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The Magic of Being Human: How Great Brands Use A Superpower To Stand Out and Thrive In A Busy World. (London - Oct 5th) - SOLD OUT

  • Cecil Sharp House 2 Regent's Park Rd, Camden Town, London NW1 7AY United Kingdom (map)

Cost: £350.00 (incl. VAT)


Why Attend?
The brands that will stand out in a busy world will be the most human. This workshop will help you start communicating like a human, and not a brand. You have a superpower, you just need to understand how to use it.

Who tells their story so it connects with another human being will win. Who learns to listen will win. Who learns to give will win. Who retains their sense of humour will win. Ultimately, who is most human will win.

For some odd reason, most brands act and communicate like a robot. They have a brand manual. But they can't go off script. Going off script is where the magic is. It's where the humans are.

Being human is a superpower for brands because its customers are humans too.

Not A Theorist.
David Hieatt is not a theorist. This has been learnt from building companies and not by reading books about building companies. He sold howies to Timberland after building it from his living room floor. He has started the iconic Do Lectures which has been voted one of the top ten ideas festivals in the world by The Guardian. He now runs Hiut Denim Co which is on a quest to get 400 people their jobs back. And has done talks at Apple, Google, and Red Bull.

Three Stories of Note.

1. Southwest Airlines example.
They retain their humanness by having fun with the safety announcement.

“Place the oxygen mask over yourself first. Then your children. If you’re travelling with more than one child, give the oxygen to the one with the most earning potential first.”

What are funny flight announcements worth? What is being human worth?

1.5% surveyed mentioned the announcements. In terms of Loyalty terms, they calculated they were worth $143 million dollars. Going off script keeps customers.

2. Dollar Shave Club.
Ok, so you have never run a business before. You don’t know how to make a razor. But you have identified that razors are way too expensive. And a subscription service could work. So what do you next?

Well, you spend 11 months writing a script. Every word considered. Every joke was rewritten. Time and time again. Anything that wasn’t essential was taken out. Every moment, every frame, had to have a reason or a point. Once they agreed on what they had to say, they wrote jokes on top of the brand-messaging bones that remained. Their thinking went like this.

“Keeping the video silly and light, the sharp-witted duo aimed for a self-deprecating tone. "People understand brand messaging, and when you subvert that, they recognize the risk you took.”
"Learn to trust the funny. If you take a risk, you may get a reward."
Case in point: the F-bomb. Dubin (founder) wanted the video's first punch to land hard, but he was struggling to come up with the right line. Then Aniello (director) just said it: "Our blades are f**king great."

"I remember Dubin’s face when I first said that line," Aniello recalls. "There was a half a second of concern, and then whatever angel sitting on his shoulder--or devil maybe--said, 'Go for it.'"
The company spent $4,500 on the ad. Within 48 hours, 12,000 people had signed up for the service. Within the first 3 months, the ad racked up 4.5 million shares. Apart from some Google Adwords, they had no other marketing. Unilever bought Dollar Shave Club for 1 billion.

They went off script by working on the script, knowing that a sense of humour would cut through the noise.

3. Instagram Stories.
Instagram is a great tool. It has made good photographers of us all. Perfection was suddenly only one filter away. And everybody had this perfect life: Double rainbows and Gin and Tonics on the deck. But when perfection was available to everyone it no longer stood out like it once did.

Instagram, knowing this, launched a way of showing a more real life. Instagram stories do not let you make things look perfect. It is designed to tell a different story. A real one. And, as humans, we connect to a real story much stronger than a perfect one.

A Great Brand Takes You On A Journey.
Every brand wants you to buy something. Almost without exception. But, there is new kind of brand emerging out there, yes it wants you to buy its product or service, but along the way it wants to make you feel something for why it exists, it's mission, its reason to be in business.

The Human Brands Are Coming.
These emerging brands want to retain their identity, their purpose, their sense of humour. The attributes that make us, well, human. Warts and all.

They don’t have brand books. They have humans.

They have a desire to take you on an incredible journey, 18 inches from your head to your heart. It wants you to feel something as well as buy something. It wants to remind you that you are human. And it wants to remind you that there are humans running this company, too. 

It turns out, we like our companies to be human. Because we are human, too. Who knew?

I am a big fan of Wired Magazine, and it keeps telling me the robots are coming. But, if you see the communications out there on social media from most brands today, you will know this: The robots are not coming, they are already here.

You Don’t Have To Outspend Them. Just Be More Human Than Them.
Here’s the good news. It’s no longer about how much you spend. 

It is very much about can you connect emotionally with another human being and make them feel something. Because on the other side of each communication is another human.

Yes, we live in a busy world. And, it’s getting busier. The demand for our time is out of control. But the supply of time is the same as it has always been.

Time is the one asset that no one can make any more of, and the honest truth is we are all finding it hard to keep up. Both on an individual level, and a business level.

So those who will stand out will be those who dare to be human.

The great brands in the world have ears, not just a mouth.

So how about listening? How about we switch off transmit, and switch back on receive.

Engagement isn’t about how much you got retweeted; it’s about how much you listened. And did you listen to what they are saying? And did you respond as a human would?  How about developing a strategy around giving? Humans are hard-wired to give. And yet very few brands understand this. They are too busy selling.

How about us being human. And communicating like a human, not just a brand. The best relationships and the longest lasting are where you give a shit. Be human. Human’s like that.

Workshop with David Hieatt.
Co-founder of The Do Lectures. Co-founder of Hiut Denim Co. Before that Co-founder of howies. Finally left a salary in 2001 and hasn't looked back since.

What Will You Learn?
1, Who is leading the way?
2, What are they doing?
3, What can be learned from them?
4, What are the tools of this superpower?
5, How can I learn to use them well?
6, What are the big things I can do?
7, What are the small things?
8, How to understand the power of listening.
9, Why vulnerability is not a weakness.
10, How to understand the power of giving.
11, How to understand the power of moments.
12, How to tell your story like it matters to another human being.
13, How to understand your voice is much more than what you say.
14, Why logic is a blunt tool and why emotion is such a powerful one.
15, Why perfection doesn't let us see the real you.
16, Why giving a shit is contagious.
17, Why humour is gold.
18, Why being brave with your story will reward your business.
19, Why transparency builds fans.
20, Why being human makes you stand out.
21, Why isn't everyone using this superpower?
22, How to use it to grow my business.
23, How to use it to become the brand I always wanted to be.

Good simple lunch is provided. Plus teas and coffees throughout the day.
Please let us know of any dietary requirements you may have by emailing

This workshop will only be run twice a year. Once in the Spring, and once in the Autumn.

Cancellation Policy