Unlocking the secret to brand success takes experience. As a consultant with entrepreneurs for 30 years, this is what I bring to every client.
After graduating with a first class honours in Business Studies from UCC, (University College Cork) in 1982, I worked as a Project Advisor in the small industries division of the IDA (Industrial Development Authority) and subsequently, at CTT (Irish Export Board), as Export Marketing Advisor in the consumer products sector. My role was to help Irish businesses devise and achieve their marketing goals and develop a range of export strategies. It was terrific on-the-ground training. Most of my work was advising owner-managers and I saw at first hand the challenges – but also the immense satisfaction – of working for yourself. So in 1988 I set up my own consultancy specialising in marketing and business development for the SME sector, offering a tailored, personalised service.
How I work
Having now worked with over 300 companies, I strongly believe a business consultant in this area has to be as passionate about the product or service as its owners. My experience has been with SMEs and entrepreneurs with particular capabilities in product development, marketing, branding, business strategy, market entry, front-line sales, and customer relationship management. The clients cover a broad range within the consumer products and services industry. With entrepreneurs, things happen quickly and it is always unpredictable, inspiring and rewarding.
Natural beauty and wellness
The natural beauty and wellness sector is vibrant growth area and one in which I have a particular interest.
In 2003 I qualified as a Clinical Aromatherapist in order to broaden my knowledge within the sector and acquire the skills to formulate products for my clients. This range of skills allows me to offer a truly unique professional service – to combine my extensive marketing experience with an in-depth understanding of botanicals. So, in addition to my marketing consultancy, I have been using my knowledge of the therapeutic benefits of botanical oils to create formulations for individuals, private label manufacturers, commercial clients in the spa and hotel sectors, and clients in medicine and oncology.
The Irish Times
As Beauty Editor for The Irish Times Saturday Magazine for the first two years of its production, I covered every facet of the beauty industry – gaining an in-depth knowledge of product ranges and brands and also of consumer preferences. It gave me a deep understanding of marketing communications and PR – and a large well-connected contacts book – which has since helped me in devising communications strategies for a range of clients.