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Business students attend talk by Giles Brook, CEO Vita Coco

Oakham School’s Business Department welcomed Giles Brook, CEO of Vita Coco, the leading global Coconut Water business, for a fascinating talk on how to build a challenger brand.

Mr Brook has worked for iconic firms such as United Biscuits, Coca-Cola and Innocent Drinks. Giles has led Vita Coco in EMEA since inception and additionally was founding partner in Urban Fresh Foods, a business that created the BEAR and Urban fruit snacking brands, which was sold to the international family business, Lotus Bakeries two years ago.

Giles talked about marketing strategy and the importance of having a clear vision as well as ensuring the brand adds value through emotional branding and building loyalty through relationships with customers. He also pointed out that challenger brands need to be disruptive and to change the market to make way for new brands or products.

The students learned that using a wider variety of promotional methods including influencers through social media platforms such as Instagram is now extremely effective with modern consumers.

Mr Brook concluded his talk by speaking about the characteristics he looks for in his employees, one of whom is Old Oakhamian Jack Cornes, who is working in Business Development at Vita Coco.

Head of Business Mr Jeremy Rowe said of the talk, “This was a great opportunity for students who are considering setting up their own brand or studying Business at university to further develop their knowledge and interest around the subject.”

At Oakham Business is taught post-16 at A-level, BTEC and the International Baccalaureate. The courses aim to develop a critical understanding of organisations, the markets they serve and the process of adding value. Students take part in activities such as ‘The Trading Hour’ to also help demonstrate the subject.

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