Geopolitical Risk: Turning Insight into Brand Foresight

Simon Quarendon | April 27, 2022

Selbey Labs Pilots Geopolitical Risk Workshop for Brands

“All companies need a geopolitical risk strategy to manage the reputational and operational risks their brands face trading overseas.” So said Dr Elizabeth Stephens, acknowledged geopolitical risk expert and owner of consultancy, Geopolitical Risk Advisory.

Dr Stephens added: “Doing business in countries with different cultural practices and operating environments exposes companies of all sizes. This applies both to sales and supply chain.”

Dr Elizabeth Stephens

Dr Stephens was speaking at an all-day geopolitical risk workshop, conceived by Selbey Labs CEO, Gerry Hopkinson as a pilot service for brands. The workshop comprised 12 of Selbey Anderson’s senior leaders and advisors. Together, they explored and analysed agency and client risks and opportunities that may result from the Ukraine crisis and the US and EU response to it.

Part 1: Why geopolitical risk matter to brands

Dr Elizabeth Stephens opened the day with a detailed introduction to geopolitical risk and why it matters to brands. Her  consultancy, Geopolitical Risk Advisory, advises a wide range of clients on how country risks can impact upon their specific trading relationships and investments.

As well as consulting to clients, Dr Stephens is a media commentator on the subject and a visiting lecturer at the London Business School and Henley Business School.

Dr Stephens explained: “analysing geopolitical risk might seem a long way from the world of marketing. But, we have come to realise it [risk] has profound implications. It’s an important skill for brands to develop and apply, particularly in a rapidly changing world.”

Part 2: War gaming, Six Hats and So Whats…

Dr Stephens was joined on stage by Chris Paton from Quirk Solutions, another consultancy with significant experience in advising both companies and the public sector on geopolitical risk.

Paton and two colleagues led the afternoon session where workshop participants gamed outcomes, considered impact and formulated action plans to mitigate risk and capitalise on opportunities.

Quirk Solutions runs high profile strategic workshops for some of the world’s biggest and best brands and Dr Stephens remained on site to add expert input.

Brands can benefit from this format

Commenting on the pilot workshop, Gerry Hopkinson said: “Selbey Labs’ mission is to use intelligence, data and observation to find ways to help our clients succeed. The format of this event takes unpredictable external risk and translates it into practical ‘what if’ plans.

“Time spent thinking about unfolding global events and their impact on brand decision making is time well spent and a must for marketing leaders.

“Brands can benefit from this format, so we’re harnessing the experience we’ve gained and making it available to clients.”

Selbey Labs will be publishing an event white paper in May. Brand and marketing leaders interested in receiving a copy can register to receive a copy here.

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For more information contact:

Selbey Anderson |
Sinon Quarendon

Note to Editors
Selbey Anderson commenced trading in 2019 after raising private equity from two entrepreneurial family offices. The group acquires and builds creative agencies that can find and unlock hidden value in businesses that answer future human needs. It focuses on mobility, financial security, connectivity, vitality, home life and recreation. Robert Senior, former CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, joined Selbey Anderson as Chair in 2021.