Worked in: London, New York, Hong Kong.
Name an innovative idea or business solution for which you are most proud? I am tremendously proud about my long involvement with the adidas brand during so exciting a time in the company’s marketing development. I joined Carat International in London in 2000 to head the global adidas account, and worked on their worldwide media strategy for the launch of “Impossible Is Nothing” in 2004. It was a stake in the ground for the adidas brand global, and set the benchmark for all subsequent campaigns. It also initiated a period of substantial growth for the company.
I moved to Carat Asia Pacific in 2005 to head all regional APAC accounts for Carat, and saw through the adidas Asia Pacific 2006 World Cup communication strategy.
It was exhilarating to see adidas dominate the football category during this highly competitive period. We challenged ourselves to help retain the adidas position as the #1 football brand in the region in terms of brand perception and sales. And fortunately we have done so.
Why do people see you as an innovator? I have worked at the global, regional and local level, and the combination of this experience gives me a unique perspective for global brands. Today, brand strategies must be based on sales-driven initiatives, and I am happy creating in that realm. No matter how many different brands one has worked across, being an innovator means always having the curiosity to learn more — about new strategies and new tools to solve challenges.
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today: Innovation is about delivering marketing solutions to seemingly impossible business issues. The future is about precision and being consumer-centric and digitally ahead, As Carat and sister company Synovate continue to invest in the better understanding of consumer behavior, coupled with the integration of full service digital agency, wwwins, into our Hong Kong offering, we are able to execute relevant and innovative media ideas to lead our clients into the future’.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying thinking to international projects?Any product means different things to different people in different markets, regardless of how uniform we consider our multinational branding. It is continues to be challenging to form a single consumer insight that can be truly applied globally.
How do you characterize innovation in the work you do? Innovation today is crucial to all aspects of marketing thinking. The media landscape in particular is constantly evolving, so there is no time to stand still. We have to keep innovating or die!