Stella Wong tells us about Brand Soul Malaysia, a brand strategy design consultancy driven by passion and love.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Brand Soul Malaysia.
Stella Wong: To say Stella Wong is an overachiever is an understatement. I am the founder and brand strategist of Brand Soul Malaysia. Among my many achievements is the fact that I have helped more than 100 local and international clients drive their branding and marketing to meteoric growth.
To further feather in my cap, I have been featured in the Successful People in Malaysia book by the Britishpedia Encyclopedia. I am the first brand strategist in Malaysia to set up a comprehensive brand strategy framework and roadmap that numerous Brand Soul clients currently use.
My ability to cater to so many companies in so many spheres has led me to be chosen as Malaysia’s Women Leader in the World Women Leadership Congress and be voted Gamechanger of the Year at the ACQ5 Global Awards.
With more than 14 years of hands-on experience, I have catered to multiple industries, including financial institutions, corporate organizations, food and beverage (F&B), technology, fashion, and logistics.
My biggest achievement this far was securing an RM2 million branding and marketing project in less than one month and helping KLK OLEO, a 115-year-old multinational company listed in KLSE, roll out a brand architecture and naming guide.
Being the dynamic woman that I am, I was featured in the Malaysia SME cover story on “What’s in a brand that sells?” Also, the Edge Financial Daily interviewed me, where I shared my insights on business resilience amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Stella Wong: The never give up spirit and the urge for knowledge are what drive me forward. On top of the above, I’m a person that practices self-discipline to ensure I meet my personal and company goals. For example, I made it a habit to spare at least 10 minutes to exercise every morning.
To ensure I continue to exceed our clients’ expectations and stay on top of the marketing game, I signed up for a marketing director course to keep myself abreast with the latest industry trends and knowledge.
At the end of the day, it’s all boiled down to what you want to achieve and become in life. I just want to continue to improve myself and become a better version of myself than I was yesterday.
How does Brand Soul Malaysia market its product/services online?
Stella Wong: We are a firm believer in inbound marketing. We don’t really focus on push marketing as we believe that by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to each target group, your brand goes directly into their hearts. To do that, we need first to identify the market segment that we want to penetrate. Then, set up buyer personas and formulate a marketing and communications strategy that can meet both their functional and emotional needs.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Stella Wong: We are currently using Trello & Dropbox to manage and keep track of our work.
We use Similar Web, Google Analytics, Google Trends, and Facebook insights to analyze and manage our digital marketing performance.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Stella Wong: We use various platforms to find the best talent to join us.
How to retain the employees
§ Give them flexibility and opportunities to grow
§ Always listen to them before making any judgment
§ Offer the opportunity to be part of the Management team by giving employees equity
How are you funding your growth?
Stella Wong: We funded our growth from the profit we made from the business. We do not have any funding partner at the moment.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Stella Wong: We have plenty of competitors in our industry, to be honest. To stay in the game, we need to identify who we are and what differentiates us in the market. In short, brand strategy or a blueprint that guides you about where and how you should navigate your business in a sea of competition.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Stella Wong: We have successfully helped an MNC client of ours, who previously didn’t have clear communication and creative direction, to roll out a new brand identity aligned with their brand’s vision and communications strategy. The team got impressed with the outcome and was very satisfied with the creative output.
Your final thoughts?
Stella Wong: Building a brand without strategy and data is like running a business without having a clear vision.
If you want to achieve sustainable business & brand growth, you need to define what you stand for, what brand promise you are here to make, and the personality you want to convey.