Help is at hand to turn a great business idea into a winner

A new competition and award has been launched to help innovative Scottish food and drink businesses turn their great idea into a winning brand.

Set up by Edinburgh creative and research agency Guy & Co, the 2018 Guy & Co-creation Award has been developed to support Scotland’s flourishing food and drink industry by recognising innovative ideas with potential and promoting the importance of branding.

From 21 June until 31 October, businesses will be able to submit entries for the award, with the winning company receiving a comprehensive go-to-market prize package worth more than £65,000, including a consumer-validated brand identity, packaging and sell-in materials from Guy & Co.

The award is open to Scottish entrepreneurs and food and drink businesses with a new product idea in development – this includes new ranges of existing brands but excludes extensions of current ranges (unless sufficiently innovative).

Candidate businesses should not only be able to demonstrate a winning product idea but also have a clear business plan including route to market and production capability. The full criteria for entries is available HERE.

Guy & Co will evaluate the entries in November to assess the rigour of the innovation, both from a strategic and commercial standpoint.

The judging panel will include the former chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, Paul McLaughlin, who brings more than 25 years’ industry experience, from global giants like Mars and Coca-Cola to great Scottish companies like Scotty Brand.

Shortlisted entries will then be consumer tested to assess the end user’s reaction to the product and the likelihood of success. The winner of the award will be announced in December 2018.

The full package of services supplied by Guy & Co, which will be carried out in the first half of 2019, includes brand planning; brand proposition and architecture development; consumer testing of brand identity concepts; packaging design & artwork; and development of sell-in materials, including a brand website.

Assistance with PR strategy is also included from Guy & Co’s public relations partner, Beeline PR, with supporting financial advisory from a chartered accountant partner, covering areas such as business planning, investor-ready support and funding advice.

David Guy from Guy & Co said: ‘Scotland’s food and drink industry is world class and has an ambition to grow its value to £30bn by 2030. As an agency we are keen to give something back in a way we believe will add value to an entrepreneur or SME with a great new food or drink idea.

‘We know many SMEs often omit the same passion and energy that goes into their business planning in branding, where they are overly focussed on perfecting the product rather than defining its benefits and positioning. That omission can be costly, with an estimated 85% of new product launches failing.

‘As Guy & Co grows, we’d like to help invest in exciting young ideas that maybe don’t have the time or resource to be robustly tested with target consumers, ideas that deserve the support of a strong brand identity when going to market. Launching a new product is challenging and ultra-competitive so the goal is to validate the winner’s brand proposition through rapid cycles of learning with target consumers, effectively de-risking taking their idea to market.’

Guy & Co is an award-winning creative & research agency based in Edinburgh who work on new-chip to blue-chip UK and global clients.
Scottish food and drink clients include: ACTIPH water, Border Biscuits, Albert Bartlett potatoes, Scotty Brand produce, Smokehead Islay Single Malt Whisky, Innis & Gunn beer and The Whisky Illuminati.

For further details, click HERE.