Advertising Week: FutureBrand's Jon Tipple talks creative marketing, sustainability and the pull of Richard Branson
Advertising Week Europe returned to London for its seventh year a few days ago (March 18-21).
Held at the Picturehouse Central, the major four-day event brims with marketing advice to sound tech talk and business ideas from some of the world’s leading creatives and media.
One of those is Jon Tipple, of FutureBrand, who spoke with TerraCycle’s Laura Cucuron on the importance of sustainability, asking whether certain businesses are fit for the future, and what you can do to pinpoint and expand on brand success.
Jon Tipple is the global chief strategy officer for FutureBrand, meaning he is responsible for the corporate development of the company and the constant challenge of redefining FutureBrand’s methodologies.
In his own words, sustainability has “got quite sexy” and, to be honest, he’s right. It’s more popular than ever to shop from brands that possess longevity and sell sustainable products. Our health is crucial, yes, but the environment’s is even more so.
“It’s become aspirational, smart and desirable… It’s partly a generational thing. There are a lot of young millennial people running businesses or design companies who are interested in policy.
“They see that you can’t bore a client - or anyone - into buying something, but you can create a desire for something sustainable.”
Times have evidently changed, especially since the ’90s as Jon recalls, growing up, where there was simply “recycling, and The Body Shop” - which is a brand he admires because of its values.
Speaking of brands he thinks does this job rather well, he notes Virgin being hugely effective and innovative: “There’s a misnomer about its brands being maverick and challenging, and it can seem like quite a calculating, commercial business.
“[Virgin] wants to do things its own way, and it might not be the ‘right way’… But, it’s [the idea of doing something] my way and seeing what happens. That’s quite inspiring. You want to write the rules the way you want.”
Jon discusses Richard Branson with great positivity, despite the billionaire’s controversial ways. However, he says that to succeed in the cut-throat world of starting a business, advertising, or even freelancing, you have to be fearless like Branson.
If something doesn’t work, well it doesn’t matter because you can try it again. And if that doesn’t work, you better keep going regardless. Jon also seems to place those stepping outside of the average box on a pedestal: “If sometimes you’re a bit awkward, abnormal or not conforming to convention, that’s good. It’s always the [eccentrics] that move you forward!”
But what happens when you feel like you don’t fall into any of these categories? Luckily, Jon believes absolutely anyone has the ability to progress, it just takes a whole lot of hours and commitment (tears are fine, too) to get there.
If businesses keep fine-tuning their core values and are effective - over being efficient - then Jon believes they can only continue to evolve: “The ones that are clear about why they exist and are committed to delivering that promise… They’re the best.
“We need structures - we can’t have unexpected goodness, we need to have expected success. I would sooner have expected failure than unexpected success.
“We need to keep growing, the world is changing around us, it’s a bit scary [but] we’re committed to everything it takes to get there. It’s defiance.”
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