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Branding, politics and gin

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Define your purpose, perfect your craft, focus on your experience

Matt Jones is one of Australia’s leading strategists and storytellers when it comes to the intersections of brand, business, leadership, experience, culture, technology, human behaviour and storytelling.

Matt has an eclectic background, combining economics, politics, brand experience and gin.

As one of three co-founders, and the brand brains behind Four Pillars, Matt Jones connects the dots between brand and purpose theory and gritty business and delivery reality.

His storytelling is insightful, engaging, energising and (perhaps most important) highly relatable to all kinds of businesses.

Matt is obsessed with sport, food, photography, wine, film, travel, politics, fiction, architecture, technology, design, hotels, ideas, experiences, cinema, contemporary art, human behaviour, ideas and (yes) gin.

He works in, speaks about, and connects the dots, between all of the above areas and is a former panelist on The Gruen Transfer.

Current work

In December 2013, he was one of three founders to launch Four Pillars Gin which quickly went on to be the number one selling craft spirit in Australia. Four Pillars Gin is an overnight small business success story five years in the making.

Previous experience

Political: From 2001 to 2005, Matt was Chief Political Adviser to the UK Conservative Party (the youngest person in the party’s history to hold that role).

Employment: In 2006, Matt moved from politics into brand experience, first in Sydney and then in New York City, as Jack Morton Worldwide’s first chief creative and strategy officer.

Between 2006 and 2012, Matt became one of the world’s most influential thinkers in the emerging world of brand experience, helping brands like IBM, Microsoft, Qantas, Sony, Samsung and Volkswagen navigate their way in a new era of socially-connected consumers and experience-led brand building.

In 2012, Matt founded his own consultancy, focused on applying creative strategy, storytelling and experience design to brand and business challenges for corporate, craft, start-up and social businesses.

Talking Points

Brand Is Bias (How to build brand in a world controlled by the customer)

Why You Need to Think about ‘Why?’ (Business, leadership, innovation and culture through a purposeful lens)

Technology, Culture, Community & Communication (Thinking and working differently in a world of disruptive change)

Gin & Business (Commercial lessons from the world of craft)

The Experience is the Marketing (Winning in the new world of whole-of-business brand building)

Influencing Stories (Why business, brand and organisational success begins with storytelling)

In Craft We Trust

Better Better Better - How to win by focusing on making better products and delivering better experiences and being better for the planet.

In this keynote I explore the psychology behind consumer and shopper preferences, demonstrating how our loyalty to brands (from retailers and banks to telcos and gin makers) is influenced by a complex bundle of factors…our perception of product quality and value, our perception of the experiences wrapped around the product and (more and more) our perception of the sustainability and community values of the brand behind the product. I provide tangible examples from across multiple categories of brands pulling all three levers to win…from retailers to sneaker makers to car brands.

I’ll then demonstrate how Four Pillars has grown to be the world’s leading gin producer (recently named bother Distiller of the Year and Brand Innovator of the Year at the global Gin Magazine Awards) by focusing on all three of these levers. On sustainability, you might not know, but in March Four Pillars was the first distillery in Australia to achieve carbon neutral status both for our distillery and all our gins. I had the chance to talk about this and our sustainability journey (that began with making gin-steamed orange marmaladed!) at Nine’s Big Ideas Store last week. You can see me talk about it from 14’20” on this link:
“Matt is one of the most inspiring speakers you can engage. His razor sharp mind and unique background allow him to gracefully navigate the myriad challenges a brand faces today.” Starcom MediaVest Group

“Matt gets ‘it’ before most people even know there is an ‘it’ to get.”

Voyager Estate

“Matt was the opening speaker for our annual Kick.Start.Smart. event, and I can honestly say he blew everyone away. Captivating the audience from the moment he hit the stage with his incredible energy, high-calibre-content and thought-provoking presentation. If you’re looking for an authority on brand strategy, purposeful thinking and creative storytelling, Matt is your guy.”

Collective Hub

“Outrageously articulate, splendidly creative and profoundly pragmatic.”


“Matt joined us on an agency roadshow to share the story of Four Pillars Gin, and how the business used our platforms to establish its market position. Matt is a wonderful speaker…funny, insightful and highly engaging. His experience in marketing around the globe means he is a true marketing wizard who is able to share his magic with anyone who is interested in business or brand building.”

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