At Redscout a strategy and innovation agency based in New York City, CEO Jonah Disend described the company dynamic as “an introverted culture” that took a unique approach to fostering creativity. “In a brainstorm, it’s usually about who speaks the loudest, which is actually the antithesis to innovation,” he said. “We do a lot more where we brief everyone, but then people are given the room to go off… some people need collaboration… other people need quiet alone time. So [we’re] giving everybody the right room to do what they need.”
That liberating culture has led to breakthroughs for the firm. When Domino’s was struggling to sell pizza not too long ago, Redscout offered their client a blunt assessment — the brand had suffered when it chose to emphasize quick delivery over quality food. The information eventually served as the foundation for a total rebrand. Domino’s decided to innovate by totally rebuilding its most important asset: pizza. After that problem was solved, the actual marketing came much easier.
But not all brands need a complete overhaul. There are risks that come with always searching for the next invention, specifically about intent. Are creatives looking to innovate for the sake of innovation or are they truly trying to help a client evolve?
“The core Gatorade product is the perfect product for athletes,” Disend explained. “It would be easy to make the product feel more interesting...but how do we make sure we get the athletic credibility? And that’s when we created the one-in-three.”
Gatorade’s G-series reframed the brand’s place within the athletic community by including drinks meant for pre- and post-game activities, or as the slo- gan reads: “Energy, Hydrery.” And to make room for the new products, Redscout had to convince Gatorade to remove additional flavors taking up shelf-space.
“That’s totally counter-intuitive,” Disend said. “But they were really bold, and they did it, and it grew their business.”
“To be inventive, you often think you have to be crazy, but it’s also foundational,” Disend said. “You really have to understand what the make-up of the clients are and where the opportunities are to disrupt that.”