Learn. Earn. And have fun: growing cultures in challenger brands

If you come to our office and weave your way into the Cosy Room, you will find our library of business books, amassed over the last 35 years. Within this archive, some of the older books feel historical (especially the ones about the rise of internet), while others remain as relevant as ever. There is

After-Covid: The New Work Order

In the Before-Covid (BC) age, life was different. An almost forgotten era when we traipsed through the office complaining about our journey in and worried about not having enough seats in the office. In the After-Covid (AC) world, there is more time. We can speak to people when we need to, no longer valiantly sandwiching

Raising a glass to all those in hospitality

‘Went to Hickory’s on the first night after the lockdown and the first thing I can say is WOW. The things that they have put into place are amazing. Well done Hickory’s. You have got this so right, and all done safely. Thank you for giving us a feel of normality after the lockdown.’‘We went

Wellbeing in the time of corona

In 2008, Leonard Lauder, Chairman of Estée Lauder, claimed that lipstick was just what women needed as a small pick-me-up luxury during a recession. That year, lipstick sales were up 11%. Yet, as we approach the end of lockdown and the most rapid downturn in history, lipstick sales have plummeted. In a recent survey by Boots

Holidaying in the time of corona

You would be forgiven for thinking that the recent scene of people crowded ever so snugly in Botany Bay (a Kent beach) was a visceral reaction after two months of isolation and confinement. Yet this image of British holidaymaking is as hackneyed as vest marks on peeling lobster skin. It is also a comforting image

Staying fit and healthy in the time of corona

Additions to the vernacular are big indicators of local mindsets – and coronavirus has inspired a deluge. ‘Coronaspeck’ is the somewhat waggish German word for the fat deposited by weeks of stay-at-home grazing. Across the border, ‘rester en forme, restez chez vous’ (stay in shape, stay at home) has been popular fodder for the vainer

Eating and drinking in the time of corona

We are fortunate to be able to spend time supporting smaller challenger brands on their journeys. We often feel we learn as much from them as they do from us – they’re a vanguard for fresh ideas and unerring positivity even in these precarious times. Last week, we were kindly asked by The Seed Fund (sadly postponed

Consumers in the time of coronavirus

There are plenty of unfamiliar sightings and perplexing behaviours around these days. Beyond creative face masks, dexterous opening of park gates with feet and people humming ‘Happy Birthday’ while washing their hands, for Londoners nothing is more of an oddity than the uplift in neighbourly relations. It’s remarkable to think that the past weeks have been

Piper Podcast: Founder of Neom Organics on how a home hobby evolved into a multinational brand

Nicola Elliott has told how a ‘magic’ tincture created for aching footballers inspired her to launch wellbeing brand Neom Organics. ‘My husband is a sports teacher and I used to blend oils for him when he came back from playing football,’ says Elliott in the third of Piper’s ‘7, 17, 70’ podcast interviews with leading

Piper Podcast: Bloom & Wild founder on how to disrupt flower gifting

His brand pioneered the concept of ‘letterbox flowers’ and has gone on to sell more than 50 million flowers across the UK, France and Germany. But Aron Gelbard, co-founder and CEO of Bloom & Wild, has revealed how his revolutionary idea nearly fell at the very first hurdle.    ‘When we started, we assumed there

Piper Podcast: Deliciously Ella founder on business being a personal journey

She is the author of one of the fastest selling debut cookbooks ever and creator of one of the country’s most popular food and lifestyle brands. But Ella Mills, founder and creative director of Deliciously Ella, has revealed how she never anticipated a career in business, let alone as the face of her eponymous empire.

Piper Podcast: Camden Town Brewery founder on selling to a brewing giant

In the latest episode of our current podcast series, Jasper Cuppaidge, founder of Camden Town Brewery, talks about the impact of his decision to sell his brand to AB InBev, the world’s biggest drinks company.   ‘Joining AB, I don’t have any regrets. However, it [the day the sale was announced] was one of the

Trending Tastes: 10 things we learnt from this year’s Seed Fund.

For the fifth year now, it has been a privilege to support The Seed Fund, an altruistic mentoring scheme for food and drink brands turning over sub-£1m and run by The Collaborators. The 250 applications this year were the most impressive yet. As a culmination of the year-long project, we hosted an event at our
Over the course of The Seed Fund, we heard from dozens of small brands who are challenging conventions and lie at the forefront of new trends. Here are 10 learnings that we picked up

Do consumers really care about saving the world?

‘Do consumers really care about saving the world?’ Posed in a purposefully obtuse manner by a member of the audience, it nevertheless managed to generate an animated response from the panel that we were asked to join at the annual FUTR Summit earlier in the year. Reading the recently-released Waitrose Food & Drink Report, it’s
At Piper, we are constantly looking to work with founders to grow brands that help consumers look after the world around them. We recognise the need for trade-offs and compromises in balancing sustainability and consumer expectations, as well as ensuring prices stay competitive.

Delighting customers month-on-month: Insights on subscription from Piper’s GeekMeet

Since first meeting our most recent investment, Mindful Chef, we have become fascinated with how brands use subscription to delight their customers. Referred to as ‘subcom’ by those working in the space, it’s a business model that is attractive to both consumers and investors. From a consumer perspective, subscription-based ecommerce brands are helping them save

Sir John Hegarty and others discuss above the line advertising on a budget

‘You have to remember that most people’s lives are really boring. I’ve always seen my job as entertaining people, making their lives less boring.’ As the creator of iconic adverts for the likes of Levi’s, Lynx and Audi, Sir John Hegarty has certainly entertained us over the decades, as did he at our most recent