I recently attended VirginStartUp ‘Screw it, Just Do it’ event delivered by StartupU at #ThisWorkspace in Bournemouth. It did not disappoint. Three inspiring presentations on the topic of Marketing and Brand to motivate Dorset’s startup economy.


Jo Cruickshanks of Bare Collective

Jo gave a heartwarming presentation about overcoming your own negative beliefs to find awareness between the negative messages in your mind that often hold us back. In this space, between those thoughts, the silence, you find “the Real you”. Most intriguing about Jo was her ability to create calm and peace throughout her story that took us on a huge transformation from “who am I” to becoming our own Hero. Jo’s story was a heart-on-her sleeve journey about purpose and personal brand (that she declares she is still on).

Jo gave some cutting statements that would remind any level of marketeer the secret of success – when what matters to your business resonates with what matters to your customers. Jo shared sentiment she’s witnessed across the board of her clients big and small – that ultimately we all want to make a difference to people’s lives.

Adam Goswell from LushDigitalHQ

Adam began by reinforcing Lush’s mantra of supporting the things they believe in. Their Activism is their marketing. He went on to tell us about the various innovations Lush are exploring. This includes digital ethics and reducing e-waste, piloting Fairfone, the world’s first ethical, modular smartphone and looking into creating their own ethical Lush Tablet. Lush Naked was interesting (retail with absolutely no packaging). More interesting was its innovative smartphone app, the Lush Lens. The smartphone app uses artificial intelligence and product recognition to show the product label and information when you scan the product. This allows the products to be browsed and sold packaging-free. It’s one of those innovations that clearly demonstrates the “so what” of a new idea.

Adam talked about how Lush is moving into publishing more and more with their multiple channels. They have split themes over channels to make it easier to tell stories, such as Soapbox, Gorilla and LushLife. Great movements from a company already leading the way when it comes to caring for our environment.

Suze Owen from Jimmy’s Iced Coffee

Suze brought energy and action to the room, much like any Jimmy’s Iced Coffee event/theme I have witnessed so far! A really inspirational brother/sister duo who worked together to make an idea happen. What really came across from Suze was their courage in knocking down doors to get noticed and get listings, successfully too. I got the feeling these 2 had similar parents to my own, ones who nurtured the behaviour to believe you can do anything. The Jimmy’s Iced Coffee team seem to go the extra mile, effortlessly, through their energy, determination and persistence – and created a fun, engaging brand with a huge following.

Team building was apparent as well as awareness that sometimes you need to fill a skills gap. Suze’s story was honest, transparent and really enjoyable and I look forward to seeing and hearing a lot more of them as they continue to grow.

Thanks to @AlexChisnall and the StartUpU Bournemouth team for hosting another inspiring event.

#screwitjustdoit @VirginStartup @JoCruickshanks @AdamGoswell @LushDigitalHQ @BareCollective @JimmyIcedCoffee #KYCU

Key takeaways:

Jo @ Bare Collective:

  • Go for “walk-shops” because you can’t think “out of the box” in the box
  • Re-frame FEAR – it’s False Evidence Appearing Real
  • Be the real you

Adam @ Lush Digital:

  • Digital ethics and be aware of the growing electronic-waste
  • Talking about the things you care for naturally creates your marketing material – find easy ways for your customers to digest this
  • Look for innovative solutions to new problems

Suze @ Jimmys Iced Coffee:

  • Take action!!
  • Keep your chin up, #KYCU, obviously 🙂
  • No matter where you are or what you are doing, the pride you feel for your kids will always make you cry! Embrace it!

#marketing #bournemouth #branding #digitalinnovation #AI