What The Luxe S3E3: Masterminding Creative Platforms with James Lees, Strategy Director at Matter Of Form

Category: News
31 Jan 2024
Read time: 2 MIN
For the first filmed episode of What The Luxe, Anant sits down with MOF Strategy Director and Co-Founder of Group Think, James Lees, for a conversation spanning innovation, status, ritual, reward and narrative, pulling insights from some of James’ best creative platforms to date.
Written By
MOF Team
MOF Team

“Strategy without action at the end is essentially useless.” 

James Lees isn’t one to waffle. A straight-talker by nature, his career as a strategist is – perhaps surprisingly – one he fell into. A decade on, James has repositioned a steady stream of icons, created disruptive brands, built signature moments into a bevvy of different experiences and, through Group Think, is leading the next generation of strategists. 

Group Think was founded in 2016, a progression of Planner Pints – James’ monthly meet-up for strategists in London – and now at +2500 members globally, hosting over 25 events a year across a wide range of specialisms. Born from the belief that there’s not enough going on for the strategy community – mainly because they never switch off. 

Always armed with a pen and something sharp to say, James was the perfect victim for What The Luxe’s first video episode. He and Anant begin by debunking innovation myths and misconceptions surrounding the U/HNW cohort before moving through the subjects of status, digital assets, healthy friction in the customer experience, the importance of rewarding behaviours, creating ritual and the industry’s tendency to conflate observation with insight – punctuated with subtle innovation anecdotes and valuable case studies. 

Listen now wherever you get your podcasts.

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[01.33] Intro to James & Group Think 

[04.20] Avoiding Bias When Approaching Strategy Briefs

[07.56] Debunking Innovation as a Buzzword

[08.42] Changes in Perceptions of The U/HNW Customer

[12.58] Unpicking Status

[14.34] Status Symbols in Gaming & Digital Assets

[15.24] The Power of Shared Experience and Vested Effort

[16.57] Loyalty – Rewarding the Right Behaviours

[20.50] How Value References Are Built in the Mind

[21.56] The Laziness of Luxury Heritage Brands

[24.16] Transforming Businesses

[26.11] Placemaking Through Story & Signature Moments

[28.43] Designing Micro-Moments

[31.38] Outro Questions

MOF Team

Published by MOF Team

We are a London-based Brand & Experience Design Agency delivering second-to-none experiences for forward-thinking luxury brands with something to say.