Three Pearls of Wisdom for Innovators – A talk from #VFS23

Gareth Miller - 23rd November 2023
Gareth Miller's talk at #VFS23

In early November 2023, at Venturefest South, Gareth Miller, Carswell Gould’s Managing Director, gave the following talk to an audience of innovators.

As an agency, we’re celebrating our 30th year in business and as part of that celebration, we’ve created what we call our Pearls of Wisdom – 30 lessons learnt during the last three decades in business.

First a bit of background about Carswell Gould – over the last three decades, Carswell Gould has embarked on a remarkable journey. Our agency has been a constant presence in Southampton and the South of England, but our story is one of transformation and growth. We started by serving local businesses and establishing our roots in the community. From those beginnings, we’ve blossomed into a global player, partnering with large multinational brands across the world.

Carswell Gould from Southampton, to the World

Our journey mirrors the incredible changes that have swept through the marketing landscape over the years. We’ve witnessed the rise of digital media, the evolution of social platforms, and the revolution in consumer behaviour. Throughout it all, we’ve remained true to our commitment to innovation, to telling compelling stories, and to being at the forefront of change.

As we’ve grown, we’ve taken with us the lessons and experiences that have made us who we are today. Our ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ are not just theoretical concepts; they are the result of hard-earned knowledge, countless hours of dedication, and a passion for excellence.

So, let’s have a look as a few of these pearls, which have guided us on our journey and continue to illuminate our path forward…

Pearl of Wisdom 1: People Don’t Buy What You Do, They Buy Why You Do It

People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it

A phrase coined by Simon Sinek but, something at the very heart of marketing communication and branding. Marketing isn’t just about products and services; it’s about stories that resonate.

It’s about understanding that consumers seek connections, shared values, and a purpose beyond profit. When we lead with the question ‘why,’ our marketing transcends the ordinary, touching the hearts of our audience. We’re not just selling; we’re inviting others to join a movement, a shared vision, and a mission that speaks to their souls. If you’re a brand owner, think about the ‘why’ at the core of your business, product, or service. Put that at the heart of your marketing and you’ll more likely find the success you’re looking for.

Pearl of Wisdom 2: Great Leaders Are Willing to Take Risks

Great leaders are willing to take risks

True leaders are those who embrace the unknown and dare to venture where others hesitate.

In a world where uncertainty is the only constant, the ability to embrace calculated risks distinguishes visionary leaders from the rest. In marketing, innovation often springs from the willingness to take calculated risks. In a room of innovators, I’m sure you all know this.

Don’t shy away from the unfamiliar; innovators are pioneers, explorers, and risk-takers. Be unafraid of uncharted waters, knowing that calculated risks are the fuel of innovation. As an agency, for each campaign we work on, we dare to be different, to challenge the norms, and to aim to lead rather than follow. I always think that your communications should aim to illicit a strong response from the audience, if your target market loves the brands message, it’s fine if everyone else hates it. Bland and boring rarely delivers the results you’re looking for.

Pearl of Wisdom 3: Fight Like a Badass

Fight like a badass

Now, let’s talk about our final pearl of wisdom today: “Fight like a badass.” In a world of constant change and challenges, we must approach adversity with unwavering determination, with the spirit of a true warrior.

It means confronting challenges head-on, not backing down in the face of adversity. It’s about embracing each challenge as an opportunity to rise, to conquer, and to stand victorious.

In our marketing campaigns, this is our battle cry. We don’t just tackle problems; we conquer them. We don’t just follow the trends; we aim to set them. We always try to embody the fearless spirit of a true badass, taking on every challenge with unwavering tenacity. In business, it’s those who fight like a badass that win, and you’re going to need to fight to be successful.

Our Pearls of Wisdom are the lessons learnt that have helped to shape our agency, enrich our client relationships and pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in marketing.

As you embark on your own journey, remember to lead with your ‘why,’ embrace risks as opportunities, and, finally, fight like a badass.

Pearls of wisdom

Have a look at our Pearls of Wisdom pages, to find out more about the stories behind these three and the 27 other Pearls. We hope you’ll find some inspiration to fuel your own marketing success.

Do you want to elevate your marketing to another level?

Get in touch with us today and start shaping your marketing for the future.