Brandon Laidlaw is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Medea, Inc., the spirits/technology company and producer of Medea Vodka. Mr. Laidlaw’s innovative insights drove the development of Medea Vodka’s technological break through -- the ability to program, via Bluetooth, the LED display through an App. He fostered the innovation of Medea’s latest technology, resulting in widespread expansion into new markets around the world. Mr. Laidlaw and his partners are now engaged in licensing their patented technology through his new company, TechCentrix.
How did you get into the industry?
I started in the Bar and Nightclub business and managed successful establishments. This then led me to become the co-founder of Medea’s real-time tracking, data and consumer marketing technology on a vodka bottle.
Any emerging industry trends?
We are noticing that consumers not only love personalized products but they want the ability to customize and interact with them. Our technology provides the consumer with the ability to engage in buying and sharing products that can be personalized. We are creating a Bluetooth mesh network that will allow consumers to share their experience with others.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
We have now had requests from our licensing customers to make them OLED and LCD screens in addition to our standard LED displays. This requires new firmware and board designs. We are also rebuilding and innovating our technology to collect more information to provide different demographic insight, which will enable our customers to be more efficient in their marketing.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
We recognized a need to give the spirits and wine industry a smart bottle that would provide benefit to both consumers and businesses. Consumers and/or establishments can personalize their bottles, while data could be collected on the backend and allow businesses the ability for real-time marketing to selected demographics. We have patented our technology and plan to put our technology in numerous markets.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
We have transitioned into a licensing model and will license our technology for consumer products including among others, vodka, vases, wristbands and other wine and spirit companies.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
Licensing our technology will create growth in our product line, which will yield higher gross margins than what we saw in the cost of goods business.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
Our most challenging obstacle was when we made the transition from thinking of ourselves as a vodka company with technology, to a technology company that also offered vodka. It became clear that the growth of our company was tied to the licensing opportunities our patented technology provides. We noticed that our IP and technology has the capability to be implemented on numerous products and we didn’t need to limit ourselves to just a vodka brand.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
Our partners benefit from the ability to have real-time data and marketing directly to their customers. Our customers enjoy gifting our very unique and interactive technology to family and friends.
How do you motivate others?
I encourage my colleagues to be creative and innovative. The only limitations we have are those we place on ourselves. I like to think our work environment provides excitement knowing we have first-to-market offerings and opportunities to share with the world. We are seen as packaging and technology pioneers.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Be creative and differentiate your product so you can give added value to your customers. Don’t be the same as your competition, make yourself unique.