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Podcast / Food Futures
Podcast / Food Futures

How creating consumer experiences can help your brand

Are you tapping into the experience economy? Consumers experience brands on a variety of levels, and not all of it is conscious. A great deal of your ‘brand effect’ will be non-conscious. Specific sensory attributes deployed across your pack and product will be generating deeper, more meaningful levels of engagement. Could creating meaningful consumer experiences help your brand?

Host Stefan Gates is joined by a panel of experts including Andy Wardlaw, Chief Innovations Officer, MMR Research, Mike Faers, Founder & Chairman, Cubo Innovation, and Paul Thomas, Director, The Forge to find out how a decision to go beyond ‘liking’ on your next development project could be the start of your quest to fully realise your brand’s sensory power.

We are now entering an era where people’s demand for experiences is filtering down to everyday, it’s no longer going to be confined to travel and music concerts. I think there is going to be, first of all, a pent up demand for experiences everywhere and a reevaluation of the role of experiences over stuff.”


About our panel

Andy Wardlaw, Chief Innovations Officer, MMR Research

Andrew’s career in food and drink began with selling fish paste to local stores and wholesalers for the Shippam’s brand in the south of England. That was in 1992. Since then he has gone on to develop insight and ideas for Old El Paso, Haagen-Dazs and Nature Valley – all at General Mills, as well as stints at functional dairy brand Benecol and every little person’s favourite Ella’s Kitchen.

Now he heads up ideas at the MMR Group, which helps brands develop products that are not just liked, but beautifully aligned across all moments of truth – across brand, pack and product – to create more powerful user experiences. MMR partners with over 2/3 of the world’s leading food and drink manufacturers and has had a very busy 2020 as companies invest in a new consumer landscape.

He lives in Great Missenden, world famous for the writer Roald Dahl, which might explain his love of all things chocolate…

Mike Faers, Founder & Chairman, Cubo Innovation,

CEO and Founder and all round Innovations guru, Mike has a huge amount of experience from the kitchens of Le Gavroche to heading up Product for McDonald’s Europe and then globally. Growing tired of working with agencies who could talk the talk but failed to deliver, mike left his role at McDonalds to start FIS in 2010. Having run and established manufacturing plants, innovation academics and working extensively with many of the UK’s major retailers and brands, Mike offers strategic planning, troubleshooting and innovation best practise to Cubo’s clients, using decades of expertise to ensure that businesses operate efficiently and innovate brilliantly.

Paul Thomas, Director, The Forge

Paul is a Director at the Forge, a strategic insight consultancy. Prior to that, Paul has spent the majority of his career in Head of Insight & Innovation roles at food & drink clients – Asahi, Diageo and Ferrero. Paul specialises in branding, comms and innovation – and believes deeply that brands must bring experience to consumers, especially as his own personal favourite experience, the pubs, are closed at the moment.

About MMR

MMR Research Worldwide is part of the MMR Group; privately owned and proudly independent. This allows us the flexibility and freedom to adopt a strategy focused around innovation and employee empowerment. For our clients, that means outstanding service and access to specialist sensory, fieldwork and online expertise.

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