Tuesday, 22 July 2008 - Auckland, New Zealand

Ideas Lightbulb Kevin Roberts

Presentation Summary

We’re moving from limits to possibilities. This speech from the AUT – Idealog Innovation Series highlights how FREDA can transform companies, even in difficult times. Kevin talks about his experiences with Toyota, as well as his thoughts on the foundations and tactics for success and growth.

I’ve just been in Japan and Korea. Most of my time was with Toyota leadership revising plans and actions for worsening global economy.

10 common issues

  • Consumer confidence crisis
  • Rising commodity costs
  • Mortgage crisis
  • Lay offs/ Hiring freezes/ Rising unemployment
  • Stock markets under pressure
  • Widening gap between haves and have-nots
  • Continued security worries
  • Environmental pressures
  • Spotty political idea leadership

And, most vital, is Graham Henry the right man?

All of us here are not immune from any of these.

I’ll share with you the hot news from Toyota who grew share in

  • 1990 (Iraq/Kuwait S+L crisis)
  • 2000 ( bubble burst and 9/11)
  • 2008

By embracing Paradox – And/And.

5 Foundations

  • Move slowly and take big leaps
  • Grow steadily and remain paranoid
  • Be frugal and splurge
  • Be simple and complex
  • Set impossible goals without tactics – and surpass them

Based on:

  • Kaizen
  • Genchi Gebutsu (go to the source, see for yourself)
  • 5 Whys


  • Balanced portfolios in all segments
  • Increase share of voice
  • Rev up innovation
  • Quarterly value promotions
  • Reframe to higher emotional benefits

And Execute.

Via FREDA – to NZ.

F is for Focus. If I applied this to New Zealand, I would say the country’s focus – still – is “export or die”. We need to trade with the world to have a future. Fonterra and our films are leading the way at the top end but everyone has the potential to contribute, whether you are a musician, a teacher, a secretary, a nurse, a bricklayer with a better idea – a world-changing idea – about how something can be improved.

R is for re-invention. Today world-class is not enough. We must move from world-class to world-changing. There are 238 countries in the world and several places have made a leap in the last decade to being world class – think of the Shanghai/Mumbai/Dubai equation.

New Zealand is in danger of being stuck in an incremental rut, outperformed and out-competed by more energetic economies. The Edge metaphor we work with at is a way of revolutionizing our relationship with the world, creating local/global multiples that will secure our future.

E is for Execution. Lovemarks is a meta-concept but it works down and dirty. We’ve got clients, non-clients, small businesses and global companies executing Lovemark programs to achieve super-premiums.

I got sent a story this week from Yemen where the leading mobile network, MTN, has implemented a Lovemarks program.

Preference for MTN has grown to 42% of all mobile users – despite the fact that its nearest competitor is 40% cheaper! Lovemarks – mark this out Vincent – is an idea that has taken hold even in Yemen. We need a NZ Lovemarks strategy.

D is for Distribution. Physically, the 3As count for us – the Americas, Asia and Australia. And so does the Middle East. Dubai’s the new black. We need a visible marketing presence in all these places. Airports are a good place to start the messaging. It also means fully exploiting our digital capabilities. From here we can ship to the world effortlessly.

Saatchi & Saatchi started New Zealand’s first digital agency way back with Tom Eslinger, who is now our worldwide interactive creative director.

Andrew Stone and Mike O’Sullivan have just launched Saatchi & Saatchi DGS which brings together Aaron Dustin, Tony Gardner and Matt Shirtcliffe to bring the best digital and direct ideas alive emotionally.

A is for Accountability. The role of business is to make the world a better place. This is accountability – environmentally, economically, socially, culturally. Sustainability is the new imperative for business. In 2008 we launched Saatchi & Saatchi S to help people be sustainable on their terms, not the terms of governments or big corporations.

We’re moving from limits to possibilities, from Green to Blue. We believe in the power of consumers to change the world. We believe sustainability is a catalyst for business growth. No sustainability, no Lovemark.

How to Win in the Age of Now


Spanning creativity, leadership and execution, Kevin Roberts’ presentation to the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Wellington Chapter is an inspirational primer in: Wanting to Win, Ways to Win Now and Ways to Keep Winning – the secrets of Peak Performance so that winning becomes a habit.

Up, Up and Away – Rotary Newmarket


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Set Fire To The Rain


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Brighter Than Sunshine


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Magic Time


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Just Can’t Get Enough


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