With an International Bachelor of Business Admin from the Schulich School of Business, Talia acquired experience in marketing, brand management and innovation in CPG companies, most notably Bimbo Canada, Chudleigh’s and Cadbury Adams.

Talia is known for her natural curiosity for understanding what motivates people, why they do what they do, what they value, and has a general empathy towards them.

Her experience and expertise in the global arena allow her to deliver results with focused, insight-based strategies. And her uniquely pragmatic and empathetic management style allows her to navigate through ambiguity with a successful track record for leading and inspiring teams, transforming brands and businesses.

How would you define yourself?

As marketers, we strive to make peoples’ lives better and easier. We want to intrigue consumers and make a connection with them. In order to do that, we strive to uncover the truth about what truly motivates them and what aspires them.

I truly love what I do and to inspire others – bringing teams together through my contagious passion and spirit of collaboration.  The mandate I work byMy mandate is to unlock untapped growth potential for brands by breaking through the clutter of the past to uncover the simple truth a brand stands for in the present. Delivering results with focused, insight-based strategies. Discovering new insights for organizations, disrupting the norm, in order to deliver results.

How would you define what a brand is?

A brand encompasses the recollection of all the connections a person has had with the brand in the past, all subconsciously resurfacing in a split second when they see the brand, experience the brand, or have the choice to purchase the brand.

The real challenge is when someone sees or experiences your brand for the very first time: what do you want that person to feel, think or do at that very moment? This requires being very specific about how you dress your brand and what your brand says and does, so that this person thinks, feels or does what you’d like them to.

But for all this effort to be meaningful, we ultimately need to be interested in getting to know the people we want our brands to connect with – understanding how we can truly make their lives easier and better.

How do you view the role and importance of branding for a CPG company?

In a world where people are bombarded with a plethora of information and decisions to be made each day, we all try to make as many of those decisions in the blink of an eye so that we can keep going on with our day – swipe right or swipe left, and move on.

This means that it’s even more important for today’s brands to be very clear and focused on how can they set themselves apart from the rest and build a meaningful connection with someone in a split second.

There truly is power in being consistent and single-minded. Not trying to overcomplicate your brand’s messaging. But always pushing to be inspiring.

Today, brands provide value to people through the connection they build with them, a connection that goes beyond simply a tangible product. People look to brands to not only simplify their lives, but to engage with in order to help alleviate some of the stresses they face with the grind of daily life.

There is a fine balance between being of value to the lives of consumers and simply adding to the clutter. It’s our job to be straightforward, authentic and honest in what we do and say as brands, so that we can build meaningful, long-standing connections.

What have you learned on the client side that will benefit you on the flip side?

Coming from the client side, I have an appreciation for how all marketing decisions are rooted in business needs and results-driven. Specifically within the CPG industry, I have led the business planning process at tier 1 companies and understand the importance of well-thought-out marketing strategies.

On the client side, your responsibility is not only to the consumer but also to the rest of the organization. My experience on the client side allows me to put myself in the client’s shoes to make sure the strategic rationale behind the solutions that we provide can be easily translated and understood by key stakeholders, helping clients with internal sell-in just as much as bringing it to life in final execution.

Additionally, having been on the client side for almost two decades, I know there is an analytical rigour that goes into making marketing decisions. I believe these analytical skills that I’ve developed over the years, along with my naturally curious personality, will benefit me on the agency side in ensuring we provide strategically sound, insight-based solutions for our clients.

In your opinion, what are the main differences between a branding, design and communication agency?

A brand is not just packaging, nor just an advertising campaign. People don’t separate one touchpoint from the other when they recall a brand.

A brand’s strategy, design and communication should all sing from the same song book. One may have a slightly different or more specific business objective to achieve than the other, but all should ladder up to a meaningful overarching brand purpose.

Thinking of brand design in isolation, without considering how that design can be leveraged in communication and vice versa, would be a missed opportunity.

Why make the move from client to consultant?

In all honesty, making the move from client to consultant was an easy choice when I was approached to work with the BrandBourg team.

I truly love building brands, the opportunity to connect with and learn about people, and the opportunity to help build brand strategies and design across a variety of categories and brands. And moving to the consultant side, especially at BrandBourg, allows me work with a myriad of different brands and clients.

At BrandBourg, I am able to keep growing, being a CPG specialist, yet still learning about branding beyond what I know, such as corporate branding and branding within the service industry.

What sets BrandBourg apart in the market?

BrandBourg was a key partner when I was as Bimbo Canada (and still is), so I had the opportunity to get to know the team before and be exposed to their work and values firsthand. The fact that BrandBourg won best-in-show for packaging design two years in a row at the Bimbo Global Awards says a lot about how committed they are to delivering winning results and building client relations, which are key values for me as well.

They are an extremely experienced group of professionals from a variety of different backgrounds. A wealth of experience and strategic knowledge, and no egos.

True collaboration, structured problem solving to provide a well-thought-out, fully rounded solution for the client. Going beyond what they asked for in the brief.

And lastly, but not the least, is their culture of respect for people – not just with clients, but among all BrandBourg employees.

Reading suggestions?

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey.

The Ten Faces of Innovation, by Tom Kelley.

Talia Duchnay Vice-President, Strategy and Consulting

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