THE STANDING ON GIANTS STORY

Standing on Giants is the story of a group of friends and colleagues who have a shared obsession with brand owned communities. It’s hard to stay just when it started, but it certainly goes back to the Sony PlayStation community, where the co-founder Vincent Boon, first began to develop his award-winning methodology and where a lot of our team first met as they headed the various European communities.

However, we should probably start more recently in 2009 with the very beginning of giffgaff, the UK-based disruptive telecoms brand. Robbie Hearn (the other founder of Standing on Giants) was an early member of the giffgaff start-up team. Even at that time, he had a reputation in the customer experience field from his work across the globe in the telecoms and broadband industries. In the early days of giffgaff, the start-up team was looking for a model to apply to their low-cost, low-overhead brand, and they decided to look at the community structure commonly used in games development. After completing some initial work, they realised that they needed an expert – someone who really understood communities and how members thought. That expert was Vincent Boon, who was already being recognised as an expert in online communities.

Robbie drew on his understanding of consumer behaviour, customer service and retention to integrate the community into all aspects of the brand, while Vincent refined his methodology, applying his experience of gamification and community psychology to create a vibrant, involved community. Together Robbie and Vincent became the driving force behind the community as it began to grow giffgaff into a highly successful business.

By 2012, giffgaff’s multinational parent company Telefonica had seen the power of communities and decided to set up the team as a separate business unit to apply the concept to other Telefonica brands across the world. Working on projects for different countries gave Robbie and Vincent a deeper perspective, allowing them to understand how brand owned communities could be introduced into existing company structures and how national culture affects the community models. It also gave them the chance to hire the best community managers from across the globe.

The team, which was now known as Standing on Giants, began to find it increasingly difficult to reconcile the fast evolving world of brand owned communities with the slow moving structure of their giant parent corporation Telefonica while at the same time their belief in the potential of the community concept to be applied to a wide set of industries continued to grow. This led to a management buyout in 2016 and the setting up of the present company. Now independent and free of external investors, Standing on Giants is a highly successful company. We work closely with our clients running the global Airbnb and, O2 UK communities, as well as working on communities for Vivo, EEF, Ageas Insurance and disruptive start-ups like Pure Planet, to name just a few.

Read the Standing on Giants Story

THE STANDING ON GIANTS STORY

Standing on Giants is the story of a group of friends and colleagues who have a shared obsession with brand owned communities. It’s hard to stay just when it started, but it certainly goes back to the Sony PlayStation community where the co-founder Vincent Boon, first began to develop his award-winning methodology and where a lot of our team first met as they headed the various European communities.

However, we should probably start more recently in 2009 with the very beginning of giffgaff, the UK-based disruptive telecoms brand, Robbie Hearn (the other founder of Standing on Giants) was an early member of the giffgaff start-up team. He had a reputation in the customer experience field from his work across the globe in the telecoms and broadband industries. In the early days of giffgaff the start-up team was looking for a model to apply to their low-cost low-overhead brand – they looked at the community structure commonly used in games development. After initial work they realized that they needed an expert – someone who really understood communities and how members thought. They found Vincent Boon, by this time already being recognised as an expert in online communities.

Robbie drew on his understanding of consumer behaviour, customer service and retention to integrate the community into all aspects of the brand, while Vincent refined his methodology, applying his experience of gamification and community psychology to create a vibrant, involved community. Together Robbie and Vincent became the driving force behind the community as it began to grow giffgaff into a highly successful business.

By 2012, giffgaff’s multinational parent company Telefonica had seen the power of communities. They set up the team as a separate business unit to apply the concept to other Telefonica brands across the world. Working on projects for different countries gave Robbie and Vincent a deeper perspective allowing them to understand how brand owned communities could be introduced into existing company structures and how national culture affects the community models. It also gave them the chance to hire the best community managers from across the globe.

The team which was now known as Standing on Giants began to find that it was increasingly difficult to reconcile the fast evolving world of brand owned communities with the slow moving structure of their giant parent corporation Telefonica. Telefonica while at the same time their belief in the potential of the community concept for a wide set of industries continued to grow. This lead to a management buyout in 2016 and the setting up of the present company. Now independent and free of external investors Standing on Giants is a highly successful company. We work closely with our clients running the global Airbnb and, O2 UK communities, and as well as working on communities for Vivo, EEF, Ageas Insurance and disruptive start-ups like Pure Planet, to name just a few

SO WHO ARE STANDING ON GIANTS FOUNDERS?

Meet Vincent Boon and Robbie Hearn –  two guys on your not so average quest to change the world.  Driven by a perfect combination of vision and frustration, they see that harnessing the positive power of customers as the next logical step in the future of business.

  • Robbie Hearn

    Robbie Hearn
  • Founder

    Standing on Giants consumer experience wizard and action organiser – our Mr Super Calm

  • Head of Member Experience giffgaff

    As part of the start-up team, he created the legendary giffgaff customer experience from scratch

     

     

  • Favourite quotes

    “Anyone can have a great idea.”

     

    “Most great ideas go unheard, un-noticed, unloved – wasted potential. Fixing this is what drives me.”

  • Marketing & Retention

    █ Head of Retention and Digital Community – Be Unlimited

     

    █ Senior Marketing Manager – Retention, AOL Broadband Group

     

    █ Marketing Manager – Retention and Growth, Telstra Corporation

     

    █ Head of Marketing Communications – Dennis Publishing

  • Achievements

    Helped the giffgaff community achieve a customer service rate of answering queries in 90 seconds 24/7; and over the first 3 years, implemented a customer-generated idea every 3 days on average.

  • Experience

    20 years of experience in marketing and customer service

  • Facts

    Used to volunteer at his local library, he loves swimming, all his plants at the office die, he owns a red Tintin rocket

  • Preferred cocktail

    Standing on Giants Negroni – 1 part Earl Grey Gin, 1 part Lemon Gin, 2 parts Vermouth Rosso, 2 parts Campari

     

  • Hates

    …it when we describe what we do as “a revolution”

     

    Sorry Comrade Robbie

     

     

  • Video

    Do Lectures with Robbie Hearn – Respect and Connect

  • Vincent Boon

    Vincent Boon
  • Founder

    Standing on Giants community guru and insightful philosopher – our Mr Methodology

  • Chief of Community giffgaff

    As part of the start-up team, he headed giffgaff’s innovative approach to CRM & its community strategy

     

     

  • Past life

    █ Community Team Leader – Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

     

    █ Community Coordinator – Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

     

    █ Open Beta Coordinator – Eidos

     

  • Awards

    Awards for communities run on his methodology and for his community work:

     

    █ Winner of Best Social Customer Experience award

     

    █ Winner of Sociagility Talent, Community Manager of the Year

     

    █ SuperNova Awards Winner – Constellation Research “…celebrating explorers, pioneers, and disruptive tech heroes who successfully put new technologies to work.”

     

    █ Winner of the Forrester Groundswell award

     

    █ Winner of the Most Innovative Community award

  • Loves

    American muscle cars, motor racing, poker and console games

  • Video

    Vincent Boon at RBForum Paris 2015: Community Platform

  • Education

    Holds a BA in Interaction Design and an MA in Games

  • Favourite quote

    “We all need to stop being so precious about our brand. Stop freaking out when customers moan and complain, or when you don’t get a hundred percent positive response to a tweet or campaign. An organisation is made up of human beings, so we need to act with humanity. Be open, honest, authentic and vulnerable, and your audience will open up too. Constructively so.”

  • Facts

    He got three hole-in-ones at the company crazy golf tournament (and is still smug about it)

     

MEET THE TEAM BEHIND STANDING ON GIANTS

Standing on Giants isn’t just a company, we’re a group of twenty fiveish friends who are deeply passionate about this community thing and what it can do to change people’s lives and experiences. We come from a wide range of backgrounds, hail from nine countries, and speak thirteen languages. We’re committed to supporting each other and our clients to create amazing and successful brand owned communities.

 

BTW We’re growing rapidly so if you’re looking for a new role check out our latest jobs on Linkedin 

Meet some of us (in no particular order):

Gabriel Fraga

Chief of Communities - Early Life

Client facing, ex-journalist, kung-fu king, pragmatist, integrator, relationship and community builder

Katy Gambino

Commercial Director

Clear-minded, practical, grounded and obsessed with clients’ needs, with only a hint of craziness

Sergi Mas

Community Manager

Lover of life, the sea, Star Wars, and cinema, adds his journalistic touch to the community

Elizabeth Hipkins

Community Manager

Our cultured outdoorsy art lover – here to raise the tone and bring a healthy splash of positivity

Martin O'Brien

Community Manager

In-house ninja, source of chilled calm, Game of Thrones specialist, and champion gamer

Dimitri Leontidis

Community Manager

A perfect balance of structure and passion, an enthusiastic organizer of fun stuff

Aleksandra Lippke

Platform Coordinator

Writer of amazing release notes, Game of Thrones fan and proud wearer of the Standing on Giants hoodie

Quincy van Raamsdonk

Community Coordinator

Calm, chilled football lover, fan of seaside rock and endless bowls of cereals

Bob Cook

Marketing Manager

Our man in black, strategist, marketer, cocktail lover, relentless morale and brand builder

Robbie Hearn

Founder

Calm, rational, uniting, out-of-the-box thinker, swimmer and passionate consumer experience advocate

Aurelien Poma

Tech Director

Tech platform champion with a community manager heart and a love of MMORPG gaming

Mercedes Serradilla

Head of Community

OMG! OMG! OMG! Years of community management experience spiced with a real passion for life

Chris Almond

Platform Delivery Manager

Organised tech god with a hex-coded mind and a surprisingly wide range of circus skills

Tobias Bignell

Head of Community

Gamer and movie fanatic with a love of the utilities and telecoms fields

Marjo Hallapera

Community Manager

Colourful, art-deco tattooed, cat lover, super gamer and community darling

Jim Esposito

Community Manager

Our own annoyingly handsome, ex-rockstar with a poet’s soul and a community manager’s heart

Carla Arend

Chief of Communities - In Life/ Head of Community

Enthusiastic go-to champion woman for community management, super spreadsheets, and problem solving

Gabriela Chandler

Gabriela Chandler

Summertime socialite, source of expertise on user engagement, and undisputed queen of chocolate-treat making

Paulina Surażyńska

Platform Developer

All-round tech superstar, web wizard, lover of fresh air and camping

Vincent Boon

Founder

Thinker, philosopher, social animal, petrol-head and fiery brand owned community guru

Kirstie Read

Community Manager

Multilingual polyglot, cake maker, the magical educator of the team and her community

PS We’ve got beer and cider on tap and unlimited coffee – and we’re always up for a drink. So if you feel like popping round, either to see if we can help your business or to chat about communities (we always love to hear from other community managers) visit contact us!

LET’S CUT THE BS – THESE ARE OUR VALUES

Standing on Giants is genuinely different – we’re not a corporate focused on money and job security, and we’re not here to be a trendy, pointless start-up. If you’re passionate about your customers, about making a real change in consumer experience, and brave enough to consider a new approach, you’ll get what we do and understand exactly why we do it.

We’re here to make a real difference to companies and consumers. For too long, we’ve heard the mantra of companies claiming they are customer-centric and customer-experience-driven companies. But it always rang hollow with us because in reality there was no way for these companies to directly connect with their customers. Then, a few years ago, our founders, Robbie Hearn and Vincent Boon, became part of the start-up team at giffgaff – a disruptive telecoms company. Robbie and Vincent were the driving force behind giffgaff’s hugely successful community-driven model. The brand owned communities model Robbie and Vincent developed to put customers at the very heart of the business is now at the core of Standing on Giants and our work with clients to create genuine customer-centric businesses.

CORE VALUES

 

Standing on Giants is not a technology-driven company, it is a people-driven company

 

We believe in unleashing the potential of our clients, our team members, and of everyone who participates in communities

 

We only work with clients who genuinely care about their customers, and about creating amazing consumer experiences and building successful communities

 

We do not sell, we take the time to listen to our clients and to understand their business in depth

 

We will not work on communities unless we believe that they can be successful and contribute to the long-term success of our clients

 

We are honest and transparent with all we deal with and the way we work. And so we share our knowledge and understanding openly

 

We treat all our clients and team members as partners, ensuring that they are always supported and connected to the company by clear communication, and that everyone is accountable

 

Our communities are positive places, embracing diversity and contributing to the common good. They are places where members are not exploited but are given the chance to grow and enjoy fulfilment. They will positively improve the consumer experience for all

 

Signed

&      

Robbie Hearn & Vincent Boon

 

 

YOU'VE MET US - LET'S WORK TOGETHER

Do we sound like the kind of people you want as your partners? If so let’s change the way you relate to  your customers

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