Report by Simon Bolton, worldwide chief executive officer
Experiences form the basis of all kinds of human relationships, with other people and with the world around us. We believe, more than ever, it’s just the same for brands. Brand experiences create emotional attachment, building satisfaction and loyalty. Hence our belief: ‘the experience of the brand is the brand’.
During 2015, John Shaw, recently appointed worldwide head of strategy and planning, will lead work to enrich our proprietary methodology – the Experience Imprint – with data, analytics and research, in collaboration with Kantar. This will drive deeper insights into brand performance and growth opportunities. The approach will be embedded around our network.
2014 was a challenging year, but we made pleasing progress with key clients and, geographically, Asia Pacific was a highlight. Whilst the overall trading environment remained cautious, we won assignments from major clients around our network: Pernod Ricard, IHG, Banco Popular, ENN Holdings, Oppo China Mobile, Mengnui, Telekom Malaysia, Qatari Diar and Tata/SIA (Vistara).
2014 was an outstanding year for home-grown talent
Brand Union was named Agency of the Year by Marketing magazine in Singapore for the second consecutive year. Our Absolut ‘Craft’ work was recognised in the Euro Red Dot Packaging Design Awards, and was shortlisted at Cannes.
2014 was an outstanding year for home-grown talent. Jonny Westcar stepped up to managing director for our London office. Monica Lee and Graham Hitchmough were promoted to become regional directors in North and South Asia respectively, and Kagiso Musi joined us from The Jupiter Drawing Room as managing director, Johannesburg.
Our regional leadership was further strengthened with the appointment of Majdoleen Till to managing director, Dubai, and Tobias Phleps to CEO, Germany, where we have recently opened a new office in Berlin. We also completed the acquisition of Epigram in São Paulo, extending our presence in the Americas.