How to Become a Global Brand Expert

An interview with Kubi Springer

Kubi Springer, SheBuildsBrands.

UK-based global brand expert Kubi Springer (pictured) has delivered campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world, including Rolls Royce Motor Cars, Nike, Blackberry, and L'Oreal Professional.  She shares her insights and tips on how to create a great, enduring global brand. Below are excerpts from an interview I conducted with her.
 
Laurel Delaney:  How did you get started in brand marketing?

 

Kubi Springer:  I started as an intern working at MTV Europe, which came about while I was still at university. After I graduated from university, I had done an internship through the Mountbatten Institute. I flew to New York as part of the internship and worked at Sean “Diddy” Combs’ marketing firm, Blue Flame. The experience was a game-changer as I got to have real, hands-on experience of working in branding and marketing. Diddy has a brilliant work ethic, and I learned a lot from him about the industry.  

LD:  What do you look for in a client that determines whether you can successfully lift a brand to a global status?

KS:  I start by sampling its product/service to ascertain if it has any relevance for the markets in which it wants to penetrate. Then I review the internal brand communications and the resources that the company has to launch internationally. Lastly, I look at the people behind the brand, and whether there is a fit between their business values and ours.

 Working well with clients is very important to me.

LD:  Who was your coolest client to land and work with?  

KS:  I have had the privilege of working with some amazing brands, which makes it hard to choose just one. I do think our most recent project with Turkish fashion house BARRUS and the partnership we did with Rolls Royce was pretty awesome.

We managed to take an unknown international brand and partner it with one of the most iconic heritage brands in the UK. This partnership led to us managing their official London Fashion Week Party, coverage in British Vogue and retail buy-in’s from a range of London stockists.

LD:  How did you handle working with a difficult client?

KS:  Every client is different. Our job as an agency is to manage the stress that comes with international launches. We take the pressure, so that they can enjoy the experience. Communication is the key when managing an agency, so nightmare scenarios are avoided.  

LD:  Can you share some critical tips on what it takes to build, launch and grow a successful global brand?  

KS:  My top four tips would be:

  1. Develop a need not a want. Understand the market that you want to penetrate and create products that consumers need, rather than want. When there is a genuine need they will always purchase.
  2. Remember digital has no respect for boundaries, so create messages that will work across cultures and not offend international consumers.
  3. Be consistent. Brands are built on trust and consumers want to see consistent messages and delivery on your brand promise in order to buy into you.  
  1. Develop strategic partnerships. To save money, develop partnerships with companies that are already successful in the market place. Utilize their networks and offering to get your product out there by adding extra value to their current offering.

LD:  Many of our readers don’t have big ad or marketing budgets yet need to get the word out online that they exist and can provide great products for the world to buy. What baby steps do you suggest they take to start the process of creating their own great, enduring global brand?

KS:  Become a thought leader. I spent years developing my craft so that I could become an expert in my discipline of consumer brand marketing. This has enabled me to speak on the topic at conferences, trade shows and seminars. These platforms have become our greatest marketing tool as they have put our agency in front of new audiences and they open doors to new possibilities without us having to spend a fortune on marketing.

The key is knowing how to turn these platforms into sales channels and not just an ego boost for the person on the stage.

LD:  If you were to begin your career anew, what would you be doing and why?

KS:  I would be doing exactly what I am doing now. I love my job. I love the journey I had. The highs and the lows, the disappointments and the wins; they have all made me who I am and I wouldn’t change any of it.

To learn more about Kubi and her work, visit:  SheBuildsBrands.com

Photo credit:  Kubi Springer