Day One of SXSW Interactive kicked off with a dizzying range of sessions covering everything from wearables and 3-D printed fashion, to fighting Ebola with technology, and the gamification of peace. Regardless of your motives for attending the event, the array of knowledge to be had is vast. Now, what you choose to do with these lessons can be the real challenge. SXSW is more than just lofty thought leadership, with most discussions providing actionable advice that can be applied to your trade. Innovation is at the core during this week in Austin. As countless industries collide presenting their best and brightest thinkers, SXSW presents an opportunity to reframe the way we view our business, and the constraints we put on possibility.
John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods presented on Conscious Capitalism. More than just a marketing tactic, Whole Foods is a purpose-driven brand through and through, with mindfulness that permeates through every touchpoint of the experience. It lives in the hearts and minds of employees, crafting a culture of innovation within the company. Continually raising the bar on customer experience, it is this spirit that Mackey called out as differentiating the brand from its competitors.
One of the quicker sessions we attended was Guy Kawasaki’s “The Art of Social Media”. To grow your following, Guy stressed the importance of producing bold, interesting, and truly valuable content that users can connect with and interact. Put your content to the “share test” – would your colleagues want to read the article, and be inclined to share via their own channels? Authenticity and likeability is paramount.