Meet Ally, our latest recruit. After spending her first few months at ThirtyThree in our London office, she decided that West was best for her and joined us in Bristol as Brand and Insight Consultant a few weeks ago. “What is Brand & Insight and how does it help our clients?” I hear you cry. Well, we’ll let Ally tell you all about it.
So what you were doing before you joined 33? And what attracted you to the world of Employer Branding?
I’ve always worked within corporate communications, whether that’s been employee engagement, public relations or change communications. That’s given me a range of experience, working in-house and agency-side for a nuclear energy company, a global mining giant and a luxurious stately home.
More recently, I found that I wanted to specialise in a particular area of communications, and employer branding seemed to be a great crossover of my two main interests: psychology and communications. I love that it meshes together lots of different aspects of marketing with a real focus on people and what makes them tick.
Why is Brand and Insight so important – and how does it help us produce great work for our clients?
Well, it’s probably important to explain what Brand and Insight means! Essentially, we’re a team of consultants who carry out research to try and get to the root of the matter in hand. In its simplest terms, we look to answer key questions like… What makes a company unique, what do people think about working here, or why aren’t people applying for those particular roles?
That research process can take a range of forms including focus groups, senior interviews, employee workshops and competitor research. We consolidate all our findings, as well as wider company and market/industry context, and use it to underpin the development of compelling employer value propositions and creative campaigns.
As an agency, we try to make sure that Brand and Insight is the starting point for pretty much all of our projects. When you know what’s going on with your audience and your decisions are rooted in research, you tend to have a much more effective and strategic approach to problem solving.
You were based in London for a while, what brought you to Bristol (apart from the cider, Harbourside and Gloucester Road, obviously)?
Well Bristol sort of found me! The opportunity to work within the Brand and Insight team at 33 was enough to make me pack my bags and head straight for Temple Meads. That said, I did fancy a change from the hustle and bustle of London (and the long commute!)… I wanted to move to a city which still had that busy, creative edge, but that wasn’t too far to hop back on a train to get back to the Big Smoke when I needed to.
What’s your favourite project that you’ve worked on so far?
I’ve enjoyed a lot of different projects so far; my work is pretty varied so it keeps me interested.
At the moment I’m working on an employer value proposition for a large UK retailer. This has involved developing an external perception survey, employee interviews and senior leader interviews to really get under the skin of what it means to work there, and what we can do to emphasise what makes them different. It’s been great speaking to so many people from across the organisation and hear really positive and constructive things about the opportunities and culture. I’m currently developing this into a set of themes and messages that can feed into some creative work from our team of lovely designers.
I’m also working with our London and Hong Kong offices on an international student survey, to try and gain more insight into the career intentions of overseas students at UK/US universities. The aim of that research is to better connect international students with multinational employers when they return home after studying abroad. We have lots of excellent universities taking part, so I am excited to see the results later in the summer.
Having spent a fair amount of time in both offices, what would you say are the best things about each of them?
I couldn’t possibly choose between them!
London is bigger so there’s always something new and interesting underway. It’s got two light-filled ‘pods’ at the top of the building, which are a great breakout space with cracking views of St Paul’s Cathedral.
I do love Bristol’s office in the Tobacco Factory, with its high ceilings and wide open spaces. It’s got so much character, and I like that we’re all in one room. Bristol is a very sociable office too, so I’ve quickly felt like I’m part of the team here.
How’s Bristol treating you? What do you get up to outside of work and what are you most looking forward to this summer?
So far I’m spending my summer exploring all the great things Bristol has to offer (read: pub gardens, live music and festivals). There are so many creative things to choose from, and I’ve just started an upholstery course. And to make sure I don’t get too stuck in the West Country swing of things, I’m also working on improving my German. My colleague Annie (from Berlin) is helping with that one!