A year ago, the marketing manager for the world’s biggest fast food brand – McDonald’s – left the mammoth company to join small start up Raw Innovation. It was an interesting move for the woman who had introduced the idea of the premium Angus Burger – one of the biggest marketing pushes for the brand’s Australian franchises.
“After 10 years, you’ve seen it all,” she tells B&T.
"It’s really refreshing to feel like you’re learning again."
She joined Raw Innovation as one third of the small company that works with busineses to open up the sources of innovation. Raw works under the notion that creativity and innovation isn’t just contained to the creative departments, and that many companies may be missing out on the impressive ideas.
“I’ve done my years of agency and clients but Raw is different. I can be nimble and honest and upfront. We don’t need to make things pretty to make the point. And we get to dealing directly with brain’s trust.”
“I feel like I can be more me [at Raw],” Godfrey explains. “I can help people now. When you’re in the big boys you don’t have the time to do that.”
Having come from one of the largest companies in the world, Godfrey points out that Raw’s conservative size allows them to remain innovative. The training days and inspiration workshops she now hosts can see her working anywhere from the CBD to the coast.
“One of the best things is not needing an office. In this digital age office space is quite irrelevant,” she says.
“Innovation and creation aren’t contained from 9 to 5. When you’re in a small agency you can take time to breathe after working day. You need that thinking time.”
Her decade at McDonald’s provided her with some weighty skills that would contribute to her new position. “I know what it takes to turn a business around through seriously tough time. When we did innovation [at McDonald’s] we did it across the entire business.”
Just the very idea of pitching a premium burger took far more than new marketing collateral. Pitching the Angus burger required a complex process of assessing the entire system.
“We had to consider that the grills had to be changed, and that these were ingredients we’d never worked with before – were there even enough Angus cows in Australia to service all the McDonald’s outlets? It’s incredibly complicated to get one burger across the line.”
In-depth consideration was also required for the fruit smoothies, and the Healthy Happy Meals with the National Heart Foundation’s tick of approval.
While these issues may be specific to giant fast food chains, Godfrey says the same issues arise across all businesses and industries. She says that because businesses are focused on building up reliable revenue, they neglect to innovate.
“They need to remember where the future growth is going to come from. And how you do that is the trick. Creativity is the oil that drives the machine of innovation, and innovation is a team game. That’s something businesses have to figure out.
"I’d call myself warrior – I fight big battles for innovation. But at the at the end of the day it’s not about me, at Raw it’s about helping clients fight for innovation internally and externally."