I started out in retail and owned my first store at the age of 18, before selling it at the age of 20. I transferred all the knowledge I gained from my first business to my second one, co-owning footwear brand Stride, and proceeded to learn on the job about the world of product, manufacturing and distribution. We grew seven global distribution channels in three years and I sold the business on to Caterpillar, age 24.
With no formal training in branding, marketing or PR I then set up Surgery, learning once again on the job, to launch a marketing and communications agency that now works with businesses in the build, renovate or refresh stage of their brand-building cycle.
My passion has shifted over the years; I began looking to work with the new generation of business leaders in a ‘one-to-many’ environment rather than one-to-one. I wanted to set up an education system that provides a playful environment for people to learn, safely make their mistakes, and ultimately grow their business. This enables people to take their business to a place that they have dreamed of, but hitherto had not had the tools, steps or know-how to reach.
I came to realise that there are many people in the market who specialise in just one area of building a brand, yet few have the first-hand knowledge of being able to go across multiple channels and connect them all together.
Marketing, in particular, is only part of the solution when it comes to making a brand famous. Either learning or bolstering your marketing knowledge with other key areas of branding – such as brand-positioning, product-vision planning, lean testing of manufacturing and distribution channels to market – gives more clarity to how/why to build marketing campaigns to create significant spikes for the brand. This helps you get straight to the marketing point by understanding better all the areas of the business.
Last month, The School of Brand Fame opened its doors, with the aim of providing on-hand support to turn that ‘how to’ process into a reality, with tried-and-tested tools to help brands become famous in their sector, take away the mystery of how to market their business more effectively, and create conversations to get everyone talking, sharing and liking the brand to enable it to stand out in the crowded market.