Why are people more likely to get divorced than change their bank? Why are branded painkillers more effective than non-branded painkillers despite having the same active ingredients? These were the sort of questions that led to me discovering the world of branding and strategy over three years ago.
When I first entered this wonderful world, my focus was mainly on FMCG brands where understanding the drivers and barriers of consumer behaviour and decision making were key in order to make informed strategic decisions. This led me to learn about a wide range of topics such as what does organic actually mean and what do consumers think and feel it means – surprisingly two very different answers!
To gain the required level of understanding, my research skillset across qualitative and quantitative research grew and developed allowing me to begin to really understand what people think about various brands and product, as well as identifying key levers for growth. Despite this immersion, I still found myself wanting to truly peel back and understand the psychological frameworks which were at play. This interest culminated in my undertaking of a master’s degree in behavioural economics which developed my understanding of the heuristics and biases that play key roles in consumer decision making.
When I’m not working, you’ll probably find me either playing chess, shouting at the rugby, singing some worryingly low Russian music, or cooking for friends and family. I think these interests have a similar foundation to my working/academic interests in that decision making and emotion play key roles in all of these pursuits, but overall the collaborative nature (although I’m really not sure how collaborative you could describe chess as being, other than the fact it takes two to play!) and having genuine interactions with others is something I really enjoy.
At the beginning of my career, one of the companies that stood out to me was The Value Engineers due to their high calibre of work and impressive list of clients. This led to me picturing myself potentially working there and three years (and a global pandemic!) later I found myself entering their offices for the first time.
It still remains the case that the quality of their work and their client list are both incredibly impressive but having started working here the thing that sticks out the most to me is how kind, open and interested everyone working here truly is.