A Look Inside Unbound London 2017

In July, our associates Imran Bhatia and Robert Glass attended Unbound London at The Old Truman Brewery near London’s Brick Lane. The annual event brings together entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and journalists from around Europe to take a look at the impact of new disruptive technologies as well as different ways that emerging brands can establish a presence and increase brand loyalty in a fast-moving market. 

The red-hot topic of the event was the concept of the startup culture. It was no surprise that the discussion centred around the importance of instilling business fundamentals and structure across start-ups as well as how they can work with large corporates.  

Various corporates including Deutsche Bank, Diageo, and Google discussed the challenges of integrating a successful startup into a larger entity. Finding the middle ground between the jeans and t-shirt culture of a start-up and the structure of a more established business is essential. This is becoming increasingly important as large corporates look to bring startups in-house to continue their development.  

Panelists emphasized the pitfalls of startups trying to disrupt for disruption’s sake versus ensuring that innovation is focused on trying to solve a genuine consumer problem. A panel of venture capital investors stressed the importance of having an entrepreneur’s drive, passion and creativity shine through their product or service.  

Other sessions looked at aspects of Millennial-culture and how brands use messages to engage with a younger consumer market. The discussion focused on how messages like entrepreneurship and self-made success resonate better with Millennials.

Here are three takeaways from this year’s Unbound event:

  • If you’re a founder, think about why you founded the start-up in the first place. Are you filling a gap in the market and providing a solution to a problem?  
  • Is the culture of your startup future-proof? Can your team adapt to a more corporate environment, without losing its unique magic and personality? 
  • Marketing to Millennials is still top of the agenda for many companies. The balance of offering a choice that lets them maintain their identity versus creating brand loyalty is a strategy that your company needs to keep front and centre.