Playing in the Gardn

Gardn helps startups and scaleups do the most important thing — build valuable relationships with customers.

Matthew Knight
Sep 19, 2019 · 3 min read

Providing commercial expertise, training, direction and focus — experienced agency relationships wizard Martyn Baker has built up a roster of fascinating media and marketing businesses he works with, and is helping them bring their tech to brands and agencies.

But, you can’t sell something people can’t buy.

And that’s where I came in.

So often, new technologies have so much potential, but they’re not buyable — the end user has to figure out how they could use it, instead of having simple, powerful illustrations of the platform in use.

Working with Martyn, and one of his founding clients — Landmrk, I helped to develop a clear and buyable proposition which media agencies and brands can get excited about, and implement.

The insight: agencies are busy, brands are busy — and often don’t have time to think about how a new technology and platform could be applied. So you need to take them ideas, ready to go.

We created a simple way to tell a story around what landmrk is, does and could do — threaded together with brilliant executional ideas.

The output of the short process was:

+ a product positioning and simple story which explains the products, and outlines the possibility.

+ an approach to developing ideas for pitches and briefs

+ a number of kickass executional ideas for brands such as adidas, Hendricks and Sony Pictures.

What often takes months (brand position, market fit, narrative development; Strategy needs to form the foundation for action, not 30 pages upfront which gets in the way of ideas and execution), we crystallised in just under two weeks, allowing Martyn and the Landmrk team to get down to having conversations and creating brilliant campaigns with their partners.

Interestingly, this also feels like a gap for many agencies and media owners. Rapid concept generation, which combines a brands’ brief, a platforms capabilities, a consumer need, into one stonkingly great idea that you can run with, plugged into the rest of the ecosystem, rather than a standalone concept.

Media owners are often too far at arm’s length to create something that integrates with the larger campaign. Agencies are often too stretched or risk averse to try something new, or give new technologies the time to imagine what’s possible. Brands need results and tangible outcomes, rather than risky what-ifs. That takes a team who can move at pace, aren’t tied into to BAU, and can work across brand, agency and platform without allegiance to anything but brilliant work.

Yet again, a great opportunity to work better with external and independent talent to rapidly try things which can unlock huge value, and create better bridges between teams.

“It’s been fantastic working with Matthew on this project. It’s often difficult to find someone who has a creative mind and a commercial one, Matthew managed both without compromising the creative, When you’re working in a small team, it’s essential you get on, and from the outset I had a clear understanding of how Matthew works, and never had to worry about whether the work would be done or whether the standard would be high.” — Martyn Baker, Gardn.


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explorations in curiosity; serendipity; new ways of…


explorations in curiosity; serendipity; new ways of working; thinking and doing.

Matthew Knight

Written by

Chief Freelance Officer. Strategist. Supporting the mental health of the self-employed. Building teams which work better.


explorations in curiosity; serendipity; new ways of working; thinking and doing.