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Meet Innovation and Brand Consultancy, Redscout, Part 2

Every month, we go inside the top Innovation and Design companies to unlock and discover what they’re really like. This month we visit Innovation Consultancy Redscout, a boutique business by design, with 70 creative strategists and designers globally, including 15 in London, and speak to Jason Cobbold.  Jason, UK Managing Director, let’s us discover what it takes to be a ‘scout’, and shares more about the Redscout vision, story and secret sauce.

This is part 2 of that conversation, which is all about what makes a Redscout person and what they look for from new hires. Missed part 1? Click here.

What values are hardwired into your business?

Spirit of Exploration: We’re curious, we ask ‘why’ obsessively, we’re interested in everything and love geeking out.

Trust in Instincts: We listen to our guts, allow ourselves to have strong beliefs and points of view, and speak up for what we believe is right.

Bias for Action: We take chances by pushing ideas one step further and are obsessed with making ideas real. We are determined to have impact—we speak up, show up and do.

360 Degree Empathy: We care passionately about our teams, our clients and people in the real world. We always strive to ask ourselves, ‘what does it look like from over there?’

Sense of Ownership: We prioritise ownership, drive and accountability and are actively encouraged to “act like we own the place,” building the future of the company we want every day. We have a very entrepreneurial spirit in that way.

What makes a Redscout person?

An insatiable curiosity

Sharp cultural acumen (rabid culture vultures)

Wide-eyed optimism

Deep empathy

Comfort in the deep, dark unknown

Obsessed with the details (passionate perfectionists)

How do you learn and improve as a business?

By cutting out bureaucracy and rigid hierarchies, weeding out agency politics, and encouraging open, candid conversation—both internally and with our clients.

By eschewing processed thinking and rigid approaches, we can be more flexible and responsive when things aren’t working. At the end of every project, we take a moment to reflect and identify what worked well and where we can improve next time.

We are also incredibly dedicated to every Scout’s individual growth and development. All of us have quarterly performances check-ins and yearly 360 reviews. It’s really important to us that everyone is constantly learning and growing.

Describe a typical project/campaign?

The ideal Redscout engagement begins with a foundational piece of creative brand thinking and ends with a piece of tangible innovation.

A typical client relationship involves a brand positioning (or creation) project that naturally flows into an innovation engagement. That means working with a brand to define a purpose and vision that resonates with consumers, seizes a genuine whitespace in the market, and has a real velocity in culture.

These engagements tend to come at a fundamental moment in the brand’s history—maybe it’s a start-up that has had its first growth sprint but now asking “where to next?” or it could be a 100-year-old brand that has lost relevance with its core consumer.

Once there’s a clear, inspiring vision in place, we work with clients to work through how the brand should impact the products, services and experiences they deliver for consumers. That could mean concepting a new retail experience that makes good on a new brand promise, developing a new app that better addresses the consumer’s core needs, or working with the design team of a fashion brand to bring the positioning to life in the products that hit the runway.



Can you tell us more about the team structure

Unlike traditional agencies, over 70% of our staff are the individuals who plan, write, design, and create the work for clients. We choose not to employ layers of account management or project coordination so that our strategists and designers have a direct and highly collaborative relationship with client teams. It helps us work more efficiently and to build stronger, more honest, and more productive relationships with clients.

We also hire strategists and designers that have cultivated a unique hybrid skill-set and range of experiences in marketing, planning, and innovation. We do not have separate research, strategy, creative writing functions at Redscout—these all roll into our Strategy team members as an integrated combination of skills. Our strategists work with clients to define strategic opportunities, write consumer-facing concepts, and are trained to moderate consumer focus groups, ethnographies, co-creation, and other forms of consumer research. Similarly, we seek out designers who have worked across multiple disciplines.

On who your competition may or may not be: “We are competing for mindshare with Twitter and Instagram.” -- Kyle Andrew, CMO @AEO #FCFestival

“Our brand is our people who push culture forward” -- @spencerbaim, CSO @VICE #FCFestival

“Part of defining what business you’re really in is defining a category of one.” - @jdisend, Founder & Chairman of @rscout #FCFestival

“We said everyone’s a VIP, and we live that at #Peloton.” -- Jasmine Maietta, VP Brand Marketing #FCFestival

We hope you enjoyed part 2 of our conversation with Redscout. Part 1 is out, you can read that here. Do you want content like this in your inbox every week? Subscribe here

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Drew Welton
I’m a Founding Partner and the Managing Director of Bamboo Crowd. I look after senior relationships with our clients across Innovation & Strategy, helping them to source the best talent in London and New York. Ask me about the best dog I’ve seen this week.