My name’s Lindsay S, I’m a Brand Guardian for Standard Life. Basically I look after the brand and visual identity for Standard Life, so it’s not just about a logo, but there is part of it that is how things look, making sure that people use the right colour pallet and fonts and the basic things. And then on top of that, it’s about how the brand feels about the words we use, how we say things, how we communicate with customers, how we portray our values through all of our communications to both customers and internally as well I guess.
I’ve worked in brand for about twelve years now for various companies, lots of different sectors as well, I do have a degree in marketing.
When I was at school I wanted to do music, I really wanted to do music management, I was always interested in the more business side, the promotional side of it, but I always wanted to be a singer really, from when I was about three, and then when I was, sort of, a teenager I realised that perhaps singing wasn’t the most stable of careers and thought that the music business might be more suitable for me.
I thought for me, work experience was fantastic, it was a real way of seeing how people actually do things rather than the theory of it.
My Dad works for a building company and at the time he was at Wimpy Homes so I just went along, helped out at the marketing department, went around some of the building sites to look at their show rooms and work out how best to promote them. Ultimately I went back a year later for the whole summer because they’d quite liked me and I’d quite liked working there.
I always knew that I didn’t want to go to uni right away, I had no interest in doing that, and for me I thought if I do an HND and I leave after a year, at least I’ve got an HNC, so for me it was about getting through each year, rather than having a bigger plan and I needed to get the HND to get into the advance diploma but I had no interest in going to uni at that point. I think that some people are right for university and they know that they’ve got a three year commitment at least, and that’s fine for them, for me I didn’t have that drive to do it.
My Mum worked in the post office and then she went to work in a bank, like clearing cheques, sort of, doing administrative type things, but really she was, kind of, a stay at home Mum when I was younger so I think I was about twelve when she went back to work.
When I was about sixteen and my Dad had suggested marketing, I hadn’t even heard of it, there was, I hadn’t been brought up with anyone who knew about marketing, it was just I was always very creative, I’ve always liked art, always liked music and I think my Dad saw marketing as quite a creative thing and that might be something that I could transfer some of those skills into. Basically I really, really loved my time doing music, I worked in a lot of different events and festivals and I went to work for a drinks company that sponsor a festival, so it was really good fun and I got to see lots of great bands, and it was really exciting, but ultimately long-term there’s not as much money to be made in it. It really did come down to if I wanted to own my own property, and those sorts of things, that I should look at what other options there were. A few years ago I took a job as an advertising executive, which was very much brand, as much as the title said advertising. I was looking after sponsorship, I was looking after advertising, tv, radio, lots of more fun events side of things as well, which was a great role but basically the reason that I ended up really stepping up my game was that my manager left and they were looking for someone else, but in that mean time I stepped into the role and ended up acting as the manager for six months and I was only twenty-five at the time but it was quite a young dynamic company and they allowed me to step up and because I was proving myself, they kept me in the role. Sometimes when you’re young and you have an opinion about something, you’re really, really scared to say it and I think sometimes you have to force yourself to try things and to experience it, and if you’re wrong then accept that you’re wrong. I wish I hadn’t put quite as much pressure on myself when I was younger, I wanted to get everywhere fast, I was determined that I was going to, you know, whatever it was, whether I was going to make it in music, I was going to do that so quickly, or whether it was become a manager, I was going to do that by the time I was whatever age, whereas actually you don’t need to rush to do everything, you just need to make sure that what you’re doing feels right for you at the time and try and keep your eye on the next step but not necessarily ten steps in the future, which I think I could have been guilty of when I was younger.