A commitment to innovation saw Fearlessly Frank co-develop a new Nissan product
Innovation sits at the heart of any successful business, from the biggest corporations to ambitious startups. Whether it is for product development, brand strategy or marketing, leaders in any industry will likely call on a creative agency such as Fearlessly Frank to help communicate new ideas effectively. In under a decade, Fearlessly Frank has gone from startup to a market leader in the innovation space, developing mobile apps for Nissan and launching the Jimmy?s Iced Coffee brand along the way. Business Advice sat down with co-founder Ben Little to find out not only how Fearlessly Frank makes its money, but why its unique approach enables the consultancy to bring out the disruptive side of any industry.
Who are you and what?s your business?
I’m Ben Little, co-founder of Fearlessly Frank. We’re an innovation business that develops new products and services as well as go-to-market strategies for global brands and disruptive startups.
How long have you been around for?
Fearlessly Frank has been going since 2007.
How do you make money?
We make money through the consultancy fees we charge, and through ownership stakes in partner businesses.
What makes you different and why should people take notice?
We co-own several of the businesses we work on, so that gives us an unusual perspective. But we’re also much more creative, and for an important reason ? we research a company by digging deep, as we like to say, and uncover the inner truth so that what we produce isn’t just inventive but also accurate.
What was key in terms of getting started?
We wanted to create a new discipline ? the space of innovation consultancies. It was key we create the right tools, positioning, and hire the right people in order to build a new offering in the marketplace. We had to educate people on what we did as an innovation consultancy, too.
What?s your biggest achievement to date?
Building a successful business that people enjoy working for.
What setbacks have you had along the way?
We went independent from our global holding company right in the middle of the financial crisis without any investment other than a??250 overdraft. Although that period could well have slowed us down, it taught us diligence and patience.
In five years? time, I will be?
Hopefully doing what I’m doing now, with more people in more countries creating more ideas that do more amazing things for more clients.
What one tip would you give to others starting out?
Make sure you’re doing something you love because it takes a lot of love and sacrifice, so if you don’t love the field you’re in you’ll never be able to dedicate enough of yourself to it.
Who are your business heroes and why?
My first boss, Alex Ferguson. He is the managing director of McCann-Erickson?who took a chance on hiring a waiter from Pizza Express who had no experience. He taught me a lot. Read on to find out why?innovation is the answer to productivity problems
Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.
There are certain characteristics that are common to people who are able to deliver creatively. You don?t need all of them to come up with brilliant ideas, but the more you have the more likely it is you will have more, and better, ideas. more»
To mark the reforms announced by the CMA, Business Advice has taken a closer look at some of the innovations already introduced by Britain?s lenders in recent years, designed to make banking more straightforward for small business owners. more»