Shuttlerock has appointed Kirsty Traill as their Chief Customer Officer, tasked with leading the global customer team and overall customer strategy. Traill will be responsible for defining the ideal client experience and aligning resources to achieve client outcomes, driving operational efficiencies, and building for scale.

Traill hails from New Zealand where she spent the early part of her career at Hewlett-Packard (HP). She moved to Japan and then Silicon Valley with HP before joining Snapfish, an eCommerce organization with 100M customers. After 5 years at Snapfish, Traill moved on to Hootsuite where she was latterly VP of Customer and tasked with building and scaling the global customer organization.

Brandingmag sat down with Kirsty Traill to discuss her views on branding and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead:

Brandingmag: What do you believe is the role of branding within organizations?
Kirsty Traill: At the simplest level, the brand is the identity of an organization, the way that it presents itself to the world. More holistically, I think the brand experience is what attracts customers to your organization, engages them, and creates long-term loyalty. Customers want to work with you because they believe in your purpose, they are engaged as you deliver on your brand promise to them, and remain loyal because they resonate with your values. When the brand experience is consistent across all touchpoints in the customer journey (including digital, real-world, and human), then customers feel at home, which facilitates ease, comfort, and trust in working together. Of course, branding can also be a source of competitive differentiation and when done well, a competitive advantage, however consistency across the brand experience is paramount for this.

Bm: What is your opinion on trust and brand purpose?
KT: I believe that brand purpose and its impact on garnering trust from customers is more important now than ever before. In the wake of the global pandemic, economic uncertainty and social inequity customers are looking for brands to fill the gap that some governments and leaders have not been able to. With an increasing focus on ESG globally, brands that show commitment to a noble brand purpose broader than selling products and services are much more likely to be trusted, valued, and advocated for by customers.  

Bm: What are the three (3) most essential brand assets and why?
KT: Purpose and values – these are essential because they are effectively the North Start for your brand. They attract employees and customers, who want to work with you, and distinguish you from others in the market. These are the core of your brand essence in my opinion.

The logo – this is the visual representation of your purpose and values in one identity mark. It’s the most significant visual representation of your business; great logos create an instant emotional connection with your target audience.

And the color palette. Color is the visual representation of feeling and emotion, and also needs to be aligned to your purpose and values. When you consider that you have 90 seconds to create a lasting impression with your target audience, and that 90% of first impressions of a brand are based on color, it’s impossible not to consider your color palette one of your top 3 assets.  

Bm: What do you believe will be the next game-changer for brands (perhaps beyond Web 3.0)?
KT: Outside of Web 3.0 and the metaverse, the next game-changer for brands is ESG, in my opinion. Environmental, Social Governance facilitates top-line growth in the long run, attracts talent, reduces costs, and forges a sense of trust amongst consumers. Reporting on ESG gives you tangible data to support the intangible asset that is your brand.

Bm: What do you expect to achieve in your new role?
KT: My goal is to define and deliver on Shuttlerock’s brand experience in a way that ensures our clients realize consistent value along their journey with us, in a way that leads to high engagement, loyalty, retention, and trust. To achieve this, I’m building a highly customer-centric team, implementing systems and processes for efficient, scalable, repeatable customer success globally, and consolidating data to provide personalized and proactive brand experiences at scale.

Bm: What advice would you give to the person taking on your previous role?
KT: Focus on customers, understand what they need, and set up tools, technology, and processes to be able to deliver brand experiences that create value. Hire smart, talented staff, and create a collaborative culture of customer-centricity across the organization.

Bm: What will this new position give you that you didn’t have before?
KT: Creative as a service is a new space for me, and I’m really excited about the opportunity to help clients create without compromise at scale. With the proliferation of digital channels greater than ever before, and changes in privacy making targeting more challenging for companies, creative is now much more important in driving awareness, building preference, and ultimately turning prospects into customers. I’m really looking forward to building brand experiences for clients that transform their creative capability.

This new series of interviews aims to answer the same questions from different perspectives, giving you a better sense of where branding stands and how your peers think. Keep an eye out for the next one.