NMBS Conference 2014: Thinking outside the box

Published:  20 June, 2014

Sheridan ‘Shed’ Simove, an entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, gave a fascinating and entertaining presentation to delegates on how to ‘Unlock your Creativity’.

Having worked in TV production, heading up programmes including ‘The Big Breakfast’ and ‘Big Brother’, Mr Simove is an expert in creativity, innovation and ideas generation, and has learned to transform his unconventional concepts into lucrative and original business ventures.

Addressing the audience, Mr Simove, who admits to getting very excited about creativity, said: “Ideas and brilliant ideas mean that anything is possible, and if you think differently, it can take you on amazing adventures if you follow those ideas through.”

When applying for a job at Planet 24 (makers of The Big Breakfast and The Word) as a graduate trainee, Mr Simove explained how instead of sending the production company his CV, he sent the boss a pizza along with a message full of his ideas to stand out from the 2,000 people who were applying for the same job. He told the audience: “Stunts are no good unless you back them up.”

After beating off the competition, Mr Simove was offered the position and soon became known for making popular television shows, before forging a highly innovative merchandising empire, where to date, he has sold millions of novelty gifts worldwide. He told the listening audience: “It’s okay to trick your mind into thinking differently and to treat your mind like an experiment.”

Taking an idea that already exists in another marketplace and changing it to fit in with your business is something that Mr Simove believes the merchant industry can benefit from. He highlighted Cheltenham-based George Bence Group as a prime example of a company who has used an innovative idea to promote its products and stand out from its competitors.

The builders’ merchant commissioned a trompe l'oeil design on the side of its building to promote its landscaping display in the yard. As a result, the company has since witnessed a significant increase in sales for its landscaping products.

Mr Simove also made reference to the positive impact social media can have on a business and spoke about how when promoting a product or service you have to have a story behind it. He highlighted Parker Kitchens, which is part of Parker Building Supplies, as a company who has successfully used Twitter and the Internet to promote its brand. For example, the South East-based company recently sponsored the ‘etc Homes, Gardens and Lifestyle Show’ in Brighton. While at the show, model and actress Linda Lusardi was in attendance and tweeted to her followers that she was on the company’s stand, thereby creating additional publicity for Parkers.

Passionate about tackling things that have never been done before, Mr Simove concluded his presentation by telling the audience: “Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and take inspiration from every day objects – opportunities are everywhere, so embrace them.”

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