Ramdas from stirfryMBA.com speaks to Lulu on her journey in the brand world.
Your journey from Ogilvy to Landor and Fitch — the learnings?
I have compiled 20 of my top learnings to celebrate completing 20 years at Landor & Fitch. You can see them all on my website including all the comments for each learning from my posts on LinkedIn and Instagram.
I’d say that the one thing I have learned the most is that success does not happen over time. How you live each day is how you will live your life. You have to show up and be at it every day, consistently for a long period of time to achieve mastery in any field. Good habits practiced day in and day out matter more than anything else. Even when you are recognised as having been successful, you have to stay humble and keep learning to take yourself to the next level.
How has the concept of branding changed and evolved over time?
In short, brand is no longer just an identifier of a manufacturer or a pure “image” beautifully constructed in the minds of the audience and branding is no longer just about logos, labels and advertisements. Today, brand is the promise of an experience that the audience can expect. Branding can involve a myriad of touch points across physical, human and digital realms that contribute to delivering the promise.
ET’s Brand Equity had invited me to write on this topic a few years ago and I have elaborated on the above in an article using the metaphor of wrapped candy and how the candy has been unwrapped for brands today. (shorturl.at/bjtFU)
When the world has shrunk to a mobile screen, how does brand play a role in influencing lives?
Brands remove friction from your life. They also tap into your aspirations. In does not matter if the world has shrunk to a mobile screen or not, brands represent your anxieties and aspirations. As long as human beings still have feelings, needs, wants, hopes and dreams, brands will play an important role in influencing our lives. In fact brands have benefited hugely from being more intimately connected to consumers on their devices which have become the most valuable possessions.
What are your offerings at Landor and Fitch– who do you see as your competition?
We have a broad range of strategic brand and design offerings for brand transformation in the service of business transformation in the broad categories of brand strategy, brand expression, brand experience, cultural transformation, brand management to brand performance. In each category mentioned, we have many products and services that address key business questions that our clients have. For example, clients often ask which brands to invest in and which brands to divest. For this, we have our Portfolio Optimisation offering.
We compete with management consultancies, HR consultancies, digital design agencies, advertising agencies, brand consultancies and of course, the more traditional design agencies.
What is Lulu other than a brand person?
A mom of two ambitious and energetic teenage daughters. A passionate cook. A lover of Latin music. A devourer of books, especially cookbooks. A fitness enthusiast. An evangelist for personal branding and storytelling.
What will be your advice to young aspirants while designing their career track in the branding industry?
Multi-disciplinary thinking will be one of the meta skills of the 21st century. Pick up knowledge in as many disciplines as you can. Communication (oral and written) will also be more critical than ever. Practice it every day – there is no other way to get better and be on top of your game. Read voraciously. Reflect on your reading and find time to connect the dots. Be super interested in human behaviour. Start building your network of relationships. And make time for self-care: healthy eating, good sleep, physical exertion and meditation to cleanse your mind. Cultivate your personal brand and become your own PR agency to land the best opportunities!
You could check out– (https://luluraghavan.com/20-for-21)