I’m a brand strategist, deep thinker, a big picture thinker, and eternal optimist. I help creative businesses change the world. As a result, I am often the pot-stirrer and storyteller who offers truths, narratives, and perspectives that ignite change. For me, branding means impact. Impact changes minds, touches hearts, and sometimes, changes the world.
Having worked as a writer and strategist for the past 10+ years, my work has helped some of Australia’s biggest people, planet, and cultural institutions tell their stories more effectively, including Australian Worker’s Union, Perth Festival, State Library Victoria, Australian Ethical superannuation, and Streamtime. I’ve seen that truth and powerful storytelling is a rudder for whole of organisation transformation. My strength is crafting, telling, and teaching the power of these stories in order to affect change within organisations and communities, and translating these stories into impactful creative and visual communication.
I have been recognised by some of the world’s most prestigious awards bodies including D&AD and AGDA. I am a frequent writer, public speaker and lecturer on the subject of branding, community and their ability to change the world.
In research on complex problem solving, economists Lu Hong and Scott Page shown that teams of diverse problem-solvers can outperform a homogenous team of the very best individual workers. Product and design teams are incredibly diverse: groups of people with very different specialisations, collaborating together to work towards a common goal. It is often the case that problem solving becomes much easier when there is a shared purpose, rhythm, and a sense of camaraderie amongst the team. In this stage of the project I work as a facilitator: making certain that we all understand why we are doing the work (purpose), when we expect to have it done (rhythm) and how we're feeling about it (camaraderie and emotional support).
I believe that relationships come first in and outside of business, and work hard to build trust with developers, designers, clients and other stakeholders. I strive to create the structure, vision and transparency for everyone to come to work ready to fire on all cylinders, and have a good time doing it.
I design research, experiments, exercises and workshops to get information out of humans, internal documents, and user and put them onto paper in a way that others can understand. I use this information alongside traditional research like brand tracking, web analytics and sales information to inform decisions about service design, user experience and user interface solutions.
With any new business venture (inside an existing business or in a startup), there's a wide range of stakeholders who need to be involved in the decision making process. These stakeholders are often very diverse. There's a lot of untapped knowledge that's sitting in people's heads: my job is to help get it out and make sense of it - exercises are a really good way to do this and help make the information accessible to everyone. Because there are several different learning styles, I use different methods that cater to visual, audio, and kinesthetic learners. Democratizing the sharing of information with exercises like post-it notes, card sorting, and dot-mapping also helps introverts and extroverts communicate better (and if that interests you, watch this TED talk or read this book!).
In the last 5 years, there's been a fundamental shift in how business is done, governed by one simple rule: only the responsive survive. In response, organizations are seeking to innovate, with new products and services - these range from startups to Fortune 500 companies. As a result, there's been a surge of support and interest in "design thinking" - a proven and repeatable process for problem solving including some combination of the following steps: defining the problem, research, ideate, prototype, choose, implement, and learn.
Building a visual map, prototype, or diagram is a quick way to test new ideas without the investment of building, marketing and rolling out a new product or service. It's also a great way to get stakeholders on board: as the saying goes, a prototype is worth a thousand meetings.
Many clients I've worked with want to become more innovative, customer-focused, and adaptive. This often comes in the form of a brief for a new product, or a workshop to explore innovation.
These new products become a Trojan horse for organizational change: they act as the driver of new behaviours and ways of thinking. On the journey to innovate, organizations must undergo change..
When I'm engaged as an organizational consultant, I act as an enthnographer, observing and understanding the client's underlying culture and operating system, and how it currently delivers on the client's goals.
Successful clients ask: 1) Why do we exist? 2) Why do want to change now? 3) How do we want people to feel when using our product or service? This brings clear purpose, sense of urgency, and focus on the customer to the project. Once we uncover these motivations, we have a North Star to set our direction.
Led social media strategy, influencer engagement, content development, and campaign strategy to develop workable social strategies for a suite of brands in AsiaPac.
Designed, & led, a workshop to discover positioning, UX, and product purpose for the largest film festival in Australia. Worked in tandem with the client team to go from brief to working prototype in five days.
Worked with non-profit The Smith Family to develop a social media strategy to build empathy, education consumers about TSF's mission, and increase donations.
Led workshops to uncover new digital product opportunities for a leading executive coaching company.
Led social media strategy, content development, and campaign strategy to develop workable social strategies for a suite of brands within one of the world's largest personal care portfolios..
Contributed as product and technology strategist to pitch on service design, technology strategy, product development and organisational design for Australia's largest franchised non-invasive cosmetic rejuvenator.
Led brand positioning, strategy, and organisational implications for agency in the midst of change in direction, with key outputs being pitch materials, induction guides, and hiring & retention strategies.
Pitched and won tech beauty brand Laser Clinics Australia for service design, technology strategy, and product design.
Currently prototyping a tool to help hiring managers interview and recruit diverse candidates objectively.
I've been fortunate to work with some fantastic clients including global FMCG brands, entertainment companies, and publishers in my capacity as a product design lead and as a digital strategist.
NDAs & Confidentiality
As with much of consulting work, many clients engage services under a non-disclosure agreement. When this is the case, I can't show NDA protected work to prospective clients. In some cases I'm able to show work with logos removed in person at an interview, or show prototypes of personal projects. In other cases I'm also willing to engage in design challenges or assessments at interviews to demonstrate my work. My clients' trust is important to me and I'm not willing to break previous NDAs in order to nab new gigs - thanks for understanding!
One of the things I enjoy most about my work is that you are never finished learning. I'm constantly adding to my toolbox with industry qualifications, self-paced learning, and peer networking and interest groups. Here's a few of the more formal courses I've taken.
Strategic Planning Principles, 2013
M.A., Communication, 2010
B.A., Advertising, 2009