Following a successful recent interview with Siobhan Wilkins from Rational Skincare, Giorgio and Evana are on a quest to provide young aspiring Marketing professionals with insights and practical tips from some of the industry’s leading marketers.
1. Give us an insight into what being the Marketing Director for Hey Tiger entails - What is a typical day?
For those who haven’t heard about Hey Tiger we’re a premium, handmade, Australian chocolate brand and a social enterprise. We partner with The Hunger Project to positively impact cocoa farming communities in Ghana, one choc block at a time.
In my role as Marketing Director, I am constantly thinking strategically and planning out how we can expand our reach by getting our product into the hands of the right people at the right time. As a young, fast growing brand, brand awareness through avenues such as influencer marketing is key for us and Instagram has played and continues to play a pivotal role in our success.
Partnership management is an essential part of my role and I’m constantly looking at areas for collaboration for the hey Tiger brand. I know it may sound cliche, but I really can’t stress enough the importance of networking. We’ve been really fortunate to collaborate with some really incredible brands and people including; Go To Skincare, Business Chicks, Mimco, Mecca and most recently, Tofu Pupper.
We’ve also just sponsored a few episodes of the Shameless Podcast (which is an office fave).
We’re all about having an authentic and organic approach to marketing. We only work with people who have a genuine love for the brand and you can really feel that through everything we do. Our community of customers are incredibly engaged and we honestly feel like they are family - Hey Tiger wouldn’t be what it is without them.
2. So you have been at Hey Tiger for almost 2 years now but you actually started your career at MOR Boutique – Tell us about your career early days.
When I was 19, I was doing a Diploma of Media and Communications at MIBT which was an 8 month course (a pathway into my second year of university at Deakin). Whilst at university, the Marketing Manager from MOR Cosmetics, Sarah Easson, asked if I wanted to intern at a trade fair they had coming up. The internship was unpaid but I was eager to learn and jumped at the chance. I met Sarah 2 years prior while doing work experience with her when she’d had her own PR firm.
I continued to work at MOR unpaid twice a week for about six months. They eventually offered me a full time role as Marketing & PR Assistant under the condition that I deferred my course. So I decided to take a chance and worked there for 4 and a half years, where I learnt everything I possibly could before moving on to Sussan. I am still SO grateful for this opportunity, as both Sarah and the founder of MOR, Deon, saw real value in me and genuinely supported me to succeed.
Sussan is one of Australia’s biggest fashion retailers and they had been around for about 76 years by the time I came on board - so they were a well oiled machine where I could learn a lot! I loved every single minute that I worked there and I learnt so much about building relationships and the importance of networking. I worked across all of the major campaigns, shoot productions and PR.
I was there for 4 and a half years as the PR & Marketing Coordinator so naturally I was ready for a new challenge. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and routine (which is huge for me, as I am a stickler for the rules and love structure). While working at Sussan, I began freelancing for Hey Tiger (pre-launch) and I was also working in my partner’s video production business, which meant I was working 24/7. Life was pretty crazy.
After much deliberation and hardwork, my partner and I decided to take some time out and locked in a 4 month trip to travel the world. This was a tough decision but one of the best things I could have done for personal development.
In the lead up to this trip, I left Sussan and got the opportunity to work at Hey Tiger full time on a contract between November 2017 - June 2018. I left not knowing whether there’d be a job to come back to, but a month into our trip the CEO of Hey Tiger called me and offered me the Director of Marketing role if I wanted it. After 4 months of travelling I came back and dived in... and what a crazy ride it’s been! We’ve experienced super such growth and have received so much love for the brand. I am very proud of what we’ve achieved in our first one and a half years.
3. What advice do you have for junior candidates wanting to break into the food industry?
I believe that passion is incredibly important, and in making sure that you are doing something that’s thoughtful and personal to stand out from other applicants.
I really believe it is about being a critical thinker and having a mentor, both of which have really helped shape my career. Surrounding yourself with people who are a source of knowledge and can share their experience with you is incredibly valuable. And, of course, networking. Go to events, through organisations like Business Chicks or Future Women, and introduce yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk to the speakers after the event - you never know what friends or relationships you might make and how it will impact your career.
4. What do you look for when you are hiring for Hey Tiger?
We really look for personality and passion. At Hey Tiger we have a very skilled team however, we have never hired purely on skillset. It’s all about instinct, passion and hard work. We love someone that’s a team player and is willing to go above and beyond their skillset. We expect people to do their best work, but also get stuck in and get it done when it’s all hands on deck. You will find our CEO or CFO packing boxes and helping wherever they can for the benefit of the team. We are all about collaboration, pushing hard and getting it done as a team.
5. What is Hey Tiger doing to contribute to sustainability and the environment?
Hey Tiger is a social enterprise and we partner with The Hunger Project to help support cocoa farming communities in West Africa, where 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from. There are 2.2 million children in child labour on cocoa plantations in this region, and the average cocoa farmer earns $0.73c per day. Hey Tiger is owned by a charitable trust and our CEO, Cyan Ta’eed, does not take a salary. The cocoa we use is ethically sourced (meaning farmers get paid a fair amount for their crop), and we donate a minimum of 50c per full size bar and 25c per mini bar to help fund The Hunger Project Ghana’s incredible work. We’ve so far donated just over $100,000 and this is increasing all the time.
There are measurable positive environmental effects to our sourcing, including more sustainable farming practices which impact everything from water conservation to deforestation. As we grow and scale we are working on ensuring all our packaging is as environmentally friendly as possible while being foodsafe.
6. What is Hey Tiger doing to create a good working environment for their employees?
At Hey Tiger, we have flexible working hours and our employees can work from home as well as the office. We get an additional day off per month called an Inspiration Day, which is really good for mental health and creativity. Additionally, we don’t count hours. A typical day can look like 9-5 but if you feel you are more productive with different hours, we promote that within the business as well.
We do personal training once as week as a team, where we get outside every Wednesday and we also run a monthly book club. Most recently, we went away for the night to Camp Tiger, where our CEO, Cyan took the team away to our celebrate our hard work and wins as a business. This was great for team bonding.
7. What was the biggest hurdle or challenge in your career so far?
Self-belief and celebrating wins was something I didn’t do enough of when I was younger and admittedly, I still struggle with this at times. I know so many people that are guilty of this, as you’re always looking at what’s next in your career. However, I also think that this can be a great motivator to keep on going.
8. Are there any leaders that you look up to?
I look up to Hey Tiger’s CEO Cyan as she is a savvy business woman and is very emotionally intelligent. I have a lot of respect for her as she has incredible instincts and is able to think with her heart while putting her business hat on. Mirte, our Chief Brand Officer, is my other half! She has incredible ideas and out of the box thinking that pushes the boundaries. I honestly have never worked with anyone like her.
I also look up to Zoe Foster Blake (but don’t we all?!). She is extremely witty and is a brilliant (and funny) word-smith. She has managed to build an empire while maintaining her authenticity and has a very positive and inspirational attitude towards everything she does.
9. What is one word that describes you as a leader?
10. Lastly, Breana what are you most excited about for Hey Tiger in 2019?
In 2019 the team at Hey Tiger are really thinking about how much further we can push the brand. We have some exciting new collaborations in the works. Our innovation team has also been working hard on our new range for Christmas, it’s one of the biggest (and most delicious) collections we’ve done yet!
Giorgio Xindaras - Manager, Marketing, Sharp & Carter
0415 786 332 | email@example.com
Evana Seneviratne - Consultant, Marketing, Sharp & Carter
0452 633 293 | firstname.lastname@example.org