Every good brand, campaign, ad and business starts with a good idea. And while Noma chief operating officer and co-founder and CEO of Overture Management Ben Liebmann believes strongly that the idea is still at the crux of the industry, he thinks owning and growing an idea without help is borderline naive.
“I really do believe the idea is at the heart of all of it,” Liebmann said. But that doesn’t mean it’s always the easier option.
“It’s getting harder to create, own and give birth to an idea without the help of others, whether that be capital investment, or a platform that says they can give you eyeballs that you don’t necessarily have,” Liebmann added, citing his experience helping to build MasterChef from a TV show to a global juggernaut of a brand.
“So much of what I did working with MasterChef was licensing our ideas to publishers. So we had magazines with News Magazines, we have books with Random House, we had pots and pans with Tefal.
“We were licensing them our brand but in effect, we were creating partnerships around key products where they helped us realise that vision. We couldn’t have done any of that without them, so partnerships are important. Picking the right partner is paramount.
“Audiences are savvy and they’re now even more in control than they ever were. They have a multitude of platforms or providers of brands and content that they can choose from, they’ve got a multitude of devices on which they can consume it on. If they don’t like your content, they’ll switch.
“If they don’t like the platform you’re delivering it on, they’ll choose the platform they want and take the content. And now, if they don’t like the model with which you deliver it to them, they’ll block it, as we can see when they block ads.
“It’s about adding value. The more value you can provide to that consumer or that audience, hopefully, there’s a greater chance they’ll want to continue to engage with your brand. I don’t believe in building walls and punishing the consumer.
“I think you’ve got to approach it from the other way. They want what we have, how do we give it to them and give them value such that they’re willing to engage with us?”
“It all comes down to the idea. It’s the idea and the passion,” Liebmann said. “It’s about really passionate creators who have belief in an idea and the ability to see two or three steps ahead.
“Creative industries often start with the idea. People like Unilever and Procter & Gamble see a segment or an opening in the market and they go after that. I think that’s more about research and identifying who the market is and where there are gaps.
“But fundamentally it comes down to what you are creating and how that’s different and that will fill that space, whether it’s a customer need, a desire or whatever that might be. But without that idea, that gap in the market will go unrealised, and without execution on that idea.”