  • 14 CONNECTED LIFESTYLES The idea of a world of invisible buttons sensing , communicating and responding to people and objects Products and services that are contextually aware of me, my movements, and my surroundings Intrinsic and extrinsic learning about my behaviors and activities Real-time personalization, automatic actions, and content updates based on my interests
  • 15 Smart Objects. Smarter Actions. The story of the Connected Everything. Given the chaotic and fast-moving world we live in, there is a need for technology that can make our lives easier, make us smarter, and more efficient.   Maybe technology can even quietly manage some of the more mundane tasks in our lives and make the world around us more interesting, interactive, and engaging.  We are moving closer to that reality through the Internet of Things and it is offering solutions to real world problems. The Internet of Things (IoT) is simply the insertion of intelligence and programmed behaviors into previously lifeless and un-networked devices and objects.  In this construct, the physical world is connected to the digital world through sensors, microprocessors and wireless technologies.  Physical objects will have real world awareness and talk to each other and to people through devices, creating an invisible infrastructure and communication ecosystem that is responsive to various inputs and stimuli.  These include:  sensory inputs, proximity, location, events, behaviors, the environment and data.  This opens up unimaginable possibilities for integration in our day-to-day lives, as more objects become capable of connecting to each other, learning, and communicating with people and in turn providing solutions to problems we are not aware of or even imagine.  Eventually, we will operate in a well coordinated symphony of human-less activity where cloud based intelligence will use data extracted from connected objects to generate ideas around new products and services.  This is the innovation opportunity. Once intelligent objects are reporting their status and responding appropriately to people, data, and other machines autonomously, they begin to have real-world impact.  Farmers are using air and soil sensors to communicate information on crops and weather conditions. Athletes have sensors embedded into their uniforms or helmets communicating real time impact, body temperature, heart rate and a myriad of other performance related stats to help them or the coach measure, monitor, and improve performance.  Chemical sensors allow bacteria to provide details about how large a particular bacterial colony is - important information for pharma companies as they develop new drugs.
  • 16 ALONG COMES THE CONNECTED CAR The deals that telecoms (e.g., AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) and consumer tech companies (e.g., Google, Apple, etc.) are striking with automobile manufacturers to offer in-car connectivity and car designed operating systems are creating yet to be realized opportunities for consumer service providers and marketers.  But it gets more exciting than that.  We already know that with car connectivity, cars can download content and directions, stream music, make voice command phone calls, etc.   However, once your car can communicate with other cars, traffic infrastructure, pedestrians, and the road itself, independently without specific instructions - that is the real game changer.  It signals the shift from driver to captain, where the driver now has situational awareness of their car and other objects around it.  Consider the following: The car can detect upcoming mechanical points of failure, communicate it to the repair shop, then compare your calendar with the repair shop’s calendar and provide appointment options. Traffic lights will be aware of your car before you get to them, look at traffic flow, and decide to shorten a red light or change it to a blinking yellow light. Embedded road sensors will communicate road conditions (e.g., black ice, pot holes) to your car or device in real time. The car will provide relevant details about traffic jams, before you are stuck in traffic, with data taken from other cars closer to the cause of the traffic delay.
  • 17 ABOUT THAT beacon life Beacons are a transformative and disruptive technology poised to re-define digital experiences and interactions for individuals and brands based on location, proximity, activity, and interest. It promises to radically shift how people use their mobile devices in-store, at entertainment venues, at work, or home. Beacon technology is the idea of indoor microlocation services that can recognize a person and their position in a physical space or within proximity of objects with surprising accuracy typically within 1 to 150 feet. Relying on lowcost sensors/transmitters and mobile devices, beacons, when activated, can automatically transfer or receive signals, data and information (e.g., content, alerts, directions, messages, trigger events and actions, etc.), wirelessly to smart devices within their range. So many possibilities… Once we make a physical environment interactive and responsive to a person as they enter or near a venue, room, or retail location the game changes. Consider the following: Paying for a product or service without having to pull out a credit card, cash, mobile device or even provide a signature. While in transit, receive airport, weather, offers, or transit updates in real time informing you of delays or changes in arrival or departure. A doctor walking into a hospital room and receiving the latest information on their mobile device about a patient. mortar Customers receiving coupons, ads, or discounts as part of a loyalty program, dynamic pricing and in-store navigation while in-store tailored to them based on previous shopping behaviors. Customers receiving curated video, audio, or promotional content related to a nearby product with the ability to buy it with a click of a button or a scan of a tag. The truth of the matter is that there are barriers that need to be overcome before it reaches widespread adoption. Individuals will have to ensure Bluetooth and location services on the relevant app are turned on, and then opt-in (give permission) to receive notifications, content or messages and tacitly share their data. But with the right value and use cases addressed, these “barriers” could be overcome easily enough. The outlook for beacon technology is great and 2014 will see many brands, companies, and individuals experimenting with it. We will likely witness the launch of a new class of utility and location-aware apps and new industry and business models fueled by the rise of beacons.
  • SECTION:4 CONTENT and MEDIA INNOVATION “ Complacency is the fatal flaw of many businesses…You want a restlessness, a feeling that someone is always after you, but that you’re going to stay ahead of them… that tomorrow is more exciting than today – you have to have it permeate the organization. - Warren Buffet discussing Coca-Cola and why he would never sell a share of their stock ”
  • 19 THE CONVERGENCE OF CONTENT, MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY In a recent talk to television executives about how to reach a new generation of viewers, actor Kevin Spacey said, “give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price and they’ll more likely pay for it.” His statement provided an insight into what the new engagement model between brands, consumers, and audiences should look like: The growth of media channels and platforms, the adoption and acceleration of technology and a powerful consumer voice driven by social media will require brands and marketers to develop new strategies to stay relevant in a Millennial-driven marketplace. One path worth considering is for brands to behave like technology enabled content creators and publishers. Content, media and technology are ubiquitous, meaning to discuss one without the other is pointless. Understanding how to combine mobile, data, and other emerging technologies to help deliver a narrative is crucial to reaching a digital savvy on the go, anytime, anywhere audience. Though simple to understand but possibly harder to execute, the idea needs to become - deliver what people want. Create “brand love opportunities” and through this convergence - drive value, engagement, and revenue.
  • 20 The FLEXIBILITY of content Recently, GQ Magazine teamed up with the Nets to open the first NBA arena barbershop at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. What I thought was brilliant about this move was that GQ captured the idea of the barbershop being a man’s sanctuary, the place men go to discuss politics, sports, current events, and anything else that suits their fancy and places them smack dab in the middle of it all through a contextually relevant experience. Going beyond being a cool place for men to hang out, I anticipate GQ magazine will leverage the barbershop engagement model at other arenas to create branded content and promotional opportunities. I see them learning about the needs of their current and future customers by listening and gathering feedback on new product and services through the barbershop, eventually creating more authentic and relevant content for the magazine and extending and expanding the brand relationships into other endeavors. Brilliant! Coca-Cola, in an extremely smart way, figured out content marketing and is at the forefront of this media landscape shift. They developed a content 2020 plan, designed to create content synergies between business objectives, brands, and consumer interest. What impressed me the most is that everything they do is influenced by their business strategy of “provoking happiness.” Because of this approach, each product, service, or innovation has a dynamic story built into it that communicates an emotional value and benefit to people’s lives. Coca-Cola then takes these “brand stories” and spreads them throughout the media landscape, and allows customers to help shape and share stories in a participatory way through their own social networks or through brand-owned platforms. Coca-Cola is even rethinking each communication touch point and challenging itself to design a way to transform corporate stories (pr announcements) into emotionally driven content pieces that people will want to share. Content as a Lifestyle - Red Bull The makers of Red Bull are literally re-writing the book on how to use content as a lifestyle to promote a culture around extreme sports, gaming and music to customers that creates value for the Red Bull brand. Their approach is to market the brand as a cultural lifestyle rather than a beverage to buy. This is a unique and effective approach in building brand awareness and preference through lifestyle association and not explicit product benefits. Their content approach is supported through their Red Bull Media House transforming them into publishers who just happen to sell a beverage. The media house manages the production, distribution, and social engagement strategy for all Red Bull entertainment content across media and platforms. It works because they have figured out how to tap into the emotions of their audience and give them content that is not only exciting, but what they want, need, and love. This content is brought to life through sponsored athletes, branded global events, and a multitude of integrated web, mobile, TV, articles, radio, and social media content bites that are entertaining, interesting, and sometimes jaw-dropping. Because their content is so compelling and reaches an audience that most brands are also trying to reach, it not only appears on their ecosystem of owned channels, but is also shared on other publishers’ sites and platforms through digitally syndicated stories.
  • 21 THE NEW FACE OF MEDIA Complexities arise as brands look to navigate the new face of media fueled by mobile adoption, emerging technologies, brands acting as publishers, consumer user-generated content, and a new wave of startups intent on taking advantage of the changing face of media. It has forced brands to rethink media strategies, the type of content they create and share, the diverse media platforms and more importantly understand consumers’ behaviors in how they consume and interact with content. As these media channels continue to grow, brands have to develop a strong grasp of the storytelling experience expected from each medium and create messaging that doesn’t “interrupt” the platform experience but “becomes” the platform experience, meaning the experience should be “native” i.e., feel appropriate for the medium and worthwhile for the audience. Got it? Instagram is about promoting and sharing a social lifestyle through photos or videos. In comes Mr. Porter, an online men’s fashion e-commerce site. Through each posting, they communicate the lifestyle and activities of men’s fashion through imagery, videos, and memorable commentary that are authentic to the spirit of the platform. They don’t use Instagram to pitch a product or sell a service; instead, they give followers the expected emotional experience. They embraced the medium appropriately and were creative in what they posted and as a by-product created shareable content and a stronger authentic brand association with a lifestyle that can eventually pivot into revenue opportunities on their other channels. There are many more opportunities for brands to media. Something obvious but interesting once you add an innovation lens is leveraging and connecting multiple formats simultaneously or sequentially to create a cohesive symphony of dialogue across media to maximize reach and impact. Ironically, this thinking is met by some with excitement as they embrace the opportunity to experiment and play, while for others, trepidation as they struggle to prioritize investment, placements, development, and creative resources across media. This is completely understandable when you take a look at the paid, owned, and earned media landscape available for consideration: Traditional - TV, Radio, Print & Digital OOH, Presentations - Smart Phones, SMS, Wearable Technology, Tablets, Desktop/Online, Microsites/ Blogs, Podcasts, Apps, Email, Webcasts, Native Advertising - Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, PS4, Cable TV (On-demand and Subscription services) etc - Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Google+, SnapChat, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn - Special Events, Conferences, Workshops, Pop-up Stores, Retail/ Brick and Mortar The Bottom Line Through research and data analytics, a brand can figure out who they are talking to, where audiences are engaging with the content and the best channel for delivery. In addition, understanding what to say, what not to say, and when to say it as a brand is equally important. New partnerships and collaborations will become valuable as brands look to create platform confidence and credibility.
  • 22 THE RISE OF THE BRAND NEWS DESK AND NEWSROOM I am a huge fan of the brand news desk and newsrooms to push a better understanding of how to interact with media. Typically these are set up to listen to audience chatter, brand mentions, monitor performance, validate what messages resonate and determine where to insert the brand voice into conversations and platforms. But I also see a more deeper application. I see them providing a fertile environment for brands, stakeholders, media and social teams to practice and learn the thinking and tools necessary to be nimble and agile and respond to events and culture moments with relevant and authentic content, whether planned or unplanned in the right way, at the right time - or not at all. I think it is important to use these newsrooms as a training ground to build digital and social media muscle memory We’ve witnessed brands that have done it right. Take Oreo and the Superbowl lights out moment and their clever response that had the media world abuzz. On the other hand, we’ve witnessed some brands get it completely wrong and use global and national tragedies to insert their product into a conversation in tasteless and crude ways - experiencing a social media fail. Ultimately, I envision brand newsrooms containing an ecosystem of technologists, strategists, designers, and writers who will support content development and audience engagement at a much deeper and richer level. Testing and validating various messaging and making the distinction between what content brands think is valuable and important versus what audiences and fans think is important.
  • 23 ABOUT ME Imari currently consults on innovation strategy and experience production. In that role he works directly with brands, individuals and organizations to: Identify new market and revenue opportunities Assess emerging technologies and their business relevance to new products or services Develop and grow an innovation portfolio by translating market trends, research and consumer insights Manage and lead the concept, prototype, and pilot stages for new product or services Imari Oliver If you would like to talk, collaborate or explore opportunities: twitter: @imarioliver His background as an Innovation Strategist, Executive Producer and Project Director with over 15 years of experience in the marketing and advertising industry has allowed him to achieve a level of expertise in delivering products and platforms that shift how brands connect and interact with people and communities. He has held leadership roles at agencies  focusing on digital engagement including G2 Worldwide, AKQA, Atmosphere Proximity and mcgarrybowen.  He has managed teams responsible for project and product delivery and led innovation planning efforts for leading brands in consumer packaged goods, technology, sports and entertainment.  Imari presents at conferences and events on topics that explore innovation, how to think about what's next and new, how to create and test business models and the best way to introduce and integrate innovation into a client's business. A fervent proponent of ideas and storytelling, Imari produced the first TEDxHarlem conference, attended film school and wrote and directed a science fiction short film. He believes that innovation is derived from having a natural curiosity of the world. It means talking to different people, creative play and exploration. Problems aren't solved and opportunities aren't discovered by sitting at a desk.
  • 24 THANK YOU ABOUT Barnaby Station Barnaby Station is a quarterly briefing that I decided to publish to begin discussing innovation from a very distinct point of view. I’m extremely excited and passionate about the time we are living in and I find myself continually surrounded by amazing technology, people, start-ups, brands and institutions that are changing the world in different ways. "There's a way to do it better —find it." Thomas Edison a comment on the innovators mindset I decided to play on the train metaphor and create a “station stop” to share and highlight these stories. Hence Barnaby Station. It is a stop on the innovation train for readers to take a moment to look around, explore and see what is going on. Be inspired, then get back on the train and get busy! I have big plans for Barnaby Station going forward and I welcome your input and thoughts to ensure that this briefing meets the evolving needs of you - the reader. Please feel free to reach out, ask questions or provide suggestions for future features, people or things you would like to hear more about or from. Your comments are appreciated and welcomed.