"Motivation. Motivation, Motivation. The three Ms. That's what football is all about", said football manager Alan Latchley, the quite brilliant comic creation of the late Peter Cook. In boardrooms up and down the land you can hear a very similar refrain "Innovation. Innovation. Innovation". Established businesses are increasing investment in R&D, setting up in-house "intrapreneur" programmes or running business accelerators to foster a culture of innovation, and prevent themselves from being disrupted by start-ups or new market entrants.
It seems that every company wants to be a tech company and BAT is no different. It's looking to embrace societal and demographic changes that are happening, and bring new tobacco products to market which embrace electronic nicotine delivery systems, and bring consumption more in-line with vaping, e-cigarettes and other new trends in this space. Rather than have its £14.75bn in global revenues disappear into a puff of sickly sweet smelling water vapour, BAT is investing substantially in R&D to change and evolve its products to meet changing consumer tastes.
This is something we're seeing more and more of at Hotwire, and we're increasingly helping our clients to do so. We have helped our clients to set-up and run programmes to engage with and support start-ups in their sectors and we've managed campaigns to enable them to better attract development talent, for example. We've also supported clients in communicating the innovation that they are already fostering within their businesses to an investment community audience. The key to success in these endeavours is that there is genuine innovation happening, and there are demonstrable proof points that can be communicated externally. Otherwise, it's all just smoke and mirrors.
Perhaps the most unlikely industry to face this grand wave of disruption is Big Tobacco — a field where the menthol once passed as innovative. "We are becoming a tech company," British American Tobacco (BAT)'s Dr. David O’Reilly told Business Insider during a recent tour of the company's research and development (R&D) headquarters in Southampton, England. Dr. O'Reilly is the group scie