After growing a drinks brand and successfuly selling it, Mikey Taylor set up his own company – Channelzero. At Channelzero, Mickey and his team not only grow brands into iconic brands, they have developed their own brands.
What’s your story?
My career kicked off in the legal profession. It was a very short time into this career that I realised it wasn’t for me and I moved into sales and marketing with Pepsi UK. Here I took on responsibility for the sales and channel marketing through some of the UK’s largest retailers and distributors, learning about how creative marketing can deliver business changing sales results.
While at Pepsi, I met two crazy Aussies looking to launch a juice brand in Australia. They were brash and confident, so I decided to join the party and moved my life to Sydney in 2003 to help with start up juice brand, nudie.
My adventures with nudie saw us grow the company from a start-up, to Australia’s largest juice brand. I forged deals with all the major grocery retailers and McDonalds. Then, I saw a gap in the creative agency landscape in Sydney – too many agencies were focussed on award winning work, rather than creative work that’s designed to deliver results for the clients. This is the premise upon which I partnered with Francis Callanan to develop Channelzero.
Our work at Channelzero is predicated upon the idea that we must change results for leading brands. We focus on the return from creativity. As such, we have grown to become one of Australia’s largest independent creative agencies and are trusted with the advertising accounts for some of Australia’s most iconic brands.
We believe it’s better to show someone success than tell them about your success. So we have started a number of our own brands through Channelzero, to illustrate that we practice what we preach. We have used our creative agency to extend our business operations into ownership of:
– Cor de Coco: a coconut milk iced coffee brand that sells across Australia and Asia
– Foxy’s: a premium frozen yogurt brand that sells across the West Coast of America
– SuperCubes: a super smoothie condensed into frozen cubes and sold through major Aussie distributors
– Newtons Nation: an international action sports and music festival
– Super 7’s Rugby: a 7’s rugby tournament that pitches Rugby League teams versus Rugby Union teams against one another in a “battle of the codes”
– BBQ Mudd: an innovative barbeque marinade currently in development that’s set for launch across Asia Pacific in early 2017
What excites you most about your industry?
Creativity is just about the only legal advantage that any company can exercise over their competitors. If we do our jobs properly and produce great advertising and marketing we genuinely change results for leading brands.
What’s your connection to Asia?
My most significant connection to Asia is through The Marketing Group (TMG). Channelzero was formally acquired by TMG in August 2016. As part of this group, we have been given the tools to dramatically expand our offering into the Asian market place.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I would have to say Singapore. We are presently in discussions that will see Channelzero partner with a Singaporean business. The process has been extremely simple and there is a wonderful openness about the way business is conducted there. I genuinely feel there are no hidden agendas and all parties’ play the great game of business with their cards face up.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
My father always used to tell me that “champions do more.” I believe this is very sound advice and I think of it every day. If you want to succeed, just do more. You can’t always outthink your competition, but you can certainly “do more” because that’s your choice. I try to take this advice into everything I do, whether it’s my relationship with my family, friends or even just heading to the gym. If you “do more” than the people around you, happiness and success follows.
Who inspires you?
If I’m ever in need of inspiration, I read the poem “IF” by Rudyard Kipling. It is the most motivating and inspiring piece that was written for a father to his son. I strive to embody the lessons within these lines daily.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I recently learnt that you have to aim for happiness first, then success second.
As an entrepreneur it’s easy to get caught up thinking that the next deal, the bigger house, the faster car (etc) is what’s going to make you feel successful. But that’s really not the case. I’ve discovered that if you want to be genuinely successful that you need to treat yourself kindly. Take time for the things you love.
If you want to engage and inspire others around you, you must be the most positive guy in the room. For this, you need to be happy first, then the success naturally follows.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have focussed on systemising my business sooner. It took me a long time to realise the value of creating good systems around creative thinking. Once we finally created a Playbook for the business, I have earned so much more freedom and visibility. Strangely enough, I’ve also noticed the levels of creativity increasing with tighter parameters surrounding the way we operate.
How do you unwind?
Once each week I book a meeting with myself. Just an hour long which I spend wandering up and down the beach. It’s the perfect way to reset.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
It’s tough to beat the buzz in Hong Kong. I have a lot of friends there so it’s always good for cool hangs.
Everyone in business should read this book:
There are two books by great Ad-Men that are absolutely essential to anyone wanting success in advertising and marketing. I ensure that every new Channelzero team member receives a copy and I still take mine everywhere I go. These are:
Paul Arden “It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be”
George Lois “Damn good advice for people with talent”
They are great little reads that you can flick through and will always get you thinking.
Shameless plug for your business:
Channelzero are the trusted creative partner for leading brands.
Our method is simple – We change results for leading brands by making sure they:
1. Get noticed
2. Get remembered
3. Get bought
4. And, get bought again
We know that the creative you use for your advertising is the variable of success – 89% of all advertising has zero unaided brand recall. We place our clients advertising firmly in the 11% that gets remembered. We have the best creative talent is Asia Pac, whom know how to give our clients an unfair advantage in the market.
We know that a campaign cannot simply be beautiful. Channelzero ensure that it is strategic, considered and driven towards a sales outcome.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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