Partners of Scottish Ballet share a passion for the work we produce. With In Company, we hope to encourage conversation, collaboration and connections between our sponsors.
Our first In Company event of 2018 focused on ‘the importance of being social’. Hosted by Caroline Roxburgh, speakers were Richard Rutnagur, Director at KPMG, and Tony Currie, Scottish Ballet’s Content & Digital Executive.
Richard told the story of KPMG’s support of Scottish Ballet. Both have a strong CSR focus, and it was clear as initial conversations progressed that a partnership could provide more opportunities than first expected.
A key aspect of the partnership was the involvement of Cuthbertson Primary School. It is situated across the road from Scottish Ballet, but their world is a million miles away. Successfully securing Arts and Business Scotland Culture and Business Funding, the partnership was further strengthened with 30 pupils offered the chance to take part in a dance workshop, have a tour of Scottish Ballet, and attend a performance of The Nutcracker. KPMG were determined to give the children a memorable experience, with the hope that for one or two there will be a lasting impact.
KPMG also chose to widen the impact of their support in sponsoring Haud Close Tae Me, one of the films included in Scottish Ballet’s inaugural Digital Season. It was important for the organisation that they could support a creative initiative. It has been nominated for and won prestigious awards, and selected for numerous dance film festivals worldwide, all unexpected outcomes. KPMG’s association with Scottish Ballet shows there is more to sponsorship than just financial support. The impact of the partnership and social interaction achieved is far richer and rewarding.
As Scottish Ballet’s Content & Digital Executive, part of Tony’s role is to understand how people react to content, and how Scottish Ballet can utilise this. 45 million people in the UK use social media, with over 87% of these using social media daily. This explains why increasingly marketing budgets are allocated to creating digital content and widening reach. It’s important for the Company that all areas of the business are involved, from dancers to our Engagement department. Content should engage, inform and inspire.
In 2017, Scottish Ballet took a risk and created an entire Digital Season – instead of performing on stage, we created film content to be consumed online, from anywhere. It was a world first. Haud Close Tae Me was one component, and the emotional response that came from audiences more than justified the creation. “Dearest creatives, you are saving the world soul by soul, just by being your innovative magical glorious selves…. Thank you.”
Tony shared some of the results which included successfully widening international reach on social media (with new fans in USA and Australia) and encouraging ticket sales in the younger audience demographic. The success of the first Digital Season allows Scottish Ballet to develop plans for a second, which will form part of our 50th Anniversary programming in 2019 – a huge year in the Company’s history.
For our second In Company event of 2017, we were joined by Emma South, Fragrance and Lifestyle Expert at Jo Malone London and Greg Reid, Sales Manager at Corney & Barrow wine merchants. David Watt, Chief Executive of Arts & Business Scotland, chaired the evening which looked at ‘creating a modern heritage’ and the challenges facing brands in an ever changing market.
Emma South, Fragrance and Lifestyle Expert at Jo Malone London:
"Innovation and creativity is at the heart of the Jo Malone London brand. As a relatively young company founded in 1994, our focus is on returning ingredients to centre stage with unexpected and playful combinations. Our packaging is simple and timeless, which means we can inject wit and whimsy with different campaigns.
There are four core philosophies inherent to the Jo Malone London brand. The spirit of generosity. Experiential retail. Bespoke scenting. British Heritage. These all work together to bring newness and energy into the brand, and capture a mood, a moment, a place.
Our scents and boutiques are gender neutral, but we still have a way to go to engage with the male consumer. Engaging with younger consumers is also a focus, with social media having a large influence on new customers. Above all, the company understands the importance of embracing change and has evolved while still holding on to its heritage. The four philosophies are timeless."
Greg Reid, Sales Manager at Corney & Barrow wine merchants:
"Corney & Barrow is one of the longest standing independent wine merchants in the UK, established in 1780. Our portfolio sets us apart from competitors. We can offer wines direct from the producer to the buyer exclusively, with no agent fees.
The demise of the baby boomers and emergence of a new millennial market is an interesting new challenge for us. Millennials have uncertainty in establishing careers, and are unlikely to have the disposable income that previous generations enjoyed. The wine industry has to compete with other drinks producers, particularly craft beer and artisan gins. Millennials have a frugal hedonist outlook – they want the best, but don’t want to spend much money to get it, adding to the challenge.
Corney & Barrow is in a good position as younger consumers are more interested in provenance, environmental concerns, where their wine comes from. We are able to offer them something exciting and different with the portfolio that we have. It is key to stay ahead of the trends and be aware of new developments in the wine industry. It is important that wine marketing continues to be sensory, with tastings and events allowing people to discover what they like.
Corney & Barrow also focus on connecting with diverse but likeminded organisations with similar ethos. As well as partnering with Scottish Ballet, we work with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Ladies Scottish Open amongst others. Collaborations and embracing new technology and social media allow us to reach people in many different ways."
The first In Company event on 9 March 2017 was a great success. David Watt, Chief Executive of Arts & Business Scotland, led the discussion following interesting talks from Mark Hogarth, Creative Director at Harris Tweed, and Richard Simpson, Joint Managing Director and Co-Owner at Tayburn.
Mark Hogarth, Creative Director at Harris Tweed Hebrides:
"Harris Tweed is handwoven in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland from pure virgin wool, inspired and informed by the landscape of The Hebrides. Traditionally the dyeing process used the lichen, seaweed and summer flora and it is this unique colour spectrum rather than pantone that continues to direct Harris Tweed today.
For more than 100 years, the skills used to create Harris Tweed have been passed down through the generations.
Our best sales people are the skilled men and women who work on the looms, after just ten minutes of conversation with our artisans, customers are eating out their hands!
From wool to tweed there is a continual addition of unique skill and craft. At Harris Tweed, we believe the time is right to reclaim and redefine the term luxury through this craft."
Richard Simpson, Joint Managing Director and Co-Owner at Award Winning Scottish creative brand agency, Tayburn:
"At Tayburn, we talk about remarkable brands. Brands that are noticed, talked about and shared. They are quite literally REMARKED upon.
Challenge convention. Brands have to let go. They have to be more fluid and diverse in a world bursting with myriad electronic media and display capabilities. They have to interact with audiences at a more emotional level.
Remarkable brands need to be able to communicate through a motivating story, and the journey they have been on that then reflects back to the consumer.
If you think about the customer journey from the point of initial awareness through to the purchase phase, and then the experience you get from that product or service, you can map out customer touch points. It is critical that where the make or break moments are is understood."