18 February 2021
Interview with a strategist – Tessa Hill
What made you want to be a strategist?
I started out as an account exec at a small brand design agency during a really exciting period of growth. There was a real emphasis on ensuring we were involved in all parts of a project, from brand strategy to artwork. I remember attending a client workshop one day where we went through a number of exercises to get to a creative positioning for a brand creation project. I saw then how defining a brand’s place in the world and getting to that single-minded proposition helped to shape the creative ideas and give the brand meaning beyond pack. My degree was completely unrelated to brand design or marketing, and I think everything just started to click from there. I knew that becoming a brand strategist would allow me to be more creative, and quite egotistically, I quite like being involved and having a say at such an early and critical stage in a brand’s creation or evolution!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Is it a cliché to say everywhere? I certainly spend more time than most people reading pack copy and brand websites. I love a good piece of storytelling. I also make a point of looking out for OOH advertising when I’m out and about; it’s the best place to see how a brand’s positioning comes to life. But mostly, I think being in strategy means you really have to be switched on to the bigger stuff, the wider cultural context and how that might apply to your work.
Laundry against landfill campaign - a great example of storytelling and OOH
What piece of work at Brandon are you most proud of and why?
It’s still early days for me at Brandon, but I’ve loved working on such a broad spectrum of clients already. I’ve been so impressed with the designs produced for one client in particular that I can't name at the moment! It’s so important to be respectful of a brand’s existing framework when working on a refresh project and it was a tough balance coming up with creative territories that pushed the brand while remaining true to its core positioning.
Full brand creation projects are always fun to work on too and most recently I’ve worked on one for wine. I’ve really enjoyed being involved in a bit of blue sky thinking and imagination to come up with potential worlds which the brand could play in. Plus, its wine.
What category would you love to work on that you have yet to do?
I’d love to work on something in beauty or skincare. Either on bringing a new brand to market or working on something iconic and British, like Rimmel.
Marmite - Tessa's favourite brand
Just for fun questions
Guilty pleasure: Taylor Swift – no shame
Fave movie: The Parent Trap – so nostalgic for me, plus I always wanted a twin
Fave brand in the world: Marmite – it’s delicious, distinctive and instantly recognisable, and just a random old ingredient that’s stood the test of time – I’m a lover.
You can take 3 things (not people) with you to a desert island what would they be:
- My ‘pride & joy’ Le Creuset casserole pot I got for my birthday
- Unlimited supply of Yorkshire Tea
- Hot Sauce, probably Tobasco
Is it bad they’re all food related?
People Love a bit of DWB!
The world of functional drinks, or ‘drinks with benefits’ (DWB) is a category that has seen huge development.
Meet Executive Creative Director, Steve Conchie
Steve shares the best things about his job, as well as the genius behind “who's nicked my friggin' grapes".
Meet Client Service Director – Simon Ellis
Who knew Simon is a musicals fan? But when he’s not belting out a classic, he loves nothing more than the feeling of absolutely nailing a client brief.
On pack messaging: Brand Purpose versus Distinctive Assets
Louise Kennedy on the strategies that brands implement when bringing together brand purpose and distinctive assets.
Transform Magazine: Iconicity as the route to impact
Managing Partner, Richard Taylor on the importance of iconicity in the route to impact.
The supplements brands gym-bound Brits will be turning to
Richard Taylor speaks to The Grocer about how brands need to cut through in the sports nutrition and supplements world.
Ever wondered what it's like working at Brandon?
We speak to two of our latest recruits to find out...
Design as a powerful asset in the fight for relevance
Strategist Tessa Hill on some of the key relevance challenges we’re asked to solve through the power of design.
FAB News: What do you stand for?
FAB News: Louise Kennedy on how winning the fight for relevance starts with positioning.
All I want for Christmas... is a good limited edition strategy
Strategist Tessa Hill comments on the learnings from five of our favourite Christmas limited editions.
What role does innovation play in driving brand relevance?
Strategy Director Louise Kennedy with some top tips on how to use innovation to drive brand relevance.
Immunity in 2020
Strategist Tessa Hill uncovers the design codes shaping the immunity category in 2020.
Interview with a designer - Abi Taylor
Hear from our Co-Founder on her love of design and how Brandon came to be.
Reawakening a love for brand books
Senior Designer Jay Bates on why brand guidelines shouldn't be left at the bottom of a drawer.
Five Minutes with Louise Kennedy
Louise Kennedy talks to Transform about how brands can stay relevant and how packaging can improve brand performance.
FAB News: ‘Relevance - The Holy Grail of Marketing'
FAB News: Strategy Director Louise Kennedy on what relevance actually means.
Recession-ready tip #2 – Rethink innovation
How rethinking innovation can be a tool to get your brand ready for a recession.
Interview with a designer - Joe Bembridge
Read what inspires Brandon’s first full-time designer.
Recession-ready tip #1 – hero your distinctive brand assets
Brand Strategist Louise Kennedy considers hero-ing your distinctive assets to prepare for a recession.
Can casual dining brands survive on supermarket shelves?
Richard Taylor talks to Marketing Week about how hospitality brands can make an impact through supermarket retail.
Don’t underestimate the influence of packaging in the home
Brand Strategist Louise Kennedy discusses actionable ways for brands to build an emotional connection with consumers at home.
Interview with a Designer - Jay Bates
Brandon’s self-confessed brand architecture nerd, Jay, on what inspires him every day.
Marketing Week's ‘All change: The complex route ahead for automotive branding’
As car manufacturers face pressure to move to cleaner energy and shift their strategy, Richard Taylor, discusses what that means for brand.
Hero design for the new hero channel
Brand Strategist Louise Kennedy challenges what the hero design is and will become.
Hitting their peak: How brands plan to retain new customers post-lockdown
Managing Partner Richard Taylor talks to Marketing Week about shopping on autopilot and making new habits in the crisis.
Interview with a Designer - Grace Buckley
Grace can often be found in the supermarket rearranging the shelves to show off her work in its best light!
Reflections from the Darkside
Strategist Louise Kennedy’s view on agency life from the perspective of a ‘newbie’.
Will Harrods' bet on a new beauty brand pay off?
Managing Partner Richard Taylor talks to Marketing Week about Harrods' new beauty brand.
Desert Island Ads
We asked our Creative Director for his top 10 ads that shaped and inspired his thinking over the decades
D&AD Top 5 tips to move beyond mediocrity to design greatness
Inspiration from Rosie Arnold at the D&AD Talks 2019
The Joys of Brand Planning
Our Top 5 Brand Planning Tips - identifying new, exciting opportunities for growth.
Our 5 Key FMCG Brand Innovation Principles
Our 5 Key FMCG Brand Innovation Principles: What lessons can we learn from Coca-Cola's Life U-Turn?
The Brand Packaging Health-Check
The Brand Packaging Health-Check: 5 Killer Tips to see if a refresh is due or long overdue
The Art of FMCG Brand Architecture
Three principles we apply to ensure a successful brand architecture
Refreshing Established Food and Drink Brands
Here we discuss six routes for a brand to acquire new relevant meaning.
The Grocer - Pasta & Sauces report
The Grocer features Managing Partner Richard's thoughts on the pasta and sauces category.
In a bid for simplification and efficiency, the giants are emulating the discounters.
The Logo. On its last legs? Or fit as a fiddle?
Of late there has been a school of thought which argues that the static logo is terminally ill.