Buro CEO Nick Smith on ‘Burolution’, and the future of Buro
We've just launched a brand new look for Buro. How do you feel about that?
I feel fantastic about it. This is the first part of an exciting year ahead for Buro. We're a global digital destination and we've grown our presence to 11 countries so the new look is to symbolise a more global personality for our brand. I think it's in line with what a lot of other luxury brands are doing too—it's more modern, sophisticated and still very accessible.
Can you please tell us what working on our brand evolution the past few months was like?
Having been an editor, I love the creative process, so working with our Creative Director, Patrick Waugh, on the new Buro wordmark and dot design, plus a cleaner approach to our content delivery, was pure joy. There's obviously a bit of nervousness when you present something new to shareholders and our global network—you have to be open to a lot of feedback. What was fantastic is that there was pretty much unanimous support for change and love for our new look. We made sure we engaged our teams around the world, and what I love is that in this process we've all become much closer as a company and group, which sets us up for a more successful and innovative future as a digital publisher.
What were your initial thoughts on Buro, and how has that changed since becoming CEO?
My initial thoughts have not changed. I saw that we had so much more opportunity to expand as a premium digital publisher across the world, invest more in our brand through innovation and bring on board the best talent to deliver that. I think we're doing that. Our new look is the starting point. You can expect to hear and see a whole lot more from Buro in the next 12 months.
Can you give our readers a teaser on what to expect from Buro in the next year?
It starts with the evolution of the Buro brand and identity, which we've unveiled today.
Second is an investment in our tech platform, which we will be rolling out in the first quarter of next year. It's important for us to not only have a new identity at the front of the brand, but we also want to be leading the world in terms of digital publishing with our back end. We've got an incredible tech team within Moscow, who are working hand in hand with our digital director Matt Jones, to develop something quite special for our advertisers.
The third part of the 12-month plan is the launch of our flagship site in the UK with Buro247.com. That will become the anchor for our network, the benefits of which will flow onto our existing countries.
Lastly, is to open in new territories. While we are supporting our existing partners, we are also forming some new partners within our current network, in countries such as Mexico and Australia. Here in the UK, we will have our own business, but we are looking for new publishing partners around the world, for example in Latin America and Western Europe.
What is the future of Buro in one word?
The Moscow team came up with the word Burolution; I thought that was quite good.
Buro editors from around the globe at the recent Paris Fashion Week:
You moved to London from Australia in April 2018. What has been the biggest lifestyle change for you?
I think the biggest thing has been more travel. In the last two weeks I've been to Lisbon, Paris, Milan and Moscow, engaging with our international teams and advertisers. It's very exciting to get out and promote the brand around the world. I've had to become very good at packing a suitcase.
Favourite places to eat, shop, and drink in London?
I live in Marylebone which is just beautiful. There is my favourite Greek restaurant Opso there which everyone should try. It's a stone's throw from Selfridges, and for a guy, I love the ease and convenience of department store shopping. Our office is in Soho so I don't mind a bit of retail therapy at Liberty or Carnaby St either. I love a martini, and the world's best can be found at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair—they are next level.
What are your favourite things to do when you're not working?
I've been on a bit of a health-kick this year, so I love to run around Hyde Park and get outdoors on the weekend, and before and after work. When I'm in a new city, I make time to do just one museum or art gallery when I'm there to get a sense of the country's culture and history.
Where's next on your travel bucket list?
Buro Kazakhstan is celebrating their 5th birthday this year and I'd love to make it there to celebrate with them—they are an incredible team.
Things to look forward to in 2019?
I can't believe it's nearly 2019! In terms of work, obviously the launch of our flagship site in the UK and the roll-out of our brand new tech platform for all our network is exciting. I'm planning to do a marathon next year, so a big life goal from a personal side is on the cards too.