Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi zigs when others zag. No one knows what he’ll do next.
The legend has it that while during a presentation in Canada, he took a machine gun and blew up a coke vending machine to prove to his employees and bottlers that Pepsi can go past Coke! He is also the author of the book Sisomo – that is about Sight, Sound and Motion. He is credited with coining a brand attribute – loyalty beyond reason – that he famously called “Lovemarks”.
Some gems from this K@W interview –
“Yoshi Suzuka, who ran Toyota for a decade, said to me 10 years ago, “Kevin, you will never know more about cars than Toyota — and we will never know more about the people who buy them than Saatchi & Saatchi.”
Companies like us now have to become very, very close to consumers. That’s complex because every consumer is different. So the whole mass reach and scale thing is gone. It’s complex because information and knowledge are now pure and simple table stakes. You will send the MBAs out of here. They will be fully equipped with information. They will be very knowledgeable about how to use it. Harvard will do the same, Stanford will do the same … they will focus very hard on information and knowledge.
What will win in our world is using those vital table stakes quickly, but then developing insight and foresight. You can’t get insight and foresight from data and from analysis. If you want to know a hell of a lot about lions, you better go to the jungle and not to the zoo. So, you’ve got to figure out how you can empathetically have the insight into consumer behavior and then have the creative foresight to do something about that before the competition. [Steve] Jobs and his folks are very empathetic.”
You can’t get much better than that!