Content marketing specialist Edge launches collaborative brand innovation team Co.Lab

5.jpgEdge, the content marketing specialist, has launched a brand innovation offering called Co.Lab.

Co.Lab is intended to help brands innovate more quickly and effectively through a collaborative approach that harnesses brands' own innovation capabilities, the disruptive power of the start-up scene and the consumer-centric focus of the agency world to explore and surface innovative product opportunities, then rapidly prototype and bring to market.
13.jpgCo.Lab is headed up by Serg Metelin, head of technical innovation and a 'face' in the Sydney start-up scene. Metelin has a number of personal projects under incubation at present, is a serial entrepreneur and was 2015 winner of the MasterCard 'Masters Of Code' Hackathon (Australia).

Says Richard Parker, managing partner and strategy director, Edge: "We created Co.Lab because we saw that the future of advertising is centred around creating and nurturing audiences. Our traditional content-driven approach is one key part of building an audience - because content gives customers a reason to engage with the brand, and a reason to 'subscribe' to continued engagement. Co.Lab allows us to work with clients to realise the second key component: embedding brand-created technology into people's lives in such a way they gain significant utility and enjoyment from that technology - thereby increasing positive, active, non-interruptive consumer-brand interactions."

Edge's Co.Lab launched with a one-day brand ideation hack in collaboration with Optus - exploring the product development opportunities offered by the connected home. The day followed a proprietary format developed by Edge and adapted from models used in the start-up community. On the day, seven teams of eight people battled it out across two states under the task theme of 'Smart Home'. At the end of the day, each team pitched to a panel of judges for the opportunity to win high value prizes.

Says Corin Dimopoulos, head of brand and communications: "Innovation requires creativity, agile execution and the courage and ability to learn and change course quickly - all of which can be difficult to foster in a large organisation like Optus. The opportunity to focus on design thinking and work with Edge's brand innovation canvas and people enabled us to get away from 'business-as-usual', identify and tackle some real consumer problems, and create some fresh opportunities to innovate. It was a fun and very productive day for us."

The judging panel included Dimopoulos, Danny Bhandari, co-founder of Tibra Capital and former Entrepreneur of the Year, and Steve Kulmar, Founder of Retail Oasis.

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