Have you ever wanted a behind the scenes look at the brains behind some of the biggest brands in world. How they think? And what does branding really mean?
I was lucky enough to get the chance to catch up with Nicola Maudsley, a branding manager that has worked with some of the biggest brands in the UK to really get under the skin of what branding is all about.
How did you become a Branding Manager?
I studied Advertising at uni for three years and following that managed to get myself a job at a company that sold advertising space in newspapers and magazines as an account executive.
From there I was contacted on LinkedIn by a small branding agency that was looking for an account executive to join their team and the job appealed to the creative in me massively!
What does your job entail?
Essentially, I am responsible for ensuring that my clients are happy and my projects run on time and to budget. Each project is unique and every day is different but that’s the best bit about it!
How does your role benefit brands that come to you?
It depends entirely on the objective of each project and where the brand wants to position itself within the market. Whatever the goal, my job is to work closely with the client to help them achieve it. Sometimes it’s refreshing an existing brand to continue to be relevant in an ever changing world. Sometimes we’ll be working together to introduce an exciting new product with its own USP into a category.
Where did you gain your passion for branding?
This started well back in high school. I have always been creative and interested in human behaviour. As soon as I learnt that every piece of copy/design you see or read has a purpose and has been crafted to deliver a message, I was hooked!
What would your advice be to a new brand that’s just starting out?
Have a clear message. Know what your brand purpose is, what drives you. Ask yourself why you get out of bed in the morning beyond making money. This will form the foundation for more focused branding later down the line. #Branding #InsightTweet
What are the most common mistakes you see brands making day in day out?
Don’t try to communicate everything on your pack. Pick 3 key messages, after that it’s just visual clutter that nobody can digest. If you try to say everything to everybody, you end up saying nothing to nobody.
What are your long term goals with your role?
My goals are to continue delivering quality projects, learn something different every day, build lasting relationships with my clients and have a laugh along the way.
You have an incredibly busy role, how do you find a work life balance?
I have learnt how to ‘switch off’.
Project management is a role that could easily never end. If you don’t set boundaries for yourself you could easily be working well into the night every night. I try to prioritise everything. Then, when the end of the day roles around, if the task can wait until the following day to be completed, then it does.
It’s important to not burn out in a role that’s so fast paced and demanding.
What current brands inspire you?
The brands that are inspiring me most at the moment are the ones that are humanising themselves.
Take Burger King for example, in September they released an unexpected campaign that saw them join arms with arch rivals McDonalds in support of a Child Cancer charity. Those types of campaigns that highlight…
‘We’re just people, selling to people’Tweet
…are the kind that really catch my eye.
Finally, If you had to meet your 18 year old self now, what would you tell her?
Listen to everyone.
Start and end every day with a list. Have fun with it – nobody ever died from branding!