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Innovation Start-up The Upside Launches


To target lifestyle, luxury and entertainment brands

Innovation Start-up The Upside Launches

The Upside, a start-up formed to help brands take advantage of rapid digital change in communications and marketing, has launched.

The Upside focuses on companies in the lifestyle, luxury and entertainment sectors, and is led by Niku Banaie, the former chief innovation officer at Isobar, Tom Himpe, the ex head of comms planning at Anomaly London and Sam Reid, the founder of creative collective Guided.

The Upside’s founding clients are Adidas, Richemont Group, giffgaff, Penguin Random House, and University of the Arts London and Belgian public broadcaster VRT.

The Upside operates like a ‘plug in’, in that it is structured to deliver innovation faster by plugging into clients' design, service, e-communications and marketing units with its own bespoke team.  

The team addresses current challenges facing marketers such as real-time communications, and building audiences through content and multi-channel communications.

The Upside is currently helping Adidas launch new categories globally and overhaul its digital commerce business. The team is also working with Penguin Random House to develop new ways for its authors to engage their communities, and helping giffgaff rethink its approach to and reliance on paid media. 

The Upside also creates its own products and services, such as Tapestry, a mobile application that allows users to curate, save and share their favourite fashion items. Initially funded and tested by Diesel. Tapestry has received additional funding from IC Tomorrow and will shortly be trialled with the luxury retailer Liberty.

Founder Niku Banaie said: “We are seeing rapid shifts in the marketing industry, so we’re here to help companies figure out how to deliver and embrace solutions that can adapt with the pace of change and lay a foundation for a prosperous way forward.”

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