Thanks very much Best Practice. It’s been good to know you. But it looks like we’ve passed your best before.

In a recent interview with the HBR, Ben Jones, Global Creative Director at Google’s Unskippable Labs, said “The challenge for brands today is that we're behind our customers. The customers are evolving faster than our sense about them is, and therefore our work. The only way to catch up to them is through experimentation. If you wait for patterns to get baked out into best practices, by the time you get there, your audience will have moved on.”

It’s not a case of rewriting all the rules of marketing. Some things still hold true. People are still hungry for stories. They still want brands they can believe in. They notice acts of bravery. They can still behave in unpredictable ways…a la Brexit, Donald Trump and Vetements’ DHL T-Shirt.

What’s different now is that expectations are increasing and our tolerance for things we’re not interested in is shrinking.

We are awash with data and applications. Matt Turks visualisation of the Data & AI Landscape (2 July 2019) gives any budding pub quiz master about 20 years worth of content for ‘Guess the logo’.

Add in that data isn’t static and we risk digesting so much that we develop an intolerance.

How can we benefit from the data at a pace that ensures it’s still relevant by the time we act?

Brewing company Lion’s launch of YOWO (Your Work Your Way) is a good example of established business using insight to find new ideas that match their vision, and adopting an agile methodology to deliver it.

There are a number of things to admire about Lion’s venture into new(ish) territory.

  1. Data to insight. Recognising significant changes in consumer behaviour within the hospitality industry Lion conducted a two month research project with TRA. This gave Lion some key territories to explore, grounded in future focused human insight.
  2. Leverage partners and customers. Running with Scissors (yep, that’s us) facilitated innovation sessions to translate these trends into commercial concepts that could deliver transformative change. We mashed external perspectives, with those from across the business to prioritise ideas that provided the most potential benefit to consumers and customers (venues).
  3. Driven by vision & ambition. YOWO delivers against Lion’s vision to ‘Enrich our world by championing sociability and helping people live well’. It also sits outside the core business, and agreeing to deliver a completely new venture is both ambitious and brave.
  4. New ways of working. Once the business committed to the YOWO concept they assigned a dedicated (small) team to deliver it. The team carefully considered what was done in-house and who they wanted to partner with. Then they adopted agile work practices to get to market as quickly as possible.

Perhaps best practice isn’t dead. It could just be badly injured. Maybe we can rejuvenate it with a new iteration. Something more in keeping with the pace of change. Something more dynamic.

Introducing Dynamic Best Practice. Long live Dynamic Best Practice.