I have been working with Mike O’Toole, President of PJA advertising + marketing of Cambridge, MA and San Francisco, as he develops a new public radio program. Called The Unconventionals, the program a public radio series designed to showcase unconventional entrepreneurial thinking. It is about great and surprising ideas that spur new startup companies and refresh new ideas from established companies. Mike O’Toole, who hosts the program, says “The best business stories are not about market domination, scale, or share price though. They are about the element of surprise. These surprises happen when a company questions basic assumptions or prevailing wisdom. These counter-intuitive moments are the stuff of ingenuity, and they lead to innovation, change, and outsized results. The Unconventionals tells these stories.”
Host Mike O’Toole talks with Founders or CEOs to discuss the insight behind their innovation, and how their contrarian approaches have captured imaginations and driven impressive business results. The show features two kinds of stories:
• Market-changers. Start-ups who are taking full advantage of internet technology to disrupt traditional categories and change how we buy as consumers. Featured companies include Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, or RelayRides. Web-based businesses that are reinventing the way we can buy razors, order eyeglasses or rent a car, respectively.
• Brand innovators. The revolutions in social networking, digital technologies and mobile computing have changed the way consumers communicate with brands. Traditional marketing tactics are losing sway — it is harder than ever for companies to stand out. We’ll look at large, established companies who are forging new ground in how they market. Examples include Converse and its Rubber Tracks Studio initiative or Intel with the Creator’s Project. Both companies are deemphasizing traditional advertising and promotion in favor of long-term investments in arts and music initiatives that are important to their core audiences and help them reach new generations of consumers.
What all the companies have in common is outsized influence on their markets, and the deep passion of their fans. And they all make for great stories.
The Unconventionals program is currently being tested on public radio stations in select markets. You can listen to the pilot at http://is.gd/eXovBl.