Back in the day, The Cronos Group’s marketing and communication manager, Pauline De Smet, approached us with her idea to create a podcast for and by entrepreneurs, powered by The Cronos Group. It was important that the key values of the group were showcased, albeit in a slightly more modern way so as to reach young potential entrepreneurs. She pitched the idea to Cronos’ founding fathers and reached out to us for the development of the podcast itself. We were immediately on board! Only thing was … We’d never actually made a podcast before.
If there’s one thing The Cronos Group is known for, it’s their strong ecosystem. Literally everyone can count on someone to help them with out-of-the-box ideas. This one wasn’t even that extravagant to begin with. As a start-up within that system, we understood the brief and we were eager to push it. The Cronos Group always invests in their people and offers them all chances to learn, so we were grateful for them to trust us to obtain expertise in making podcasts. We decided quite soon in the process that FutureMakers needed to be authentic, simple and well-made. We’d spotlight successful entrepreneurs so young talent in doubt whether or not to take the leap of faith would trust their testimonials and feel encouraged to go and make their dreams come true.
Have we aroused your interest in making podcasts together or are you curious to learn more about FutureMakers? Don’t be shy and let us know; we’d love to Unmute You(r business) too!
How we did it
The first thing on the agenda was creating a brand. The initial name we worked with, Radio Cronos, felt too on the nose; indicating that the production was powered by Cronos. By playing with radio lingo like ‘FM’, we eventually landed on FutureMakers. What is FutureMakers all about? Daring to make statements, giving young entrepreneurs chances, and living in the now but thinking in the future. FutureMakers aims to inspire the next generations and to engage a community.
Once our story was clear, we went to pitch the idea together, with a little help from Wim Tobback (OECO Group). We then got the green light to make four test episodes. By now, we can proudly say that those were warmly received which is why we’ve already broadcasted two whole seasons of Future Makers!
How did we go about it? Pauline found our distinguished guests which we supported and helped her with. Obviously, we made the podcast together, but we also thought about fun concepts such as: asking an entrepreneur within the group for a reaction, making teasers, organising giveaways ... In short: we took care of the actual recordings and of all communication surrounding the podcasts. To that effect, we created and implemented a content calendar, conducted campaigns on social media and ensured overall awareness.
About our podcast
We wanted the brand to feel dynamic. There’s still a wink at the mothership by turning The Cronos Group logo around and inserting a microphone in it. One of Cronos’s most distinguishable colours, blue, was subtly incorporated in the visual designs. The main colour red, however, is bold and symbolizes our strength and challenging nature. Throughout the visual language of our branding, we show a unique but recognisable style.
The podcast itself is carefully curated as well. We specifically didn’t want to produce fake, (too) perfect or merely ‘pretty’ content. Our speakers might trip over their words or cough, and we might all make mistakes. That’s okay, because it’s exactly the message we want to convey to young dreamers out there: make mistakes. Even established entrepreneurs do so and nobody’s perfect. As one of The Cronos Group’s strong suits is to bring together all kinds of entrepreneurs, we made sure that we wouldn’t just stick to people within our ecosystem. We invited external speakers to keep on challenging ourselves and to give a voice to new visions, exchanges of views and so on.
Fun fact: we made our own intro tune in collaboration with an external party. We strongly believe in the added value of an authentic yet recognisable sound (think about Netflix’s famous tudum, for example). As we wanted to create a unique podcast, we believe that things like this helped us achieve our goal.
Why it works
The collaboration was a true partnership. We grew based on our client’s requests and supported them to make it succeed. The Cronos Group helped us build expertise and learn all about podcasting. In return, we made it happen and – with their support – soon brought it to a high level. Internally, we brought the entire group more visibility. We consist of a bunch of tech companies so unsurprisingly, it was the episode on ethical hacking that got the most views and responses.
It’s never been a pure client-supplier relationship but rather sincere co-creation. We all brought ideas to the table, and we worked on it as a team. Don’t take our word for it? Here's what Pauline has to say about our joint venture: