A new face in brand design at HotHouse

BY JAMES CROWLEY

Will Fletcher brings strategic expertise from England’s Lake District to Nelson.

HotHouse Communications may be Nelson’s largest full-service advertising agency, but they are never content to rest on their laurels. Which is why they’ve brought Will Fletcher all the way from England to gain his international acumen in strategic branding.

Will, his Kiwi wife Suse and their young daughter Milly have been in the region less than two months, but already they’re feeling right at home. “Nelsonians are just so friendly and laid-back,” says Will. “We’re loving it here, especially how very close to nature everything is.”

A keen mountain-biker, Will is planning to explore the region up-close and personal – “when I get the time”, he laughs.

So what exactly is strategic brand design? “It all starts with the brand,” says Will. “A brand can be almost anything, from products and businesses, right through to people and places. Within today’s infinite spectrum of communication, it’s more important than ever that brands tell their story in a clear and consistent way.”

But brand alone is not enough if it isn’t put to good use strategically. “A brand that engages people emotionally at every level will be a brand that they keep coming back to,” Will explains. “Strategic brand design is all about discovering the unique story behind your business, product, place or brand. This story is then distilled into a strategic methodology for all communication with your customers, in order to deliver a competitive advantage.”

While new to Nelson, Will has worked in New Zealand before, spending four years in Auckland working on top domestic and international brands like DB, Lion Nathan and Pernod Ricard. Prior to this he’d spent four years in Sydney working with such global giants as BP and FedEx.

“Back in England before we left, I was doing brand work for an award-winning local company, Hawkshead Brewery. Funnily enough, their head brewer was a Kiwi, and he told me a lot about Nelson’s hops and great craft beers. Let’s just say it further whet my appetite,” Will laughs.

So now in Nelson, how does he see his knowledge adding to the HotHouse mix? “Nelson offers an exciting variety of branding opportunities, all bound by a sense of creativity that seems unique to the region,” he says. “I’ll be looking to harness that creativity, and use my experience to help deliver the vast potential in local business, at national and international levels.

“There’s no need for businesses in Nelson to think they have to look beyond the region for strategic branding expertise,” says Will. “We’re right here.”

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