Worked in: The UK, Scotland, Abu-Dhabi, New York
Name an innovative idea or business solution for which
you are most proud. Planning and executing the launch of The Brand Union’s office in Abu Dhabi is one of Toby’s proudest moments. His team achieved this at an incredibly interesting point in time to become the first global branding
consultancy with a dedicated presence in this key Middle Eastern market.
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy
today? Innovation can be perceived in many different ways but for The Brand Union’s business, the ambition is nothing short of helping its clients redefine their understanding and appreciation of the value of ‘brand’ in a business context,
specifically in direct relation to corporate strategy.
Brand strategy and corporate strategy, working hand in hand, are incredibly powerful in creating and delivering long-term brand value. Toby is a master at
inspiring The Brand Union team to further this notion through the development of programs that echo and prove its value.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? You might think it would be cultural differences presenting obstacles but, according to Toby, they are rarely insurmountable when you have an open mind and build clarity with clients around shared ambitions and goals. What has really furthered the need for innovation in international work is the evolution of the media landscape. It has made the world much smaller, and as a result brands in their own right can and need to become more culturally relevant. The established communications channels are changing—clients who rely on traditional media, planning and
execution are falling behind.
Any other interesting aspects to your international background? Besides his work with opening new offices in strategic locations like the Middle East, Toby's international background has focused on developing and managing high level client relationships, across the UK , Europe
and the USA .
Before joining The Brand Union, Toby led the start-up of US operations for
Marque Creative, creating a $5million+ business from scratch inside 18 months. Toby has also managed the business development and client services functions at Navyblue Group, one of the UK’s top independent communications agencies. In both positions he has worked with international clients to understand, develop and communicate their brands and offers more effectively.
Toby has also created and implemented new strategies for business acquisition and retention, and for strategic commercial development. He has led branding projects for clients including the Royal Bank of Scotland , The Chicago Spire, the London 2012 Olympic bid team, RMJM International Architects, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Emaar, Mubadala, The
Macallan and Remy Cointreau.
Any internationalist trivia about yourself? Toby has lived in 4 countries on 3 continents in the last 5 years, and he's absorbed as much as he can from each of them: culturally, socially and historically. For him, it’s empowering to be able to draw references from other cultures and observe the
way communications are evolving in different markets. He tries to bring as broad a viewpoint as possible to anything he does for clients, wherever in the world they may be.