Helping you cut through the strategic knot

About me

A strategic planner with over 30 years of experience.

I’ve worked in markets and on brands around the world.
Most recently as Chairman of BBH Asia and prior to that with lengthy stints in Australia, Hong Kong and the UK.

My consultancy is all about helping clients quickly get to the focused, clear thinking they need to build better brands and develop more impactful communications.

I am UK based but able to work on projects worldwide.

Services

Clients rarely call me when things are going smoothly.

It is normally when a problem needs to be solved or they are at a point of change. When things need to be sorted out and experience really counts.

I can help with everything you’d expect from someone who has worked for as long as I have in the business of brand building and advertising : from new brand creation through brand re-launch to advertising development and media briefing and many points in between.

A specialist area given my CV is helping clients with international brand building. And having spent twenty years in Asia I am well placed to guide them there.

I work in a fast, immersive manner. I also often use structured workshops to accelerate processes, out issues and gain alignment across companies.

If you're
all out of
expertise

01. Agency Brief Development

Helping clients get to better briefs for their agencies and then on to better work.

02. Brand Creation

From the ground up how do we quickly create and codify the key elements of your new brand ? Getting partners on track and everything moving forward.

03. Brand Architecture

Things can get complex over time, which doesn’t help consumers. Or indeed companies themselves.

How do we simplify?

 

04. Brand Relaunch

Revitalising the good but sometimes jaded with fresh thinking.

 

 

05. Brand Innovation

Where are the gaps in the market? The opportunities to do something new and powerful – and how do we get there?

 

06. Exploding the Big Idea

You have one (always a good start) but how do you drive it through the organisation and across multiple media?

07. Creative Alignment

No one seems to agree on what good is (let alone great). This causes problems. 

Let’s solve it.

 

08. Asia

Brand work and thinking for Asia. The world is not ‘the west’. How do you create work that works there – and ensure it fits with the global whole?

 

09. Pitches

From client side helping develop the agency brief. From the agency side cracking it (obviously not on the same project…).

10. Workshops

On practically any aspect of brand management. Often it takes an outsider to get people in a room and really work through the issues and agree a way forward.

 

“We needed Aviva’s brand to speak more clearly to our customers about the difference we can make to their lives across the full range of our product offer. Charles played a huge part in developing ‘It Takes Aviva’, a highly effective positioning for us that we delivered at real pace.”

 

AMANDA BLANC,
GROUP CEO,
AVIVA

The offer:

Pick Any3

Clients

“Unlike most brand gurus Chas knows he is the pathfinder and not the pilot. And what a brilliant pathfinder he is. 

Calmness personified he helped us deliver a major rebrand of a global financial services firm, from a standing start in a matter of months during lockdown. When he speaks everyone listens. And then does.”

ANDREW BROWN.
PARTNER, 
APELLA ADVISORS

Past work

I suspect you can tell a lot about a person by the work they have been closely involved with developing (in my case from a strategic standpoint) so below are five pieces out of the many I have worked on.

If you want to see more, perhaps in your specific category, or against a particular type of challenge or task, just let me know

James Squire – Principals, Sydney,

Brand Creation.

Working with the brewer Chuck Hahn we created the James Squire beer brand from scratch. Based on the true story of Australia’s first proper brewer James Squire is now one of Australia’s most successful premium beer brands.

Levi's - BBH Singapore, BBH Tokyo,

Ongoing brand campaigning.

Over 10 years working on the brand and multiple campaigns. We called it ‘brand building product work’, the challenge being to both sell the style in question and keep Levi’s at the forefront of youth culture. It was fashion advertising but with ideas.

 

Johnnie Walker - BBH China, BBH Singapore,

Building a Global Brand in Asia

Landing and building Keep Walking in Asia was a major preoccupation of mine for many years. We used a mix of both global and local work to both maintain international cachet while also making our stories of progress locally relatable.

 

UOB Bank – BBH Singapore,

Brand Relaunch/Ongoing Band Campaigning.

Any bank that is honest enough to have ‘conservative’ amongst its core values gets my respect. We delved deep into the bank’s culture to  firstly develop ‘Our principles define us’ for UOB private bank and then ‘Right by you’ for the mainstream bank. I think it was work that was wonderfully true to the organisation.

NTUC Income – BBH Singapore,

Brand Relaunch/Ongoing Band Campaigning.

Singapore’s only insurance mutual which we framed and built as it being ‘Made Different’. A great company with a genuine purpose long before that notion became fashionable. Often great work.

“Charles is the opposite of the planning pontificator, of which there are far too many.

He cuts to the essentials swiftly, explains why they are so, succinctly, and then lays out what to do about it. He knows how to turn right strategy into distinctive, competitive, creative possibility”.

TIM HOLLINS, 
Founder The Business Growth Script,
Partner Working Beehive

100 Things a
planner should
know

Probably the most popular thing I’ve written. 

An accumulation of 30 years of tips and learnings. 

Feel free to download it here

“Working with Charles is like having an exceptionally talented guide, his vast experience and knowledge bring a calmness that is reassuring. We worked together at a hectic pace, and delivered impactful work. 

Charles has an innate ability to simplify the complex, to focus on what really matters and to keep everyone grounded through a creative process that involved many varied stakeholders outside of marketing”.

RAJ KUMAR,
Group Brand and Reputation Director 
Aviva

Get In Touch

Just drop me a line if you’d like to chat about a project. 

Message me via LinkedIn.

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