Pentland Brands ideas incubator introduces new ways of working

Pentland Brands is testing new ways to develop products, services and brand propositions using an ideas incubator programme.

Known to the business as ‘Disruption Lab’, the programme brings together a cross-section of employees, who work in teams to resolve popular consumer frustrations by creating new brand propositions. Deliberately bringing together a diverse range of skills and ideas, the programme is a valuable employee learning opportunity as well as a crucial driver of consumer-led innovation.

The process moves quickly from theory to live action examples, working on real challenges that are affecting the market. A challenge posed by the programme is how to think through the mind of the consumer rather than the mind of the business, ensuring the approach is agile and adaptable to the constant changes presented by the retail industry.

It’s through this multi-disciplinary research and innovation approach that we recently brought our first new consumer proposition to life. 52 Degrees LDN is our first trial of a women’s footwear brand, made to take you places in style. Following the simple philosophy ‘beautiful shoes, made for real life’, the trial brand was born out of the popular frustration that consumers were unable to find shoes with equal attributes of style and comfort.

Emily Haynes, Head of Ideas Incubation, says, “Running the Disruption Lab programme brings new challenges every day – and that’s what I love about it. It teaches people to be agile and responsive to changing conditions – which is one of the most important skills you can have in today’s rapidly shifting environment. We’ve learned a whole lot launching our first brand, 52 Degrees LDN, which will allow us to get better and more effective as we continue to bring new propositions to market.”

Chirag Patel, Chief Operating Officer, says, “With big changes the retail industry, remaining at the forefront of innovation is more important than ever before. By working and thinking in these new ways as a business, we offer our people the chance to not only harness the power of innovation to drive our business forward, but also to drive a culture of performance.”

Hear more on how we’re innovating for success from Chirag Patel and Emily Haynes at Drapers Fashion Forum on Thursday 10th October.