How does an Indian company make the leap from a homegrown, national entity to an internationally recognised player? This was the question (and challenge) posed to us by Indian business leaders at our CII/IBF breakfast workshop on Tuesday 18 February.
When an entity (whether that be a place, an organisation, even a person) is something of a mystery it’s a natural human reflex to resort to basic visual or sensory cues – colours, smells, images, style – to interpret and make sense of what we’re seeing. The result is a string of unhelpful, clichéd adjectives that don’t necessarily reflect reality but bring us a degree of relief for being able to put that ‘mystery’ to rest.
In the same way, when we think of India a specific image is conjured up informed by a narrow slice of content that is peddled out on the cultural, media roundabout. At best - colour, Bollywood and spice. At worst - chaos, poverty and corruption. Whether true or not, they’re either conventional or misinformed answers. And with little to counter these perceptions, they become unquestioned truths – dangerous and superficial. And it’s not just India. From Taiwan to Poland, many markets find it difficult to combat the raised eyebrows provoked by the ‘Made in [place]’ tag.
So how do you begin to unravel these perceptions and assert a new and more accurate reality? Historically, the first global ‘national champion’ brands from a country often bring their country’s baggage with them. But over time, they can leverage perceived strengths about their country, and also redefine how their country is perceived. For example, Sony and Toyota built their global brands in the shadow of perceptions that Japan was a producer of cheap, copycat goods that could only compete on price. As the two companies went upmarket they redefined themselves, and Japan, as benchmarks for engineering excellence and innovation.
Such brands nudge and push perceptions but also do something even more powerful. They stand for something. They rise above the clichés, the stereotypes, the prejudices and the cynics to answer global needs that they are uniquely placed to address. They are valuable and recognised because they play a significant role and enrich the lives of customers and our culture, society and systems.
For example, Toyota brought reliability, design and safety to an industry lauded over by American GM muscle. More recently it has done it again by pioneering sustainable automotive innovation. Similarly, HTC shifted perceptions of China’s ability to design and make intuitive, smart, mobile products. The HTC Desire was one of the first serious contenders against Apple and, amongst most die-hard techies that know their stuff, the preferred option. Other examples: Samsung from Korea, Uniqlo from Japan, even the likes of TweetDeck and Song Kick have arguably shifted perceptions of Great Britain and put the silicon roundabout on the map.
However, the hitch here is that these are all consumer-facing brands – higher profile and innately consumer-centric. Their value, innovation and contribution are far more visible. But it’s not impossible – GE’s Eco-imagination has captured the hearts of consumers and business customers alike.
Back to India. It’s multilayered, multi-faceted, multi-everything. So, what are the truths about India that Indian companies can champion and represent? What is it about their Indian origins that make them uniquely placed to play a particular role in the world? Here are some thoughts.
Firstly, The Indian market is dominated by B2B – their main international exports are machinery, chemicals, outsourcing services, transportation equipment, building materials, and pharmaceuticals. Critical, systemic products and services that are play a significant role in industries, societies, and economies.
Secondly, India is a market where need is not only great it is overwhelming. As such, there is an innate social consciousness that runs deep in Indian businesses. For example, Dr. Reddy’s – an Indian pharmaceutical company – was created to bring generic drugs to the Indian market at a fraction of the cost. Today, they are at the forefront of generic drugs and biosimilar innovation that few can keep up with. Fuelled by need they have designed an approach to pharmaceutical creation and manufacturing that makes social and commercial sense.
Thirdly, the frugal movement – Jugaad – has gone from being a technique used my Indians everywhere to improvise solutions in the face of glaring necessity, to a lean, management technique adopted increasingly by Western companies. The likes of Infosys and Wipro have built their entire offer around designing disruptive outsourcing solutions so you can literally buy and insert Indian ‘jugaad’ processes into your own company.
That’s just a starter for ten. There is much that an Indian company can leverage about their origins to be a respected, valued and loved brand both at home and abroad. The key point is that Indian companies don’t need to borrow, steal or imitate the paths of other companies who have successfully internationalised. They can adapt, adopt, advance and forge their own path.
And it won’t be long until ‘Made in India’ – conceived, crafted, engineered, and implemented – will quicken pulses rather than raise eyebrows.
Yelena Ford is a Lead Strategist in Wolff Olins London.
Overview The resource manager is a pivotal role within a business which prides itself on great team planning to deliver game changing work for our clients. The resource manager’s job is to help the leadership team plan resourcing of pitches, new business and existing business by charting and managing process of internal resourcing across all disciplines (account management, design and strategy). This role also works proactively with the finance team in monitoring utilization and the commercial aspects of resourcing and planning.
–Provide companywide resource management for all new business, internal and billable work. –Clear perspective on all day-to-day resource and utilization across all billable disciplines. –Contact point for all casting for client projects and new business. –Ensure we have the right skill sets and availability for ongoing day-to-day project needs across all resources. –Identify pressure points and business priorities while keeping the wheels turning.
Characteristics and experience You have previously been in a similar role, or you have been a studio manager. This role is suited to someone who thrives on being busy, flexible, and is comfortable with the unknown. You will need to be flexible, a great listener, able to plate-spin, be positive, responsive, used to a reactive workload, and a true collaborator.
Does this sound like you? We want to meet candidates who are looking for a great opportunity to be the heartbeat of Wolff Olins, who share interest in people’s development, who wants to make it a great place to work for everyone, and who wants to enjoy the ride. Wolff Olins is a place to learn and be challenged. It’s a diverse and ambitious workplace with an outstanding client roster.
If this sounds like you, please send your resume to PeopleNewYork@wolffolins.com with the subject line “Resource Manager”. Be sure to include resume and anticipated salary range.
Several weeks ago the Economist ran an article profiling modern Chinese consumers. The commentary was largely optimistic, suggesting that savvy, middle class Chinese could be the fuel our global economy desperately needs. Already, Chinese private consumption makes up roughly 8% of the world total. The article also stated that China is now “one of the world’s most sophisticated consumer markets, heavily skewed towards expensive goods.”
This piqued my interest. Before I joined the Wolff Olins team in New York, I was a student of modern Chinese history and then a Fulbright Scholar in Tianjin in 2012. My research focused on comparing consumption of Western goods in early 20th century China with what’s happening today. The bottom line is that, despite drastic changes, a lot has stayed the same.
So when I read the Economist briefing, I naturally thought about past patterns of consumption. The article claimed that today’s Chinese shoppers are among the world’s most fickle when it comes to brands – a result of the radical developments of the recent decades.
In reality, radical economic and social change has been a mainstay in Chinese society since before the fall of the last dynasty in 1911. Chinese consumers have weathered a lot. They’re experts at evaluating products, services, and brands. Over a century ago the Consulate General at Amoy put it eloquently when he said, “it is doubtful if there is another people on earth as good judges of value as the Chinese.”
Here at Wolff Olins we think of brand as something that communicates value. Not merely a logo or ad campaign, a good brand hits the sweet spot between what’s needed in the world and the unique things a company can offer; in effect, a brand should be “game changing.”
In China, the game has changed many times over the past hundred years. If middle-class Chinese are some of today’s most sophisticated consumers, as the articled stated, then they surely deserve sophisticated brands.
Interestingly, the cover page of the same week’s Economist had a rather dismal title of, “China loses its allure: why life is getting harder for foreign companies.” I, however, see more opportunities than setbacks for brand.
Digital has opened up new landscapes – China is the world’s biggest e-commerce market and also the largest market for smartphones. Chinese are actively engaged online: they not only consume content but create it, too. They are also not shy to talk about brands they like or trends they foresee. Consumerism is such a vital component of life in modern China that many see benefits in ‘doing it right.’
If we think of brand as real value we put out into the world, why not listen to and facilitate these online discussions? At one point the article noted that, “multinationals are having to work harder to prove their worth – and are having to defend their brands on China’s wild social media.” In China there’s an understandable trust deficit. After all, so much of the political system remains opaque. But good brands can confront the challenge of online vetting by demonstrating transparency and accountability – two things that the world needs.
Then there’s the challenge with localization. Many brands to date have failed to understand and activate Chinese consumption habits. Home Depot overestimated the number of DIY home decorators and overlooked the fact that most Chinese, even the affluent middle-class, tend to live in compact apartments. Taco Bell closed its China stores in 2008 when it realized that tacos just don’t satisfy the Chinese palate.
The constraints of the market only go so far, however, and there is definitely potential for success. Starbucks accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of branding a coffee house for consumers who have an innate distaste for coffee. Häagen-Dazs did the same by crafting a cozy, romantic ambiance at its retail stores (in China, the ice cream is secondary). But they didn’t stop there: they continue to innovate with new flavors like Green Tea Red Bean Frappuccino and chocolate ice cream “hot pot” to attract larger groups.
The important thing is that China must be a priority in order for brands to be successful. It takes time and attention to make waves in a market so vast and competitive.
Fortunately, the “fickle sophisticates” are demanding something beyond what’s already out there. While creating brands like Starbucks and Häagen-Dazs is certainly no easy process, it’s much simpler when the needs of consumers are out in the open, voluntarily posted online, and clearly visible from their lifestyle habits.
It interested me that the article ended with a prophecy that, “future consumer markets everywhere are going to look more Chinese.” Globalization and Internet access will surely cause budding consumers to enter the market with higher expectations. Like the Chinese, they will want to interact with advanced, state-of-the-art brands that align with their needs and lifestyles.
New York already owns the phrase, “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” but it increasingly seems as if China will be the new brand workshop for the world. There, global companies will be able to refine the art of brand-making for a sophisticated and dynamic market. With a middle class roughly the size of the entire U.S. population, I can hardly think of a better place to start.
Mark Bosse is an Associate Strategist at Wolff Olins NY.
For me the world ‘mobile’ once meant a Nokia 1100 on Orange Pay As You Go.
Now, in a post PC, post Edward Snowden, nearly post Facebook world, mobile is a state of being. It describes the freedom and access technology gives us, less the physical object that helps us do it.
‘New mobile’ is a key, a passport, a way to pay, a way to measure health, even a way to weaken governments. We expect on demand in our hand, all wrapped up in a Wi-Fi enabled, retina screened, sleek rectangle of gorgeousness.
The PAYG N1100 with its nightclub floor repellent casing, small torch for locating 3am keyholes and ability to send a text on half a bar has been surpassed by progress.
Yet to a 26 year old me it made a connection not even 4G can reach, by facilitating my life in a humble and human way.
The telco industry could still learn a lot from that.
The ‘new mobile’ explosion has been a pat on the back and a punch in the guts for telecoms industry.
That’s because their consumers no longer simply consume. They’re active, sceptical, creative and most of all smart. They enjoy getting around the system. They use their social networks combined with crowd sourced knowledge to come up with their own way of dealing with problems.
The power in the relationship with Joe Schmo has shifted. Ultimately telcos now find themselves under the thumb of the consumer in more ways than one.
The whole industry from networks to handset manufacturers now have to deliver more innovative, personalised and flexible customer experiences instead of just cold hard tech.
They have to connect to people’s heads, hearts and souls. Now, trust is as critical a currency as cash.
Have you noticed how the queues for digital passports are still much shorter than the paper ones or how so few people use e- tickets at the cinema. That’s as much down to a lack of trust as a lack of bandwidth.
The social media boom fanned the flames of mistrust with its approach to data sharing and transparency.
On one hand people are beginning to realize they have already given away billions of dollars worth of information through their mobile and are likely to become more, not less, cautious. Whilst, on the other, kids just don’t care. In fact they are playing the system becoming YouTube millionaires.
Both generations are trading in trust, one just happens to be in hock.
As we move toward a world of converged tech, trust will matter even more. Quadplay means we are starting to invite fewer brands into our lives. We will be pickier and trusted relationships are going to challenge excepted consideration factors like price. Look at Netflix, Spotify and Skype - people are more than willing to pay for premium extras in return for more control.
So perhaps the way forward could be to learn some lessons from that trustworthy N1100…
It’s telling that Spike Jonzes new film ‘Her’ feels more like the near future than Minority Report. Perhaps its because Scarlett Johansson’s husky voiced OS Samantha responds to the fact that humans are seriously hard to measure and predict.
Accepting that life is quite frankly unpredictable is an interesting way to address the future of mobile.
The truth is the strength of my tiny N1100 wasn’t its tech (even then it was outdated) it was that it propped up my weaknesses - from the tipsiness it helped me through to the fact I lived in a crappy mobile reception area.
At the moment the mobile industry’s response to difficult, real human behavior is to maintain a chilly distance.
Look at the trolling debate, or the way when people pass away their Facebook life just hangs there like an unfinished diary entry. Or kids running up massive credit card debts on Tiny Monsters.
The telco industry just doesn’t compute when life gets real.
Perhaps ultimately mobiles next step will not just be creating more connections, adding more gigabytes or increasing speed. But actually doing less at richer human level. Enhancing the quality experience of connection by facilitating real human presence.
There are tentative steps in this direction with things like Amazon Mayday or Virgin’s parental control features.
Apple’s do not disturb function or Wolff Olins very own Higby go even further by temporarily disconnecting humans from tech to encourage a better connection with fellow humans. Using the off button wisely so mobile technology can help us to engage beyond the screen.
There’s a possibility that the future of mobile isn’t about being ‘always on’ but being ‘on point’ at the right time.
The discreet, trustworthy reliable helper in our increasingly busy lives - just like my PAYG N1100.
Chris Moody is Principal and Creative Director at Wolff Olins London.
Once the critics lose interest in the comments section, the brand video stops getting hits and the all-agency briefings come to an end – this is when the challenging realities of getting a brand into the world begin.
Whether a charity, telco or banking institution, the following five post-launch considerations and actions can help make your new brand stick (and hopefully prosper).
1. Alignment between brand and propositions
No new news on this one, but if the business isn’t organised to deal with a new brand, the road from here on in gets bumpy.
A big win is getting the propositions and brand teams in the same room to figure out if the stuff in the pipeline can deliver against the ambition. If the brand is geared to engage through amazing new services and products, but your customer offers and experiences reflect the old brand, then no amount of new wallpaper is going to distract customers from spotting it.
Consider updating the briefing tools. By putting the brand ambition front and centre in the briefs, planners and proposition mangers have tangible ways to judge new products, services and offers.
2. Consistency of quality
A common challenge when launching a new brand (and in fact, maintaining momentum with an older one) is ensuring the content is right. The natural inclination is to make sure the visual bits are all in the right places, and so they should be, but this won’t make the brand connect with customers.
Invite staff from across the business to brand surgeries to teach them the role of the new brand. Help them understand how the brand must engage, what sort of offers it must create and why this brand is different from the old one. With this sense of understanding and empowerment, they can live the brand and ultimately drive up quality throughout the business.
3. Shift focus from visual and verbal to experience
If your new brand is focused on how it sounds and looks rather than how it feels, you’ll end up with handsome posters, but little else.
In order to create a coherent story for customers and to deliver more engaging experiences beyond typical media touch points, brands must evolve to adopt high level experience principles. These philosophies not only inform the visual, but the behavioural, across both the physical and digital estate. And when partnered with a new proposition, should create an experience that starts to shift customers perceptions of the new brand.
Once the foundations of the brand experience are defined, workshop with product, technology, service and operational teams to develop and flex these principles, ensuring any channel specific challenges are considered. Ultimately it is these teams that create and deliver the experience, and engaging them in the process can be commercially smart and also personally rewarding.
4. A consistent team within all partner agencies
It’s understandable that teams change and people move on. However, brands move so fast that the quality can suffer if the new team doesn’t properly understand the ambition. Remember, people need more than to be shown the latest guidelines to ‘get it’.
It’s always a good idea to grab a coffee with the new team and speak openly and informally about targets for the brand, areas of weakness and what you need specifically from them. Everyone feels better when they know where they stand.
5. Digital doesn’t end at .com
Once the new website has launched you have to consider the role your brand plays in the broader social conversation.
It’s pretty well documented most brands aren’t great at this. The all too familiar Twitter scenario plays out something like; customer needs help, brand doesn’t answer but starts random # chat about something that happened two weeks ago, customer gets angry and tweets about rubbish company.
If you are going to enter the conversation, you must have a dedicated team readily available to engage with people. And as important as having the infrastructure in place – you need to have an opinion. If you’re giving it the c-suite acceptable chat, you’ll be found out very quickly and no one wants their Dad at the disco.
These are only five super top-line watch-outs to be aware of as you go into the post-launch phase and, as every brand is different, I’m certain there are hundreds more. If you would like to talk to us about some of the challenges you face, please get in touch, or you can critique this article in the comments section below ;)
Dan Greene is a design director at Wolff Olins London.
‘Executive education’ is a phrase I hate. Rather like ‘executive homes’, it suggests a neat, suburban world of hierarchy and aspiration: not one I want to live in. Luckily, that world is turning itself upside down – not least because of the democratising effects of online learning – into something much more anarchic. At Wolff Olins, we hosted a breakfast seminar to explore what’s happening. Two mornings ago 22 participants gathered at our London base: people from startups, big companies, retailers, universities and think tanks, a mix of enthusiasts and healthy sceptics.
We kicked things off from the learner’s point of view, and talked about the times when we learn best at work. The answer was it’s overwhelmingly informal, almost accidental. It could be my boss acting as mentor, giving me (to pick up Daniel Pink’s words) both autonomy and mastery. It could be peer to peer, particularly when I’m learning from someone with a totally different skill or background. The most powerful learning is often from making mistakes. And timing is everything: the right moment matters more than the best teacher.
We talked about why things are changing now, and explored the evolving relationship between organisation and individual. Recent Wolff Olins research on the new mainstream – today’s more powerful, more creative consumer – applies to employees too. As employees many of us are looking for a new kind of exchange with our companies: in return for time and commitment, we want a sense of purpose, and learning that goes beyond our job role, learning we can take with us to our next job, or to the rest of our lives.
Next, the breakfast participants shared some of the things they’re currently working on. Three themes emerged. First, projects where companies are giving employees new kinds of experience, like Exceed at the University of the Arts London, which gives support staff a taster of the things students learn, shifting subtly some of the power relationships inside universities. Second, the growing trend for companies like Net a Porter or The Guardian to encourage internal startups as the best route to both organisational and individual learning – learning by doing (and making mistakes). Third, projects where companies teach outsiders, like Google’s Squared Online, and the learning for jobseekers set up by Enternships, where employers give potential applicants training way before they join.
Out of this grew a lively discussion about what the new learning needs to feel like. What’s the role of online? Are new approaches helping reframe the cultural tendency to over-celebrate extroversion, articulated by Susan Cain? Does learning need to be onerous to be effective? Is there a correlation between great teaching and great learning? How far is it about metaskills, things people can take into their non-work life? Which of the five types of exchange, described in Richard Sennett’s book on cooperation, are at play between educators and learners, and employers and employees?
We finished with the beginnings of a manifesto for learning at work, which seemed to have three main tenets. First, the importance of a shared sense of purpose, as a foundation for learning, a magnetic north for people at every level in the organisation – together with a sense for each person of the progress they’re making. Second, the need to give people time and space to do things, try things, make things, maybe start up a business, to learn – as part of every company’s role in continuing people’s learning beyond formal education. Third (and this clause of the manifesto needs more work) the demand for organisations to build trust internally and externally, by being generous with, rather than protective of, their intellectual property: to spread what they know.
This doesn’t feel much like ‘executive education’, buttressing the power of managers and their mini-empires: it’s more like boundaryless learning, breaking barriers of hierarchy, silo, organisation – and that fascinating boundary between who we are as people, and the subset of ourselves that we bring to work.
Robert Jones is head of new thinking at Wolff Olins and visiting professor at The University of East Anglia.
In the spirit of rethinking learning we’ve set up a school of our own, Kitchen. Sign up to hear about classes here.
Today, approximately one billion people on this planet live without sufficient nutrition. The recent price hikes in global food markets has affected these people dramatically.
At the same time Tesco research revealed that in the first six months of 2013 Tesco UK and its customers alone wasted 30,000 tons of food - for example more than two-thirds of bagged fresh salads and almost half of all bakery goods went into landfill.
In 2050, the world will need to feed nine billion people. Addressing this imbalance becomes more urgent every year.
… There is not just one scapegoat
Root causes for this food crisis are complex and manifold and it is impossible to identify one main reason. Growing populations, changing diets, extreme weather, financial speculations, poorly developed farming techniques in developing countries, national protectionism, food waste, biofuels are some (but not all) of the contributing factors.
We need to radically change the way we think about the entire food system
To prevent the global food system from a collapse we all need to change the way we think about food throughout the entire value chain; right the way through from the production of seeds to supermarkets and consumers. Solving this challenge means changing a very complex system that involves different industries as well as every single person on the planet.
Change of this complexity and scale cannot happen through incremental improvements of the current practices, it needs to be radical. And even if this complex system cannot be changed over night, there are many points where industry and consumers can instigate a change process that will lead to a more sustainable way to feed the world in the future.
Some commentators believe that the way to fix this problem is to ask industrialised countries and consumers need to stop excessive consumption and food waste in order to lower the pressure on global food markets.
To achieve this the food industry has to find new ways to minimise waste, for example through initiatives like FareShare that re-distribute food from supermarkets to people in need. Or simply by making some types of fresh goods available only at certain times of the day.
At the same time consumers would need to use food more efficiently and rethink their expectations about ubiquitous supplies of fresh food; can we reasonably continue to expect fresh bread to be available at 11pm?
The problem with this approach is that the changes will require time to establish and even then the impact on the poorest countries is rather indirect.
Another approach would be to enable the many to become more self-sufficient.
In this approach, the world has to enable farmers in developing markets to grow more food and achieve greater self-sufficiency and food security for their countries. However, these farmers are not in the position to overturn the status quo alone.
We believe in change through partnerships
These farmers need fair partnerships across all areas of society:
Partners in their governments that set the ground rules for them to have a fair chance on the world market, from supply with land to protection through duties.
Partners in the agriculture industry who work with them for more and ecologically sustainable yields.
Partners in the food industry who treat farmers as long-term partners and sell food for a price that allows for fair conditions throughout the whole value chain.
Partners among consumers who are aware of the issues and willing to support food production in those countries. Better educated consumers will be more understanding about paying slightly higher prices if they know it helps achieve a fair deal and has a positive impact both locally and globally. This attitude has to move from an upper middle-class to the mainstream.
Partnerships through fair exchange
Wolff Olins believes that real partnerships are defined through a fair exchange of values. This means neither one-directional development aid, nor a pure transaction of products and money. For farmers this means an exchange of products, services and ideas to help them grow their yield, their business and their status in society.
This exchange does not just happen between industry and farmers, but also between farmers and farmers, between farmers and food buyers, between farmers and the entire food ecosystem.
Brands must facilitate this exchange
A fair exchange is always based on the trust of all parties involved. Brands need to play a crucial role in building up that trust, the mechanisms and rules of the exchange and so be driving forces in the development towards a more balanced world of food.
We help our clients to identify relevant partners in the ecosystem and define the exchange of values that is beneficial for all parties. This approach leads to fruitful long-term relationships of brands with their partners and is the basis for sustainable growth.
If you are up for change in the world of food, just get in touch.
Stefan Emrich is a senior strategist at Wolff Olins London.
Email scams. Oil production. Political corruption. Danger.
When people think of Nigeria this is often what comes to mind.
For me, it makes me think of people. My parents who emigrated from the Philippines to work in Kano during the ‘80s, my high school guidance counsellor Mr. Labi in Seattle who helped me get into uni, my friend Wunmi who is starting up her own home design company for Africa.
Nigeria and I have a special relationship. I was born there almost 29 years ago, but I only spent a year there before moving over to the States.
Nigeria is a country that is under the radar - highly misunderstood by the Western world. When I asked my friend for travel tips on Lagos, he said, “I wish I could say that it’s awesome you’re going, but it’s the country that I’ve felt the most unsafe in.”
The challenge is in part what attracts - the opportunity to explore a place people know very little about.
I’m particularly curious to know how entrepreneurs are building businesses in a country not known for innovation. I’m interested in understanding how people are solving problems despite the political, social and economic barriers. I’m keen to understand how innovation can flourish in unexpected places.
Thanks to the Wolff Olins Travel Grant, I’ll be returning to my birth country after nearly 30 years.
For ten days in February, I’ll be learning, teaching and co-creating in Lagos. My main purpose is to learn as much as I can from the entrepreneurs, innovators and change makers in the city. Since one of the best ways to learn is to teach, I’ll be partnering with social innovation centers ccHub and Fate Foundation to teach entrepreneurs about the power of brand to drive business. I’ll also be collaborating with friends at Fora, a startup focused on making higher education content more affordable to young Africans.
My hope is to paint a more intimate and nuanced picture of what’s happening on the ground in Nigeria.
Look out for video and photo updates on this blog.
Melissa Andrada (@themelissard) heads up our new venture Kitchen, a school for ambitious leaders who want to build businesses that change the world.
OPPORTUNITY Our Director of New Business will report directly into the US Head of Business Development and will be based in our San Francisco office. This role will be at the forefront of generating discussions and keeping top-of-mind with key new business leads with a goal of quickly qualifying the right opportunities and mobilizing internal resources to develop pitch proposals and presentations.
You will work alongside the Head of New Business to grow new relationships from a variety of sources (direct outreach, networking, Omnicom, conferences, press, PR partner, search consultants…) to achieve the following goals: - Target new prospects for Wolff Olins across a range of prioritized sectors and categories with a focus on identifying clients with significant long-term revenue potential - Create a short, medium and long-term pipeline of potential clients with the right profile
Specifically, he/she will be expected to: - Work with the Head of New Business to set the overall business development strategy and initiate the pursuit of selected companies - Maintain responsibility for several ‘vertical categories’ to develop a knowledge base and broad networks of relationships in key industry segments - Survey the market and identify opportunities across all practice areas (brand strategy, expression, innovation)
IDEAL CANDIDATE PROFILE An aggressive go-getter with an entrepreneurial spirit and a relentless focus on targeting new opportunities and winning new business. A ‘hands on’ individual with a high degree of initiative and dynamism.
- Experienced business developer with a minimum of 7 years experience in successive business development roles - Proven track record of establishing and quickly building new client relationships in the brand, marketing, and innovation consulting arena - Natural networker with a deep Rolodex of local senior contacts to bring to the table from Day One. The ideal candidate will already have relationships with senior brand clients - Strong network of relationships in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley business community as evidenced by involvement in professional networking associations, attendance at key events and conferences, etc.
COMPENSATION TBD, Package to include base, bonus and benefits