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Nathan James

Nathan James on cultivating creativity

By Nathan James

Founder & Owner, The Really Awesome Company & Peach Loves Digital Limited

Self-guided with a premeditated life plan, Nathan James’ enthusiasm for digital, marketing & retail was first ignited with his involvement in the launch of a global retail organisations first city centre location at the beginning of his career. Nathan went on to become Director and board member of one of the UK’s leading and largest technology MSP, within his leadership journey Peach Loves Digital was launched to enable clients to maximise their creative marketing and digital innovations, driven by digital curiosity Peach Loves Digital grew rapidly. Five years later Nathan purchased Peach Loves Digital and continues to guide it progress, whilst mentoring and support his awesome team, headed by Vic Rayment.

Nathan’s same enabling ethos that empowers his team at Peach Loves Digital, is also behind the cultivating culture of his complementary Really Awesome Company, specialising in the creation and development of online digital brands. Here, Nathan discusses the reimagination of retail in an ever-evolving digital space.

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What’s the story behind The Really Awesome Company?

When my wife was considering a change in career path from accountancy, we developed a brand called Dinks Baby Decor and we were quickly approached by British Vogue and Joules. Dinks Baby Decor had so much success as an online boutique that subsequently we created The Really Awesome Company to specialise in launching other online brands.

We look at emerging trends and see whether we can find a gap in the market. The brand that's currently being worked on is called UK Home Gym, which is all about people being able to exercise at home.

How does Peach Loves Digital work alongside The Really Awesome Company?

I had previously worked for a leading tech company as a director and board member, this is where PLD was created after the launch of The Really Awesome Company, there was an opportunity to purchase Peach Loves Digital. We are reimagining how clients utilise and work across the whole spectrum of digital & marketing – PLD is focuses on an MSP approach, it has essentially been created from a manifestation of spending millions of pounds on digital and marketing professionally over the years, the aim is to break away from the norm so we can innovate with rigour for our clients. We hire designers, digital marketers, developers, and analysts to create wonderfulness for our clients whilst also maximising awesome working relationships with specific agencies within our space.

The Really Awesome Company and Peach Digital complement each other so well because we have a specialised managed service provider in the digital space alongside the creation of online brands. Additionally, we own a dedicated accounting/bookkeeping company to assist our clients when it comes to maximising digital investments, our boutique bookkeeping company operates in the normal bookkeeping areas and specialises in helping our clients with digital specifics such as things like their R&D claims. We’ve created a suite of businesses and brands that complement each other.

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"Physical retail needs to diversify and what we're starting to see is it turning into experiential type scenarios"

What are your creative thought processes?

From the idea initiation point of view, I’m a bit of a nerd. I have lots of Google Alerts and follow lots of things so that I can find out about emerging trends.

From a creative point of view, it always starts with the wonderful people we have in the team. They always have great ideas and I try to empower them to shape those ideas into something that’s awesome and attainable.
It is essential to me that we focus on customer needs, and I think that’s probably where the creative process comes from – looking at the end goal and working backwards.

Thinking inside a box is a perfect way to destroy a wonderfully good idea. If you take away the sides of the box, you end up with an agile environment and a space where people can create, and then you see wonderful things happen.

What’s an emerging trend on your radar?

The big one is renewable energy. It still needs to grow but there will undoubtedly be consumable products and services coming out of that market.

If you think that every business is going to have to consider electric vehicles – it’s an empowering market and very much an emerging trend.

For example, there’s an emergent scenario in the supply of electric charging stations. And when you get into that space, you can start to see something that you can push advertising through. It’s about how you can tap into and diversify different scenarios.

The Really Awesome Company is about how you turn that into something that has e-commerce functionalities and the ability to retail online.

"If you take away the sides of the box, you end up with an agile environment and a space where people can create, and then you see wonderful things happen."

Nathan James - Owner, The Really Awesome Company

What are your thoughts on high street retail in an increasingly digital world?

It’s one of the strategic pieces that we’re working on. Physical retail needs to diversify and what we’re starting to see is it turning into experiential type scenarios.

If you take the Nike store in London as an example, it’s all about the experience. It sells product but primarily you go there to experience the brand. We’re starting to see more of that, with companies using physical retail stores as a marketing tool.

We are an interactive species, we like to talk to each other, to have a common purpose, and feel an emotional connection with a brand.

I think the whole high street will become more experiential and brands can start to be really creative. If you’re a sports shop, why not have a basketball court in your store. I think you can make experiences very specific and relevant to your brand and once you do that, it becomes so much fun from a marketing point of view. Once you start to think in that way, the world opens up in terms of how you can be creative.

You’re an aficionado of art; what do you love about it?

I really like to go and hunt and look for hidden pieces. You can go and look at famous art and get your glimpse through the crowds of hundreds of people, but I think the true value is discovering the pieces that no one knows about.

I love Amsterdam because there are so many independent small art galleries, you can just walk around them and every now and again, you find something that’s phenomenal.

I think that’s what I really love about art. I have an appreciation when I see something that I’m drawn to. That’s what I think art should be – how it makes you feel.