Richard Reed of Innocent Drinks on stealing good ideas [Video]

From Shakespeare to 'Dumb and Dumber', Richard Reed reveals what inspires his business

Innocent Drinks is a well-recognised brand boasting an estimated worth of £90m yet the business ideas used to build its success have often been ‘nicked’, as Innocent co-founder Richard Reed explains.

Taking business inspiration from “everything and anything, not just business”, Reed explains how from day one the Innocent founders have been “nicking ideas” but mainly all the little ideas because in Reed’s eyes “Innocent’s about one big, good idea and a thousand little ideas”.

Discussing how the Innocent team took inspiration from “people that got there before we did”, Reed recalls “an incredible documentary called The Corporation and there was a guy called Ray Anderson who runs a company called Interface and I had a real sort of uh-huh moment listening to him”. Within the entrepreneur landscape, Reed also lists Dame Anita Roddick of The Body Shop as an influential business leader.

Reed points out that, over the years, Innocent has also looked to alternative sources for business inspiration including comedy film Dumb and Dumber which is where the idea for their cow vans, covered in grass and daisies, came from.

As Reed describes: “the essential guy [in Dumb and Dumber] runs a dog hairdressing business and his van is a dog, covered in dog hair with big dog ears. I remember watching it about 15-20 years ago and it just so happened that 10 years later I’m running a fruit juice business thinking what do I put on the side of my vans because our vans our boring”.

Entrepreneurs and films are not the only sources of business inspiration Reed cites, as he shares in the interview with Startups’ explaining how “Shakespeare is […] where we got our advertising strategy from” and how Reed’s childhood town Upper Hopton and its gala is where “Innocent gets it community spirit from”.

The final business inspiration Reed lists is his love of camping as a child, which is where Innocent’s “love of nature comes from”.

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