We caught up with Will Harvey to hear about his role as Global Digital Innovation Manager at Diageo
Hear from Will about the world of Digital Innovation at Diageo.
Feature 02 DEC 2021
Will Harvey, Global Digital Innovation Manager, is responsible for testing and learning from new innovations and technologies that are disrupting the consumer space. Working within innovation means you are always looking for what’s next, keeping your finger on the pulse and predicting the future. We take a look at Will’s Diageo journey so far and what his role entails.
Tell us about your role at Diageo and some of the exciting projects you get to work on?
I am Diageo’s Global Digital Innovation Manager, my focus is on exploring and enabling the next generation of brand experiences across our business. The role allows me to tap into my creative technologist background, looking to find the technology which will enable us to have more meaningful experiences.
We launched our “Taste of the Future” space earlier this year alongside World Class, which each year works with the world’s best bartenders and innovators to discover the future of world class drinks. “Taste of the Future” is a glimpse behind the curtain to some of the technology, innovations and start-ups that are inspiring us and disrupting the drinks trade industry.
Due to World Class being virtual this year, we decided to create a Virtual “Taste of the Future” hub space to pull together some of the extraordinary innovations we are working with and make the experience as accessible as possible.
How are we disrupting the market and winning with new consumer experiences?
Being part of such a unique team at Diageo means you need to be adaptive. We are challenged to learn and embrace innovative technology to help our brands win. Our team has a broad set of skills from creative technologists, eCommerce experts, On and Off trade analysts and entrepreneurial thinkers – all aiming to look and address business challenges in entirely new ways. We are a small but disruptive team with curiosity in our DNA, continually problem solving to enable us to be agile and pioneer change in the industry.
One of the latest projects was our AI whisky navigator “What’s your Whisky”, born from a piece of technology used by our Liquid Research and Development science team. The technology enabled us to build an experience for a consumer whereby from answering 11 simple questions, we can create a personal flavour profile and match the consumer with a whisky that best suits their taste profile, with an 80-90% accuracy rate. We tested this in select markets back in 2019 before launching in additional markets in 2020 with a wider range of product recommendations.
Tell us about an exciting partnership your team are working on at the moment? Why is this important for you?
Keeping our finger on the pulse of the start-up and technology world allows us to remain at the forefront of current thinking and enables us to solve challenges from different angles. An interesting partnership we have been nurturing recently is with start-up Threedium. Following their win of a start-up pitch, we have been working with them and other teams internally to explore how we can bring our products to life through the digital shelf, using immersive and interactive formats. Although the project initially focused on digitising our bottles, we have since started to identify other challenges this format can solve and are continuously broadening our understanding of what this technology can do.
In the end it is integral to our team to manage and nurture new partnerships, opportunities and technologies, making sure we set Diageo up for success.
Why did you choose this role at Diageo?
There is unlimited potential! That’s why I do what I do at Diageo.
The saying of “no two days are the same” really is true at Diageo, due to the nature of our brands and our products, you get to work on a broad range of opportunities, challenges and sectors. The culture within Diageo is open and enabling.
It keeps you curious and every day is a chance to try something new and push the boundaries of what’s possible.