Jamming brand and travel
SCOTT OXFORD 03.517 [music] Good day. I'm Scott Oxford, and welcome to BrandJam, the podcast where we jam about brands because brand is our jam.
SCOTT OXFORD 12.950 Now, for most of us, travel has been an integral part of our lives and definitely the stuff of our dreams. Even if we aren't going somewhere, we're dreaming of it. And while destinations are usually our focus, it's travel brands that help us craft our plans and the experiences we're going to have, and the key to actually getting there and experiencing those destinations the way that we do. But for now, well, travel is the stuff of dreams.
SCOTT OXFORD 36.141 Today, I'm jamming with Darren Wright, whose title is Flight Centre Travel Group's global brand manager and stuff. And we'll get into what stuff is today, I'm sure. He also has global leisure in his title, which, right now, probably describes more his global leisure in the personal sense, living and surfing as he does in Northern New South Wales. Such an amazing part of the country, and indeed, the world, and one I can't wait to visit again when our borders finally reopen. Darren has travel and travel brands in his blood. He started in the industry 23 year ago with a background in aviation, including Virgin Blue, Air Asia, and Scoot Airlines, working and living in Malaysia and Singapore. Now firmly planted back in Oz, his focus is on global brand strategies and consolidation across the leisure portfolio of Flight Centre Travel Group. And he's actually much more of a Dazz than he's a Darren, so welcome, Dazz.
DARREN WRIGHT 01:29.368 Thank you, Scott, and you're welcome to call me Dazz. Very excited to be on the BrandJam.
SCOTT OXFORD 01:33.587 It's good to have you here. Firstly, I'd like to know. Flight Centre is a big group. You're a house of brands. You've got a lot of different brands going on there. I'm a big fan of Spicers, for example, which-- does Spicers fall under Flight Centre?
DARREN WRIGHT 01:46.738 It's owned by Graham Turner and Jude Turner. We obviously saw a lot of traffic into it, but yeah. It's part of the family, but it doesn't sit inside the branded house.
SCOTT OXFORD 01:56.660 Yeah, cool. So the Flight Centre Group, you've transitioned over the last few years from a house of brands to much more of a brand house?
DARREN WRIGHT 02:05.393 Yeah, absolutely. We've been trying our hardest to consolidate a lot of the brands. About four-and-a-half years ago, we went through a fairly structured rebrand and grow approach where we culled out three of the six call brands in Australia for leisure - so we have Student Flights, Escape Travel, and Cruiseabout - and we consolidated them under the Flight Centre brand. And then we had a youth pillar, and then we had a luxury pillar under our Student Flight's side and our Travel Associates' side. So we've been trying our hardest to bring it down into single brands.
SCOTT OXFORD 02:36.474 Yeah. Were they acquisitions? So were they brands that, at the time, strategically was set up uniquely for those particular markets?
DARREN WRIGHT 02:43.271 Definitely. Over time, they were growing themselves. And it was a point in time that we just got to a period where consolidation just had to happen.
SCOTT OXFORD 02:52.112 Yeah, yeah. Makes sense, moving with trends in the time and what's going on. And speaking of the times, your industry is experiencing more pain and change right now, probably, than any other. And for those of us outside of it, we look on and we feel for you guys. But one of the things I noticed about the Flight Centre brand - and you're on my mailing list, and I've travelled with you guys - is there's such an exuded optimism and empathy, I think, with the restrained traveller who can't travel, [inaudible] EDMs and the [inaudible]. So you've shifted into a support role for local travel for us to travel where we can travel, but also keeping our chins up while we can. Is that a strategic thing, or is that you just being a pretty human brand?
DARREN WRIGHT 03:41.622 We've always been a human brand, and we're underpinned by a fairly gregarious culture in Flight Centre. It's very much like Virgin Blue in the early days. So I'd say that we're family. We've got each other's backs, and we drive really hard to push our culture to the front of our conversation. And as much as we're suffering, we know our customers are suffering. We're as frustrated that we can't get people to destinations as much as people sitting around, locked down - and I feel for the poor Victorians; they can't even go out late at night - to get to an actual destination. So our empathy is really driven by our culture. But it's also very much part of our tactical retail approach right now. So while we can't sell, we can continue to carry the conversation. I think for any brand, you've got to continue that conversation with your customer base, whichever segment or whatever profile it is, to stay relevant, I think. So we started to sell a little bit when the borders attempted to open. And then when they slammed shut again, we had to pivot, and we got more into aspiring rather than actual tactical retail. We are still seeing some travel, but it's minuscule from where it was, obviously.
SCOTT OXFORD 04:46.702 Yeah. Well, yeah. I've got friends at the moment who are doing the Whitsundays, doing Heron Island, doing basically anywhere you can go, even Townsville. [laughter] We're kind of getting out there as much as we can. And all this pent up inability to travel, it's never happened before. It'll be interesting to see-- I don't know if people will be out in the streets demonstrating and burning down cars, but--
DARREN WRIGHT 05:11.024 Let's hope not.
SCOTT OXFORD 05:11.843 --what happens when it ends?
DARREN WRIGHT 05:14.821 Well, it's interesting because my role looks across the globe. So I've got all of the leisure brands within my portfolio for, basically, the Northern and Southern hemisphere. And they're all opening up at different rates. So Europe, UK opened up quickly. Travel just came online very, very fast. Like you said, Scott, the appetite is there. It's not going to be hard to get a customer engaged, I think, at any brand, to go somewhere. It's more about making sure that where they go is safe, how they get there, they've got knowledge of what needs to happen to get there because there's a lot of, obviously, checks and protocols that have to happen along the way. But we're modelling off the various regions as they open. South Africa's just started to open, so the marketing team is heavily engaged in retailing to move people around. UK closed again, so we had to go back into hibernation. The US, basically doesn't give a shit, and they're just traveling. [laughter] They're doing really well. And they're marketing, and they're 10 leagues ahead of the Australian market in many different ways. So it's almost back to normal for those guys in a certain way. There's leisure travellers on planes doing what they want to do. We're jealous of it, but obviously we're not jealous of the US politics, so it's a catch-22.
SCOTT OXFORD 06:24.347 No. Well, I think that's the crazy thing about this time. I think we always knew Americans would be different to us. Whenever we travelled, you heard an American on the other side of the room, and you were, "I'm Australian. I'm not America." But now, I think we've learned, culturally, they're more unique than ever before in terms of from a political perspective as well. Just Americans are different. And that means that you guys are implementing entirely different brand strategies in somewhere like America than you are here.
DARREN WRIGHT 06:54.235 Yeah. We are. We operate under a couple of different brands over there as well. We have Liberty Travel, which is Flight Centre-esque, but they're a 75-year-old retailer that we purchased. And we didn't turn it into Flight Centre. That was a very specific brand decision was not to go and put Flight Centre on top, just use Liberty with the strength of the brand and the age that it had, which has its good and bad points because, obviously, we can't have a single-brand approach. But definitely, similar customers, similar segments, similar product that we're selling.
SCOTT OXFORD 07:23.621 Yeah. And similar internal culture, do you know?
DARREN WRIGHT 07:26.941 Yes and no. Yes and no. I've been over to the US, and we bought a small-- this is a junk story, but we bought a company called Student Universe over in Boston, and I went over there with a cohort of executives, and we had a Flight Centre buzz night in the office with them. And they'd never experienced a Flight Centre buzz night. And--
SCOTT OXFORD 07:47.019 Which you're famous for.
DARREN WRIGHT 07:47.639 Yeah. We like to party. So we grab the microphone. We were having competitions. Everything was surrounded by shots. And the leaders just stood back and looked at us like, "Who the hell are these guys, and what have we done? [laughter]
SCOTT OXFORD 08:02.130 Yeah, yeah.
DARREN WRIGHT 08:03.327 Which was quite interesting because we were injecting our culture in there, and to a certain degree, it was working. But you have to understand the anomalies in each market and what's achievable to get people to do stuff and what's not. And Australia's very much driven by that rah-rah in a lot of the way, and the culture permeates through the business. But we had to temper it back a little bit because we've been on the front foot quite heavily, and then worked out that we probably should come in a little bit softer, so.
SCOTT OXFORD 08:25.859 Yeah, yeah. Yeah, well, your internal brand has always been very famous in [inaudible] culture in terms of there's the famous story that we're all jealous of, which is the slip-n-slide down the middle of the office. We weren't quite sure how you cleaned that one up, but that wasn't your problem, I'm sure.
DARREN WRIGHT 08:42.674 Ah, well, yeah. We all mucked in at the end of it. And yeah, the water used to leak through the ceiling [inaudible] [laughter].
SCOTT OXFORD 08:48.497 But it was your building, so that helps.
DARREN WRIGHT 08:49.964 Yes.
SCOTT OXFORD 08:51.435 But what I love about your people, when I've dealt with them, is they just have a passion for travel. And I think your industry is like that as well. But that in itself must be a universal aspect of all the businesses in your brand.
DARREN WRIGHT 09:05.357 Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's not hard to sell travel. Everybody wants to travel. It's not as if you're selling utilities or insurance. You don't go and sit around a dinner table and say, "Hey, what's your next insurance pitches?" No one's going to talk to you. You might as well just walk out the door, and take your cheap bottle of wine with you. But travel is very much about you ask someone where's their next trip, and they'll probably give you three answers. They'll give you the immediacy, "I'm going to go to Melbourne for cricket," or let's talk pre-COVID. Or, "I've got a quick Fiji getaway." Or, "I'm off with my mates for a quick trip." Or, "the next European trip," or, "the next European family trip," or, "the next US trip is this, and it's six weeks." And they'll go into incredible detail. And you can fill a dinner conversation with that. So being able to put product in front of people, or a good, solid brand message, is relatively simple in travel. So we're a bit gifted in that space. And the people that work in travel have got that passion. They're massive travellers. Even the young people that join Flight Centre, especially in the front-end retail, obviously, get indoctrinated in the culture of Flight Centre, but they're also joining they're not just looking for a job. They're looking to travel, as it were.
SCOTT OXFORD 10:09.624 Yeah. And exactly. That's a way to do it, so. And yeah, just in the same way that they banter with us, again, my experience has been with front-end retail, but they're able to share their own experiences with us. They can sort of share with one another as well and sort of grow that. And so yeah. So that, then, just the more you talk about it, the more you get that pent up need to climb the walls and get out of here.
DARREN WRIGHT 10:36.345 Absolutely.
SCOTT OXFORD 10:36.139 And there's no crystal balls. But are you getting messages that we're actually going to do this thing?
DARREN WRIGHT 10:42.945 Yes. Without stepping into the political arena, we're obviously lobbying, as all [inaudible] industry are, to open borders within Australia. And we're talking to some fairly significant companies about the green pathways or green highways in certain regions, whether it's New Zealand, whether it's into Asia. I don't believe we'll be getting into the US for quite some time yet. You could certainly get there. You may not get back. [laughter]
SCOTT OXFORD 11:08.337 Back, that's the--
DARREN WRIGHT 11:08.886 Yeah, that's the problem.
SCOTT OXFORD 11:09.549 [And hey?], wasn't there tens of thousands of Australians who can't get back even now because it's just not happening for them.
DARREN WRIGHT 11:14.788 Yeah, exactly. So in the short term, it's all about domestic, I believe. And there's a lot of pent-up desire to get somewhere domestically. And as the borders slowly open, we'll see a very quick shift into people's decision-making choices about where they want to go. I've got a bunch of mates that I usually go surfing with every year, and one of them just sent me a note and said, "Let's go to the Northern Territory coast; the bloody borders are open." None of us would have said that.
SCOTT OXFORD 11:37.884 Yeah. Yeah. It's an entire rethink on how we do it. And I remember growing up. I remember somebody once said to me, "Make sure, as Australian, that you see your own country." And it's just the world is so exciting and so different and so new. But when I first got to western Australia and got to Shark Bay, and then went sort of down to Margaret River, and I was like, "My country's so amazing and so within reach. I just need to do that and now it's-- we'll call it a gift of COVID I guess is a discovering [inaudible] country. And I'm sure as I said, I'm already seeing that you're-- you guys are getting onto that space and helping us discover-- as a Queenslander discover Queensland at the moment. And so yeah, we'll be back exploring before you know it. So if all we can do is travel locally what is your strategy? How are you guys moving into that? I'm trying not to use the word pivot but it's a [laughter]--
DARREN WRIGHT 12:34.909 Kind of pivoting but more shifting to the side. Like I was saying, Scott, it's-- everyone wants to travel. It's not going to be hard to sell travel. It's more about positioning the brand in that target audience and to a broader audience obviously. So Flight Centre as a business has been predominantly internationally driven. Our revenue is 70% skewed towards international. Domestic was always there I guess. But it wasn't the key focus because there's a lot of competitors in the marketplace, not so many now. So we decided and one of the core brand strategies is to build out more of an emotional connection to our customer base rather than just throwing tactical prices there. A couple of key reasons are we don't know what the prices are a lot of the time. We know from the research that we're doing we're constantly talking about customers and gaining some key insights about what they're thinking is they need flexibility. They need some trust. They need trust on who they're booking with. And we've gone through a very horrible period of refunds which was really hurting the brand. And as a brand guy and staff, I've been really struggling with some of the refund feedback that we're getting. The heat that comes back on us is really, really quite intense in affecting the brand.
SCOTT OXFORD 13:43.926 And unfair you could say.
DARREN WRIGHT 13:45.916 Well, fair and unfair. I'm not going to defend what we've done. But we weren't in the position to refund all the money immediately. It was just logistically and financially impossible. So we had to wait for money to come in from all of our suppliers because we are a third-party seller. So when you're set up with a situation like that where your brand has been wounded you've got a fairly interesting open market that's going to travel pretty quickly rather than just going product and price and saying, "Look at us. We've got cheap stuff." It's more about creating that emotional connection to reignite the Flight Centre brand back into that customer audience. And we've got a-- I would classify as a [inaudible] on customer advocacy. People, predominantly baby boomers have always booked with Flight Centre. But we're chasing a different customer audience. And they sometimes don't give a shit about the price. They're looking for value, looking for trust.
SCOTT OXFORD 14:31.121 Trust. Yeah.
DARREN WRIGHT 14:31.720 Yeah. They're looking for a brand that kind of matches who they are and who they think they want to be. So the new positioning as you're starting to see with some of our coms for Flight Centre even though it's retail and we haven't pushed any big brand messages out there yet is very much geared towards an emotional connection rather than just a tactical price connection.
SCOTT OXFORD 14:48.487 Yeah. And that's what I meant before when I said not only optimism but I'm getting a sense that you're rallying behind me as well and that's-- but not in a way that-- not in a weird way, [laughter] in a way that just kind of-- because all bets are kind of off in a lot of ways with COVID world in terms it can be an excuse for bad behaviour. It's also an example of really beautiful and good behaviour. And there's just some of those basic realities. And that whole idea of walking a mile in someone else's shoes is something that brands-- you see stuck because you're wanting to explain to someone, "Look. I just literally need to wait for this money to come in before I can refund it." And you're hearing all of these things about flights being cancelled, people trying to get home. And there's just this big, messy-- travel messy thing. And your brand is in there being knocked around and blown around. And you're trying to do the right thing.
DARREN WRIGHT 15:38.723 Yeah. Absolutely. And trying to find a guiding path in there as well. And we have pivoted a little bit. We don't have a budget. We went dark. We've gone dark globally. We were spending up to 60, 70 million dollars per anum in marketing. And we're spending nothing, literally nothing. We've gone to our-- some of our suppliers and said, "Please, can we have some money." We'll bring our marketing funnel. We'll bring our customers that convert very quickly. We were advocates of the brand, and we'll bring the business and the transactions, which has worked okay and we've had big support from government bodies, tourism bodies, etc., But we're not spending it all, so trying to get that message out without any money is an interesting dichotomy to have.
SCOTT OXFORD 16:16.439 Yeah. Because, yeah, media outlets and the like, they're hurting a little bit as well, so. But we've all got to get through it, and that's what I said to-- I had a client ring me, oh, probably a couple of months ago mid-COVID and say, "Look, our budgets have been slashed 90%. I'm going to have a little bit that I'd love your help with, but I totally understand if you won't be doing the creative; you won't be doing the strategy." And I said, "Look, I just want to get through this with you, and I want to keep working with you. I like working with you. We want to get to the other side." And I think that's the deal here. That's probably why you're experiencing generosity is because you've been very good to them [laughter] in the past and they know you're going to be around. But not all brands are going to survive this. We're seeing Qantas in a massive downsize. They're going to make it through. We weren't sure if Virgin Australia was going to make it through. So clearly, you're doing the right things to stick around. But how are brands going to bounce back from this, do you think?
DARREN WRIGHT 17:09.216 It's a really good question, Scott. I think the ones that are able to hibernate and create a runway, cash runway, to allow them to survive-- and you can't survive on brand alone. It'd be nice if you could. You'd be sitting in the CEO chair rather than the marketing chair, brand chair. The ones that are capable to change their strategy or at least adapt their strategy to the current situations, take the opportunity to reset their businesses in the right way to come out of the other end in the new COVID-- or the new normal, is where the brands are going to survive. So there's a few obviously economic pieces in there that help brands and businesses work their way through this. But it's really interesting to see people or businesses or brands that are resetting themselves, redefining themselves, or redefining their customers, even to saying, "We're not this any more. We're more about this." So we're doing a lot of that thinking. And I'm busier now, right in the middle of this, than I have been previous because we're actually spending a lot of time resetting, reimagining, and--
SCOTT OXFORD 18:07.166 Yeah. Redefining. Yeah.
DARREN WRIGHT 18:09.038 We're redefining what the business needs to look like.
SCOTT OXFORD 18:10.644 Yeah. And the key in that is maintaining a level of authenticity. So you're moving to where your customers need you to be but also who you genuinely are in that process as well. And it's interesting to watch large brands kind of get it right and get it wrong. Is there anyone so far you've kind of learnt from where you're just like, "Definitely not going to do what those guys are doing"?
DARREN WRIGHT 18:33.127 Yes. I don't want to talk about [crosstalk].
SCOTT OXFORD 18:34.526 Naming names is hard. [laughter] But maybe just scenario-wise, so without saying who but what exactly. Is there a good example of something silly, someone who's done the wrong thing? I mean, we've discussed it before on this podcast around Black Lives Matter and where people-- where brands, I should say, jumped on board to get it right and got it really, really wrong. Is this something that could go wrong in the redefinition?
DARREN WRIGHT 18:58.865 Oh, definitely. And I won't talk about specific brands, but I think there is some obvious brands that have been slightly tone-deaf and have not read the room. And that's no fault of an individual or even a collective. It's just not stopping and taking the opportunity to see this is different. And it's quite hard for an individual or a business to understand this is different in many ways because we've never been through here. And I'm never going to use the unprecedented word, but it's unprecedented [inaudible] that we're floating in, and it's very hard to go, "Okay. Well, what principles do we use to make this decision or to move a message to market or to position a brand at a customer level?" So like what I was saying, we've taken this customer-first approach, and we really are testing a lot of the things that we're doing in the face of the customer. And there was many brands that stumbled right in the early days that, like you said, pivoted up against or ponied up against Black Lives Matter that probably shouldn't have. And it's the customer that's going to vote that up or down, so you're better off to spend a bit of time and do a quick test. And the litmus test is really just walk out the door and go and ask a few people which many brand people forget along the way that it's the customer that rates you. It's got nothing to do with your pay packet or whether your CEO likes you or not. If the customer likes you, then you're okay. And they're the number one person that's going to teach you the right and the wrong of the ways, so getting that kind of customer feedback loop happening is the best way to get it right.
SCOTT OXFORD 20:18.678 Yeah. Well, I've heard said that the brand is really the conversation that's being had amongst your market. And the good thing for you guys is that pretty much most people travel, so you're not trying to bury into a niche unless you're doing that very specific students or wealthy--
DARREN WRIGHT 20:39.068 Travel [crosstalk]. Yeah.
SCOTT OXFORD 20:40.248 Yeah. Those kind of things. But yeah. Typically, how do you guys connect with your customers in terms of getting feedback and understanding where they're at?
DARREN WRIGHT 20:48.677 We use a bunch of different tools. Obviously, omnibus surveys looking at what our consideration looks like, what's brand equity, just your normal metrics. But there's a lot of focus groups that we get into. We did a lot of testing at the back end of last year, just testing what our DNA looked like, what our brand codes looked like, where they should move to. And there were some really interesting insights that came off the back of those things. Things that we thought didn't really resonate with the customer started to filter up to the top of their priority level. Core brand assets, specifically for the Flight Centre brand because everyone's been in the business for quite some time and new people coming into the business just expected it to be so, weren't actually resonating correctly with the customer. So using those kind of metrics where we're quant and qual regularly to test everything that we've got is kind of the basis. And again, getting out in the shops. We do have that perfect test case: you can actually go walk into a retail store. Not that many people are walking into them at the moment, and a lot of the doors are shut, but just having a quick conversation with the customer. But we're testing through social a lot of the time, so A/B/C, sometimes D testing, and just seeing what resonance we get from either product positioning or changes in some of the brand codes or the way we're positioning a price or just the way we're talking to the customer in terms of tone. We're getting a quick feedback loop, and we make a decision off that.
SCOTT OXFORD 22:07.927 Yeah, nice. And I get the feeling that's been part of what's been your success along the way is just you seem to have risen above competitors by being in touch with what people want and care about and need. And even down to, as I said, mention again, just one of your EDMs the other day just made me stop and just go, "Yeah, look, I'm grateful for what I have, and when we get there, it's going to be great." It was just a nice way to think about it. So for me, that's the salience of your brand at a time like this as well is just hanging in there. You can't help me right now with anything because I'm not really travelling anywhere, but it's kind of nice to know that when we do, you're going to be there. So let's shift it quite differently. I want to come back and talk about some of the brands you've built outside of Flight Centre, so your previous stuff, AirAsia and Scoot. I actually had never heard of Scoot. Scoot's an airline?
DARREN WRIGHT 23:06.014 Oh my God, I've failed.
SCOTT OXFORD 23:07.316 No. [laughter] Well, maybe I'm just not your market. I've certainly heard of AirAsia. I've flown AirAsia, so.
DARREN WRIGHT 23:12.837 Oh, good. Good. Thank you for your business. Yeah. Scoot is another low-cost airline based in Singapore which is owned by Singapore Airlines, very much in the mirror of AirAsia. It was actually, in its early days, presented as the competition against AirAsia to slow down the rapid growth of intra-Asia travel. So Scoot, wide body, low cost. Very much similar to what the AirAsia model was.
SCOTT OXFORD 23:35.775 Cool. And hence why you got that job off the AirAsia one.
DARREN WRIGHT 23:38.472 Yes. I went straight from AirAsia to Scoot, which was an uncomfortable transition period, but [laughter] I lifted and shifted a bit of my IP across to the business and, yes, helped launch Scoot in the Australian market the same way as I did AirAsia. It was interesting because - both airlines being low cost, very small budgets, and tiny teams - when I launched AirAsia, it was just me in Australia and a chicken because I was living in Milton and I had chickens. And it used to be me and my desk in the lounge room with a chicken sitting on the desk, which I used to take photos and send it to my CEO, Tony Fernandes, at the time, going, "We're working really hard here," on the smell of a oily rag in terms of marketing budget. So it was trying to leverage every opportunity to be in media, use PR, and a lot of guerrilla marketing, as I used to call it, or judo marketing where I'd use the weight of my competitors to my advantage to get out into the marketplace with almost zero budget. And it seemed to work. I mean, AirAsia's very successful [crosstalk].
SCOTT OXFORD 24:37.152 Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. It's household name. That's it. And so, yeah, because at the same time as you're sort of marketing and aiming to get business, you are doing the longer game of building a brand and settling that in. How did you find-- when you got to Scoot, was it about being able to try new things or being able to do things that-- now that you've done it once, being able to learn from hindsight?
DARREN WRIGHT 25:02.739 Oh, absolutely. Hindsight's perfect. You're never an expert at anything. So Scoot was an interesting case study because I did take a lot of the learnings from AirAsia. And I helped build AirAsia in Australia, and then we took it into New Zealand. And obviously, we're based in Malaysia, but within a 18-month period, when I was living up in KL, we moved into Japan, China, India, Paris, London. New Zealand was part of that. Literally every second week, we were launching into a new country. So the marketing and brand pieces were all just cookie cutter with a different language, basically. And it was clunky, but it's all we could do. Where Scoot, we were a bit slower in our network build, and the key learning that I brought to the table from a brand perspective was build a brand message and just keep it consistent, always.
DARREN WRIGHT 25:49.876 I was using a local agency who came up with an idea of, "Fly Scoot. Save loot," and that stuck and we kept it. And it literally came in with-- I think the third or fourth week of moving into Australia, I had them as my creative and media agents, and I'm like, "We need a strapline for this," because we didn't have one in Singapore. It was just Scoot. And it was very irreverent - there was a lot of fun behind it - but there was nothing that really anchored it. And I had a view of creating really short ads because we didn't have any money, so I was buying 15-second TV ads and cutting them into 5-second duration and buying top, middle, and tail. And that wasn't done before, and the TV guys hated it. The sales guys just thought I was a complete dickhead [laughter] [inaudible], but we managed to do it. So basically, it was a 5-second ad which was actually 4 and a half seconds because you need those six frames top-and-tailed with quietness. So in 4 and a half seconds, it just said, "Fly Scoot. Save loot," with a jet taking off, and the only influence or inflection to give it brand personality was we changed the voiceover. So it was a guy that said, "Fly Scoot. Save loot," and it was a girl that said, "Fly Scoot. Save loot," and it was a guy that said it. And that was the cornerstone of the brand, and we kept that almost two years. And there was a new marketer came into Singapore, and as all marketers do when they come into a business, they're like, "I've got a better idea. It's time to change. It's time to change your agency. It's time to change your creatives. It's time to change your strapline." And they just couldn't come up with anything better, so it just continued to stay, "Fly Scoot. Save loot," so.
SCOTT OXFORD 27:14.331 Yeah. I think it's pretty special, actually. Particularly for those listening who are not practitioners of brand, what's so beautiful about that is it captures personality. It captures the key message. It makes sense of the name of the airline. It just reinforces all of the key things you need to know about this. It's going to be fun. It's going to be quick. It's going to be sort of easy and short and sharp. And it's going to save you some money but in a cheeky way.
DARREN WRIGHT 27:40.820 Yeah. Absolutely. It encompassed all of the core elements of the DNA, what the brand was and was trying to position itself as, and it was different from everybody else as well. So it actually worked quite well.
SCOTT OXFORD 27:50.846 And that was the other thing, differentiation, making a difference. So yeah, no. I love so yeah. You mentioned that budget-wise, it can be sort of quite limited. And you've got to go into different countris, and at times, diffferent countries-- we were talking before about-- America is sort of a very unique one. How do you stay connected, when you're working across all these countries, with what each one is about, what their personality is about, what their appetite is from a brand perspective?
DARREN WRIGHT 28:21.151 Yeah, Scott. That's a great question. Lots of very early and late night Zoom calls with my cohort. I really get the local marketing guys and girls to really dig deep into the local nuances. And it's been a bit of a journey to try and get everybody working within a single approach for brand, and Flight Centre is unique in a way that everybody's empowered. And the structure before we stepped into the COVID period was very much independently run by region, so each marketer had its own marketing team in every single region around the world. There was no centralised function outside of some basic brand codes. And even then, there was a lot of band fuckery that went on. Some market wouldn't use the captain, or another market chose that maybe the captain needed to wear a different hat, or-- yeah.
SCOTT OXFORD 29:13.527 But they're empowered to do this?
DARREN WRIGHT 29:14.673 Yeah, they were empowered to do that. And--
SCOTT OXFORD 29:16.946 Because they know that area. That's their job.
DARREN WRIGHT 29:19.046 Exaclty. Right or wrong - most likely wrong - they were just coming up with it purely because they thought that it was right. So one of my key tasks last year was to consolidate a lot of that and bring that into a centralised approach where-- there's a single customer in Sitedesk now. It's run out of London, but everyone feeds into it. There's a single MarTech stack, or we're in the journey of building a single MarTech stack as a single retail operations approach. There's a single brand guideline, brand plan. Each one is nuances to the market, but they just can't go off in their own little ecosystem and build what they like and choose what they want to pursue or what they don't want to pursue under an overarching global brand strategy. So COVID's actually been my friend in many ways to help consolidate this quickly. And when we come out the other end into the new normal, it'll set the brand up for some pretty rapid growth.
SCOTT OXFORD 30:11.608 Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. That's why it's refreshing to hear a business of the size of yours as well who's kind of gone-- we've tried things. We've allowed this brand to evolve in the way it does. But at the end of the day, good principles come to play, which is some consistency that's adaptable. That's what it's about.
DARREN WRIGHT 30:30.897 Yeah, absolutey.
SCOTT OXFORD 30:31.958 Yeah. That's cool. I want to take you back to childhood. I always love asking this question. There's brands that we connected with when we were kids for whatever reason. I'd love to know, what's one that connected to you? Maybe it led you to this career. Maybe it didn't. What's one, and what made it memorable?
DARREN WRIGHT 30:50.979 Okay. I haven't put a lot of thought into that question.
SCOTT OXFORD 30:53.175 That's okay. [laughter]
DARREN WRIGHT 30:55.378 I've had so many brands in my youth. And I'm really old, so. [laughter] Right. There's one specific one I'll give you that is completely left of centre. It's a brand called Peterbilt. If anyone in the transport industry is listening to this, they'll know exactly what it is. It's a truck brand. Prime Mover, Cabover, and Long Nose trucks out of the US. It's an iconic US truck brand like Mack Trucks, I guess. But it was always the underdog that was pushing up against the Freightliners and the Macks of the world. My father, when I was a kid, used to import wrecked trucks from the US in the early days. Pulled them apart in the US, put them into shipping containers, bring them over to Australia. And I lived in Yass, just outside of Cambra at that point. He had a huge manufacturing facility, and he rebuilt these trucks and sold them in Australia. So like a chop shop, I guess, but the brand was Peterbilt. So everything in the truck was branded with Peterbilt and those Peterbilt bolts. And everything that went into it had it's [crosstalk]--
SCOTT OXFORD 32:01.434 I'm sure there's little brass plaques as well. Those coach builders always had a little-- something like that.
DARREN WRIGHT 32:06.153 Yeah. And it was oval with a red and a white Peterbilt written on it. And it was handwritten like a scrolling-type font. And it stuck with me. And I remember I might have turned 10 or 11 and my brother, who's 10 years older than me gave me his Peterbilt belt buckle. It was bigger than my head. [laughter]
SCOTT OXFORD 32:24.132 True American style.
DARREN WRIGHT 32:24.966 Yeah. Yeah. Because him and my father used to go there every six months and buy these trucks and bring them back. But yeah, that brand always stuck with me. And it only stuck with me because obviously I've got that story from my youth. But it felt nice. It had a good story from Underdog. But every time I would see the brand it would make-- it would create this feeling in me that sort of took me back to my youth connection with my father and my eldest brother and the excitement that they used to come-- I never got on those trips because I was too young but-- and they'd come back and they'd fill me full of stories of what they did in the US, what it was like to fly over there. They'd redact certain amounts when my mom was around. And then my brother would give [laughter] more deeper insights to what him and--
SCOTT OXFORD 33:02.739 And I'm sure you've heard all the stories now and she probably has, too, [inaudible].
DARREN WRIGHT 33:05.171 Oh, definitely. Yeah. Every now and again-- my old man's 93 now. And he'd say something and mom would go, "Remember that story," whether he's' waxing lyrical now in his old age or not but it-- quite funny. But I think that's-- and to your point, that's what got me interested in travel because they were constantly travelling. I was living through them vicariously on their stories. And still to this day I think I may have that Peterbilt buckle floating around somewhere. It's not as big as my head anymore. But it's a brand that connects me to I guess that time and a bit of showing the entrepreneurial spirit of my family and the travel that came off it which ignites my travel passion.
SCOTT OXFORD 33:39.729 Yeah. Firstly, I love hearing stories about how a brand which is an impersonal thing can be connected so deeply to some of those most precious memories of the people that we love. But also, see, I grew up in a family that didn't travel. And so for me, travelling for the first time was in my 20s with work and I had--
DARREN WRIGHT 33:58.718 Oh, right. Okay. Sorry. [laughter]
SCOTT OXFORD 34:01.509 I know. Well, it's funny. And again, it's a Gen X thing. You're family either travelled or they didn't. And as a Gen X there's a-- it was in your blood and it just came easily. But for people like me, it didn't come easily because I never had. I didn't have a family-- we'd driven to the Blue Mountains in a little Mazda as a kid. And I think when I was 16 I did go to Tazzy. That, to me, when I say travel it's like-- so I had heard stories of friends who'd travelled overseas, it's like the-- it builds that and the mystique of it, the mystique of Disney and all of these things. It becomes something more and more special. And when I did travel there was such a gravitas around it. It was just such a thing. And it fulfilled everything whether that was wishful thinking or just because the world is an amazing place. But I love what you've described that living vicariously through them. And then when you finally go it's like-- yeah, it brings this sudden inrush of all of these years of dreaming. And like we started it, travel's about dreams. And you, as a brand craftsperson within travel are about sort of creating and facilitating dreams. And so it's a pretty nice thing to work in. So that's a brand you remember. And it's a great story. Thank you. I really love that one. What about a brand that you trust today? What's a brand that has earned your trust and why do they that?
DARREN WRIGHT 35:26.095 This one's very retail, Cogan. And I've been banging on about Cogan shares to anyone who would listen for many, many years now. And everyone used to laugh at me because when I stepped into Flight Centre and again because I started with Flight Centre 23 years ago for six years and I left 14, played around in the aviation industry, stepped back in from Scoot. I was talking to a couple of guys about what's our CRM and what's our web strategy? And I think [Screw?] said to me, "The interwebs are a fad." [laughter] They were a bricks and mortar retailer we didn't have to worry about the interweb. It was before Webjet and everything else. Scott [inaudible] was coming in to start eating our lunch, basically. And I still tell that story around [inaudible], and he ribs me about it, tells me to expleted off quite a lot. But online shopping was, obviously, very early days. And I got under the Kogan story. I forget how it was, but they told me about Kogan, "You should go and check out this site." And it was clunky and difficult to navigate, and I've just kept along the pathway of-- and I buy a lot of stuff from Kogan now. And it's same as Catch Of The Day and all that kind of stuff. But the story from the Australian guys who set it up, and the way that I invested in it early from a share point of view, the way the shares have grown and the acceleration of the business has been quite interesting because he basically created a pool of people. As a retailer, he was basically just a CRM, all the people that had an interest in buying something. So whether it was a pillow or a piece of kitchen utensil or a TV, he worked out quite easily that he could just monetise that mix of individuals that he had, even with a rudimentary CRM that he had. So then he started moving into holidays. So Kogan was selling holidays, and it wasn't overly successful because they don't do It anymore. If it was, he'd be doing a lot more of it. But he worked out, "Okay, so I've got six million people in my database. They're all interested. I spammed them to no end with emails." And sometimes I get two of them a day. But I'm engaged with the brand, all except two a day, and put some in my filter, and I'll ignore them. It doesn't make me angry. It just shows me what next is coming up. Is it a new TV?
SCOTT OXFORD 37:30.742 It's a for-your-consideration. And you're happy with that.
DARREN WRIGHT 37:32.644 Yeah, absolutely. So it's a perfect brand story. And I really like it. It's just retail, but, shit, I've got four Kogan TVs floating around in my house. And I've had plenty of people come and say, "I just bought a TV at Harvey Norman. I paid 2,700 for a 65-inch TV." And I'm like, "Did you go to Kogan and have a look?" They're like, "No." I'd turn around and go, "650 bucks." They look at me like, "Oh." Came out of the same factory.
SCOTT OXFORD 37:55.385 Yeah. Same thing.
DARREN WRIGHT 37:56.534 Yeah. It's a nice brand, and it does it so well. It's an unassuming approach. You don't see Kogan advertising anywhere. They're a very specific digital platform that they're playing in, and the customers just keep coming.
SCOTT OXFORD 38:09.395 And look at the lovely personality. I literally received something I bought through them the other day, and I couldn't find it after it was delivered, which Australia Post tend to get our address wrong and deliver it to a 5 somewhere else. So I dropped them a line. And then discovered it being put in the letterbox, which is really unusual, but.
DARREN WRIGHT 38:30.601 Because it was a TV.
SCOTT OXFORD 38:31.931 No. It was not a TV. It was a bit smaller than that, but. I dropped them a line back, and rather than an automated message, I got a very human kind of response just saying, "Yay, you found it. That's awesome." And I just loved the efficiency of the business but then the personality as well. So it was the best of automation and the best of human in the one, and that was what gave me a little comfort and a desire to go and buy again. And for me, the trust out of that little experience-- and that's the interesting thing around brands is that often if you're given an opportunity to make good for something-- and they had nothing to make good for, but it was just an opportunity where, as soon as I'd said, "It's supposed to be delivered, and I don't think I got it," I got an instant human response saying, "We're onto that. We care a lot about that." I'm just saying they're just a great brand that does things really well. So I've referenced this quote I love from Stephen Covey. I reference it with a few guests because it talks about-- he says that, "Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival," which is around being understood. And I've really grabbed onto that whole being understand, how a brand sort of does that, and how that builds, I guess, connection as well. As a brand practitioner, how do you go around building connection? Because a brand is nothing until two people have a connection, but but yet somehow brands do that.
DARREN WRIGHT 39:58.488 Yeah. They do. And that's a really difficult thing for a brand to achieve in many ways. And brands have got many levers in front of them to pull to get that connection, and ultimately, it comes down to price in many ways because you're looking for a transaction. I did a lot of research pre-COVID with our customer base and started to have a look at where in the marketing funnel were we starting to really see the drop-off. And for Flight Centre, we're in a lucky position where the brand awareness is huge in most countries, even in-- like Australia, we've got a 98 percent unprompted brand awareness which then drops down to about an 82 or a 79 percent consideration and then drops off the cliff all the way down to intent. So we know that people know who we are. We know that they may consider us. But they don't. And then intent just falls apart. Intent's down to 3 or 4 percent. So that's pretty shit in terms of a marketing funnel. You want that consideration piece to be really strong, which then cascades very quickly into intent. Price can do that, but that's a poor marketer's approach. That's the basic marketer that comes out of school and goes, "Okay, I'm going to play in the bottom end of the funnel. I'm a digital native. I know--"
SCOTT OXFORD 41:05.385 Discounting or whatever.
DARREN WRIGHT 41:06.648 Yeah. "My pay-per-click rates are awesome." It's like, "That's great. You've got zero emotional connection to that customer. They're just chasing a price." That's where Kogan plays is down the bottom of the funnel. If you really want to be a smart brand tactician or a strategist, you need to play in the top of the funnel and build that salience with your customer through that emotional connection. And you have to do it through what I believe-- and some of the pieces that we're working on now is, what is the distilled piece that relates your brand to the intent that they want to achieve from whatever they're about to do? So within a purchase cycle-- and I'll use travel because we're right in that space. Everyone's excited about travel. They obviously know where they're going to go, or they have an intent where they want to go. They'll talk about it to as many people as they possibly can because the intent for travel is obviously to reward yourself. You work hard to get some money to go and experience something or to educate yourself or to find yourself or to lose yourself or to connect with others or disconnect with others. Whatever. Choose your own journey in that space.
DARREN WRIGHT 42:07.477 But what, if you distil that right down, is the core piece that sits behind an intent to travel? Why do you really want to go away, or why do you really want to experience something else other than-- you could just sit on the couch, and if you want sunlight, you can just walk outside, or you could drive down to the beach like what you said. You could drive to the Blue Mountains if need be. And it's either financially driven or it's emotive driven. So you take the finance piece away, and you line yourself up with the emotion. And then you distil the emotion, and how does the brand fit into that piece? I think the distillation process is the most important part of brand strategy. So it's easy to say I'll create an emotional connection, but how do you do that, and what do you distil it down to? And all of the work that we've been looking at now is, if you really break it down to someone who wants to travel - and it could be the same as someone who wants to buy a TV or someone that wants to acquire a new car or what have you - the emotional state that everyone's looking at as a normal human is joy. And I think joy is where the emotional connection starts.
DARREN WRIGHT 43:03.061 So then if you say, "This is the pure essence of that emotion. It's joy," how do I bring joy to a communication with a brand that is basically a red, shouty man who throws prices at you constantly? And our brand's been called that. We're linear. We're boxy. We're red. We're blokey. We're Anglo. And one of the reasons why we put the consultant into the communication five years ago, maybe four years ago, and we brought out, "Best in the air," where the captain said, "Best in the air," and the consultant said, "And everywhere," with a much more feminine approach, expert piece was we were connecting the front-end consultant to the message rather than the captain, who is seen as the authoritative figure, throwing prices at you. So then we were starting to get on that journey of bringing down the essence of travel being it's about joy and we can obviously assist in that space. So our next shift in what's going to be coming to market at some point is really focusing in on that one emotional connection rather than just build a connection emotionally it's find that essence of joy. Distill that essence to something that's so unique that when a customer sees joy when talking about it they instantly go, "I want to be a part of this brand." And then magic will happen. And we'll sell as much as we possibly can. [laughter]
SCOTT OXFORD 44:13.247 It's a done deal. Absolutely.
SCOTT OXFORD 44:15.858 Yeah. I love that bringing of the consultant in. Because again, if I reflect on my last experience planning nearly a month in America across three major areas it was-- it was the joy that came from the casting of dreams that the consultant that we sat with on a number of occasions who talked about Disney because worked there. She said, "This is all right. This is a good place to stay. I love there. And if you're there eat here as well." And there was just this sense of a building excitement and joy there that was-- and it was in those-- and those are the things that we talked about to other people was like-- it was not the big things. It was those fine details, the stuff that's important to us and that casting of joy. And I also love the fact, too, that you've always had the captain which is-- but that bringing in sort of almost like a-- Amy, had the Amy girl who was the person that you kind of talked to. As sexist as that probably is today, it is-- it is still sort of an example of that lovely human connection and when you think about that brand. You do all your transactions over the phone. It's really nice to picture that there's somebody that you're dealing with.
DARREN WRIGHT 45:25.090 Yeah. And it is very sexist when you think about it that the epitome of a travel agent is a female. But in reality the whole of Flight Centre-- I think 78% is female. So it was nice for us to probably move away from a sexist, manly, blokey kind of approach and soften that with a more diverse-- perhaps the people that are inside our business. And that's going to continue. We know that we're very Anglo in business. And I don't think that works in the real world. So we're reassessing what some of our brand coats need to look like in the future as well.
SCOTT OXFORD 45:56.589 That was my question from before that I meant to ask is does the captain-- is the captain Chinese in China? Is the captain Malaysian in Malaysia?
DARREN WRIGHT 46:05.250 No. No. That's quite interesting. The captain is the captain everywhere, same captain. But the consultant is different. So we have a black South African. We have a Kiwi in New Zealand. We've obviously got the Australian girl. It's different in Canada. It's different in the US because US uses Liberty. So they take a completely different approach. And the UK, they haven't injected the consultant into their coms yet so it's-- but that's the flexibility that we have. So moving forward that will flex again. So I don't know what it might look like. But we'll always stay true to the core brand codes obviously because that's what makes the business and everything's codified, everything that goes out. If it doesn't have two or three pieces of the code sitting in there it's basically rejected. And a lot of them are [inaudible] each other, see how many codes you can get into one. So ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. You're enough.
SCOTT OXFORD 46:56.936 Without it looking like the star guide.
DARREN WRIGHT 46:58.056 Yeah. [laughter] Exactly. Exactly.
SCOTT OXFORD 47:00.726 But yeah, as you said, in early-- if you look at-- Superman is white. That's just how Superman is, it's not like-- I mean, Doctor Who changes. Doctor Who could end up a black man or a woman.
DARREN WRIGHT 47:11.855 He did, didn't he?
SCOTT OXFORD 47:12.605 He became a woman, definitely. But he hasn't been black yet. But I think Idris Elba I think is lined up for that, that or James Bond. But yeah, I get the point. And I think that's it. At the end of the day, we don't ever meet the captain. We're not going to the captain. He's a symbol. It's the consultant. They're who we meet. And so we're seeing someone connecting with someone who-- and that's true. And just for your own internal brand as well it celebrates your people.
DARREN WRIGHT 47:38.769 Us as a business. We are a person-led business. So even as we-- and to now use your word, pivot into the new world which is very much digital and we're spending a lot of time taking a lot of our assets online as we have reduced our shop network which we went to market and spoke about quite some time ago. We're still a person-led business and so you can talk to us, chat with us, call us, walk in, say yes, but it's always that expert sitting behind whatever channel you choose to use. It's going to be there to help and obviously spread that joy and that whole concept to travel because there's nothing negative about booking or travelling. Everyone smiles as soon as they travel. Everyone's got a smile on their face because in their eyes instantly skew off to the far left and work out where the next holiday's going to be, or what they're dreaming of next.
SCOTT OXFORD 48:22.935 Yeah. Absolutely. That's the dream. That's the dream. A couple of other last quick questions that are not related to travel. Any big mistakes you've seen leaders make around brand that you'd share?
DARREN WRIGHT 48:35.833 Yeah. Plenty. Leaders as in, the executive team need to listen to this, CMOs, and there's CPOs, you bring marketers into the business to help you guide and be the voice of the customer. There's plenty of brands that the various leader in many seats choose to think that they understand the customer. That's the number one mistake everybody makes. And you can see that, going through various brands. That's probably the biggest challenge I think. And also not allowing the senior marketers or the most senior brand person a seat at the table, in the C-Suite. In Flight Centre, we sit collectively as the C-Suite, Skroo Turner, Mel Waters, myself, the operational people. The marketing is at the front of the conversation because the customer is at the front of the conversation. And the voice of the customer usually flows through the marketers or the brand people. If that's not the case and the decisions are being made and then passed off to the marketing team, the disconnect is easily seen. A lot of the time the CFO gets to make the decisions around budget, which is fine, but it should be the marketer that defines what that budget needs to look like and where it goes.
SCOTT OXFORD 49:39.929 Yeah. And I think if we go back to your title I started with, you've got an, "And things" on the end. And I think that's--
DARREN WRIGHT 49:44.220 "And stuff."
SCOTT OXFORD 49:44.975 --"And stuff,"-- stuff, not things. Yeah. Stuff and things are interchangeable, but stuff. I get the feeling that's probably what that kind of refers to is, there are aspects to being a marketer at the C-Suite table.
DARREN WRIGHT 49:58.008 Yeah. Yeah. You have to bring a lot of tools to the table. And the, "And stuff" is a bit of a poke. Number one, it brings some irreverence to the whole thing because everybody titles are titles. You get on LinkedIn, which is one of my bugbears, and everyone's making up their titles. It's hilarious. You'd add stuff to the [indivit?] and people are like, "What. What do you do?" It's like, "Well, I do a lot," and you can't encapsulate it in two or three words. And not do you want to list out seven different things that sit in the back of your skill base. And it also allows you to say, "Well, I'm quite dynamic and agile in what I do. If it needs to get done, it gets done."
SCOTT OXFORD 50:29.675 Yeah. Absolutely. Everything but the henchman, which I'm sure [laughter] is what-- I was just talking to a guy the other day and that his role. He was kind of had an official title and he was also basically the bosses henchman. [crosstalk] Won't go into what that stands for. What's the biggest misconception you've ever seen around brand. And you eluded to it then, when leaders, C-Suite, who just don't get it or don't--. What have you seen where they thought it was one thing and to the other. And I don't mean Screw, sort of, saying there's no future in online shopping, but just specifically around brand?
DARREN WRIGHT 51:06.262 Yeah, that's a really good question, Scott. I'm just trying to figure out how to answer that without either throwing someone under the bus or making myself look silly [laughter]. I do believe, it goes back to my point, I think if anyone in the business that believes that they know what the customer wants, is a fool, without going and asking the customer first. Those mistakes happen constantly. And we're very much a customer-focused business but we're still not good customer-focused business. I was on calls since 06:30 this morning and there's people making decisions around customers that probably haven't touched a customer for 10 years. That's happening in our business. It's very much focussed in that way. What's the day, what's happening in other businesses. So there's critical mistakes being made and that customer can be the end-user, being an actual purchaser or it could be a B to B type approach where its supplier on the way through. The critical mistakes in brand is when you think you are the brand but the brand is actually identified and defined by that customer. And if you get it wrong, you pretty quickly understand why. And it's usually appearing on the bottom line.
SCOTT OXFORD 52:07.336 I'd also reflect that from my perspective the fact that you do hold a seat at that table is usually a big mistake that you don't have someone that's senior, whose job it is to look after the brand and to protect it at all costs. And so clearly that's your role. Last question. What's the dream brand that you've never worked on or for but would like to if there was a chance.
DARREN WRIGHT 52:30.935 God, it's a job pitch. Love that [laughter]. I'm really, really lucky in my career progression because I've been in Flight Center, I've worked for small consultancy companies. I actually started in the Queensland Government in '91 or '92. In the recession we had to have, where no one could get a job out of university, which probably feels like for a lot of university graduates now, "Holy hell, there's no jobs." But I've worked directly with, Richard Branson, in Virgin, I've had influence over how the Virgin brand builds. I've worked directly with, Tony Fernandes, in Air Asia. Had influence over how we built that brand. Both really interesting entrepreneurial thinkers. Scoop, with Campbell Wilson and the way he was set up the business inside of very structured Singapore Airlines, where he was allowed to break the rules, albeit to the chagrin of the Chairman of Singapore Airlines, but being allowed to do that. Watching someone navigate that kind of process at board level. I've sat on boards and coming back into Flight Centre at the C-Suite and being able to, right now, navigate through, I'm going to say, some pretty unprecedented times that you have to agile enough but smart enough to know when to do something and when not do something and what not to be when everybody wants you to be something. I feel lucky that I've been in all the right brands. I can't pick one that I'd go, "Oh, I wish I could have worked for Google or Apple or something because I don't think I'd either have the legs or the ability to do what I have had the ability to do or the joy of having the scope just to get stuff done. And be the change agent that needs to be done, to get things done. So I can't really pick one. There's nothing that's sitting in my mind map that goes, "Damn, I wish I had have worked for those guys."
SCOTT OXFORD 54:14.102 Hey, there's nothing toy about actually having had your dream job or jobs. I think that's just-- there's nothing more inspiring to anyone listening than the idea that it is, because it's the dream come true, isn't it, so?
DARREN WRIGHT 54:28.445 Well, my advice is build your dream job in whatever job you're in. And if you can't, go and find another one because if you're undervalued get up and go. Maybe a bit challenging in this period in terms of recruitment but, absolutely.
SCOTT OXFORD 54:38.605 Yeah. There's a room for innovation as in you can add an, "And stuff," to the end of your job title by solving problems that need to be solved, don't you?
DARREN WRIGHT 54:45.746 Absolutely. Everyone's looking for a solution to something. If you're thinking outside the square, you're a value to sit in whatever table you're sitting at.
SCOTT OXFORD 54:52.366 Yeah. [Daz?], thank you for your time. I've loved talking travel with you and I still have shivers up my spine form that story you told of your dad and I love stuff like that because is powerful. So thanks so much for joining me today.
DARREN WRIGHT 55:06.783 Scott, thank you so much. Really appreciated the time. Loved being here. [music]
SCOTT OXFORD 55:13.100 So if you enjoyed today's podcast, I would love it if you jumped on and subscribed on anything, any platform that you can. Refer a guest to me. And if you got a question you want us to answer, we going to put a podcast together in the near future where we go through all the questions that we've been sent and answer those. And just to finish off, as I always do, in the words of the famous and fictional, Don Draper, from Mad Men, "If you don't like what's being said, change the conversation." And I think Daz is doing that right now over at Flight Centre and across this planet. There's lots of conversations being changed from within so go out there and keep the faith and do the good deed. Cheers.