All the speakers we had at Rainmaker were fantastic. As we were asking them all to work with us I’ll never forget the feeling of disbelief that came when they said yes and agreed to speak. It was all a bit overwhelming to have such an impressive caliber of speaker happy to talk at a Passle event.

As a marketer, I was particularly interested in Andy West, Group Chief Development Officer for Hotwire as he was speaking on the “Changing Public Face of the Firm”. Andy is a brilliant guy and I highly recommend you check out his insights on business communications and success.

We turned to Andy at Rainmaker to help us understand the changing ways that firms are talking to their clients and the way that those clients are interacting with firms.

It's not an easy landscape to demystify and Andy did a brilliant job explaining it for the audience. Although I’m woefully underqualified to do so, I’m going to have a crack here at summarising the key takeaways.

  1. Consumers are expecting more from brands, they are increasingly “owning” the brands they love and expecting brands to align their values to their customers.
  2. Brands big and small can take a stand but need to be prepared to commit and take the good with the bad.
  3. Most marketers aren’t prepared to communicate in this high stakes environment.
  4. Firms need to have a C-suite that understands this new landscape for brands, a strong mission, pressure tested values and communications based on their values.

Finally, there was one last takeaway from Andy’s presentation that has really stuck with me. The world is quite an uncertain place now. The market is more polarised than at any point in recent memory and more sensitive and more reactive to changes than ever before.

For firms that are committed, authentic, and are prepared to communicate, this represents an opportunity to be a real force for good in the world. Firms that are not committed, disingenuous or ill-prepared may find their brand more of a risk than an asset.