Be More Human: MAD//Fest 2022


MAD//Fest London is one of the UK’s leading festivals in marketing, advertising and disruption – and the latest event did not disappoint. Fun, informative and jam-packed with a plethora of sessions – from data, meta-verse, Gen Z to all the latest topical industry buzz – these two ‘human centric’ talks inspired myself and my Nalla colleagues most.

Trust is the new oil: Mr Porter

In a beautiful move on from ‘data is the new oil’, global marketing director Sabah Naqushbandi at menswear e-tailer Mr Porter coined the phrase ‘trust is the new oil’. She delved into how to stay relevant in our ever-changing world, with the brand’s ‘evolve or die’ approach. Now more than ever in the age of data, strong brand values are key. Our key takeaways from her fantastic presentation (check out her whole presentation):

• Great brands are built for the people they serve.
• Stay true to your core customers, but don’t be afraid to experiment to reach new audiences. Fail fast and learn quick!
• Be the change, don’t wait for the industry to catch up – illustrated perfectly through Mr Porter’s commitment to improvement in fashion industry behaviour by championing change and sustainability through the promotion of ethical suppliers.
• Remain true to your core values and then make sure everything you say and do delivers on it. For example, the ‘Mr Porter Futures’ mentorship scheme is designed to make the fashion industry accessible to all aspiring talent, not just those who have studied fashion or have previous industry experience.

How to build a unicorn: Octopus Energy

The awe-inspiring Rebecca Dibb-Simkin, CMO of Octopus Energy, on how to build a unicorn in three years by thinking really hard about humans – all during the pandemic and post baby number three. Watch the full video – her pandemic purchases are hilarious and Octopus’ growth story is super engaging.

Octopus’ approach, from start-up to global player, not only made me want to promptly change my energy supplier, but also rang true with everything we feel here at Nalla about taking your customers (humans) on your journey. The brand’s fresh approach to energy and ‘championing humans’, with the mission to protect the planet, oozes through their DNA when they do things like:

• Draw attention to the big energy company ‘tease and squeeze tactics’.
• Show their profit margin and what they make on your energy payments.
• Commitment to renewable energy.
• Personalised customer service system and make meter reading exciting with the Wheel of Fortune.
• Introduction of ‘baby Constantine’ the octopus – social media sensation and ‘brand buddy’.
• Help customers with practical energy saving advice/tips and electric blanket provision to those who struggle in winter.
• And… my personal favourite is the hold music where you hear the number one tracks from the year you were born (although sadly you’re not promised to be on hold for long).

An excellent example of great brand touch points and business positioning – exactly what we’re passionate about here at Nalla.