The headline that lured me in to a career in brand strategy.
Rounds of essay writing and interviews later, I had a place on WPP’s prestigious Fellowship Program. After training in market research at Millward Brown, advertising planning at JWT and G2, I found my happy place - Brand Strategist at Landor – the world’s preeminent brand consultancy firm.
Who was I to advise a huge multinational on their brand strategy when I’d only been working on a handful of brands over a few years? What gave me the credibility to talk to a luxury tequila brand about their brand strategy one month, then a global pharmaceutical company the next? What always frustrated me was that I felt limited by my experience, and what I wanted was to talk with conviction about was the whole world of brand ideas out there - not only the industries I’d worked on.
This bugged me so much that when I made the decision to set up my own consultancy, one of the first things I did was create my own study of the world’s most valuable brands. I looked at the brands that appeared in the 3 most respected brand valuation studies and studied their brand strategies. I’ve mapped all of their ideas into different categories and continually update my research.
For the past 10 years, I've worked as an independent brand strategist - still on large global clients - but on my own terms. With every project I've worked on I've got better at losing the brand jargon of my past and getting to brand solutions that the business really gets. That engages everyone who works within the company, not just the marketing team. That Boards use to talk to shareholders as much as Heads of Departments use to screen potential new recruits.
Because brand strategy isn’t just for ‘marketing people’. Brand strategy doesn’t just help you sort out your logos, colours, copywriting and imagery (although it is critical for those).
"I have known Sarah for almost 10 years and we have worked together on three different projects. For every single one I must say her work was transformational. Sarah’s ability to guide and advise so competently throughout the process is phenomenal. The positive impact and effect the implementation of her work has had on the businesses is huge. On a very human scale Sarah is also simply a pleasure to work with. For me that counts hugely."
Because I want to teach you all I know. I want to help you accelerate the growth of your business and your career, by giving you absolute clarity and confidence on how to do brand strategy. You can get started in 3 ways.
I love that you're a person who cares about the details. We're going to get along great.
I have so many fantastic stats to share with you on my course about the impact of brand strategy. If you thought brand strategy was just about getting your logo to look better then think again. Stats like these can also really help you get buy-in from the rest of the business. Numbers make people take note. So here's a few that I referenced above.
Jim Stengel’s GROW study, a 10-year growth study of 50,000 brands revealed that the brands driven by a sense of purpose and ideals – which is part of what we will explore together in my Brand Strategy Academy course - collectively outperformed the S&P 500 by almost 400% and grew 3 times faster than their competition.
In a 2015 HBR study, 80% of the 474 executives surveyed said that organizations with shared purpose command greater customer loyalty. In the same study, 89% said organization with a shared purpose will have greater employee satisfaction. And 84% agreed that business transformation efforts will have greater success if integrated with purpose.
A pwc study showed that 80% of consumers prefer to buy goods and services from companies that stand for a shared purpose that reflects their personal values and beliefs.
In a pwc study of 1500 employees and 500 business leaders across 39 industries, 83% of employees said having a sense of purpose gives them meaning in their day-to-day work.