Oct 2015

We had an inspirational evening at Yeo Valley HQ with David Hieatt. Our CEO Michael Burne can’t stop talking about it! Here’s why buying a coffee machine can inspire a marketing campaign to die for…

“I told you we should have bought a new coffee machine!” I knew these would be the first words out of Owain’s mouth at the conclusion of a riveting talk from David Hieatt, who founded Howies, sold to Timberland, and went on to create the Hiut Denim Co.


Well, not just because Owain wants a new coffee machine (though he does!)

David had just finished explaining how Hiut is on a mission to bring 400 jobs back to the jeans factory in Cardigan. So far they are at job number 15 and growing. Some of the astonishing things achieved so far on their journey happened because David spent the marketing budget on a coffee machine!


Now, David is a great raconteur, but it was more than just coffee and a gift of the gab that has inspired Hiut Denim. David and the team (for no man is an island) have a clear purpose: to create 400 jobs in their business that makes the best jeans in the world.  Now is that clear enough?  400 jobs – making – the best jeans in the world.

Ask yourself “are we clear on our purpose”? or put another way – “Do we know why are we doing this?”


In his quest to create 400 jobs and make the best jeans in the world, David described the Hiut environment as an “ideas factory” – a blessing (or a curse) that we here at Carbon also have. But (like us) David doesn’t filter ideas. He doesn’t judge them. He lets them fly. He frees the customer to decide what works best, by seeing what they do in response to Hiut’s ideas.

On first telling it sounds brave but it’s just plain smart – let the customer (or in our case, client) decide because they know better than us what works for them. They define success. We won’t know which idea will be the most significant or the best. Besides, doing great work on a big or a small scale to let ideas fly should be the stuff of our lives!

Every great business is about helping customers achieve their hopes and dreams. That’s what Carbon does – our big idea is to help our clients bring their business plans to life.


We’re buying a new coffee machine!

(Top tip – if you need a great place to hold a business meeting or conference, go for Yeo Valley HQ)