In the world of business, branding is a critical component of success, often discussed from a predominantly male perspective. We are thrilled to shift the spotlight onto a remarkable woman shaping the industry – Ana Andjelic. As a seasoned brand executive with an impressive track record at marketing giants like Banana Republic and Rebecca Minkoff, Ana is a trailblazer recognized as one of Forbes’ Most Influential CMOs.
Currently serving as the Global Chief Brand Officer at ESPRIT, she has played a pivotal role in revitalizing the iconic nineties brand into a modern powerhouse. With a doctorate in sociology, Ana is not only an academic but a thought leader whose insights have made her a sought-after voice in branding.
Crafting a Personalized Path: Prioritizing Ideas Over Role Models
Ana talks about her personal journey, emphasizing her early interests that shaped her career. Combining creativity with a structured approach, Ana’s academic path—from psychology to media studies to a Ph.D. in sociology with a focus on innovation—highlights her fascination with human behavior. “I don’t have any role models; I am drawn to ideas and a holistic perspective,” admits Ana.
Navigating Careers: A Practical Approach
Ana’s journey offers practical guidance for those navigating their careers. Stressing the value of hard work, especially for those without extensive networks, Ana emphasizes providing value, dedication to goals, and gradual network building. “It’s about being useful to others,” she notes, highlighting the enduring nature of relationship building.
Building Brands: A Blend of Creativity and Strategy
Ana sees building a brand as a practical art form, combining creativity and strategic thinking. She underscores the need for a clear brand vision, a well-defined product strategy, and understanding audience personas as the foundation. “It’s about what is right for that brand, not my taste,” she explains, emphasizing the rational and strategic aspects of brand building.
Mastering Community-Building and Storytelling
For Ana, brand success hinges on community-building. Drawing from her experience, she highlights the significance of early fandoms and their role in brand growth. Ana stresses that brands are built by their fans, emphasizing the importance of understanding original brand enthusiasts for sustained growth. She also underscores the role of storytelling, particularly in the fashion industry, going beyond the product to connect and resonate with consumers.
Conclusion: Practical Insights in Branding
Ana Andjelic’s journey showcases a blend of practicality, strategic thinking, and a keen understanding of human behavior. As a woman making her mark in the industry, her insights offer practical guidance for aspiring professionals and brands aiming for a lasting impact. Ana’s approach to branding, rooted in a clear vision, disciplined product strategy, community-building, and storytelling, provides a blueprint for brands aiming for longevity.
Listen to our full podcast interview with Ana Andjelic, Global Chief Brand Officer at ESPRIT HERE.