Name: Sam Ellison
Company: Anthem Worldwide – Schawk Strategic Design Company
Job title: Head of Business Development – UK, Anthem Worldwide
What keeps you busy all day? I’m always exploring new business opportunities and spend time developing good relationships with both existing and new clients so we have a strong understanding of their needs. I also work a lot with the creative and account teams to help the brands we work with release their potential through exciting and emotive packaging design. Finally, it’s important to keep up with visual trends, so I can help shape design strategy and review creative work.
What keeps you awake at night? Usually it’s my nine-month-old son, buts that’s a different story. Occasionally, if we’ve just received a new brief I do wake up buzzing with ideas and have to write my thoughts down. In fact it is when I do some of my best thinking!
Describe your working day: No one day is the same, which is what makes my job so interesting. It tends to be dictated by the projects that we are trying to win or are currently working on. Some days (and nights) I can be working on a creative pitch, whilst on others I’ll be looking at our new business strategy and client growth initiatives; at other times I could be managing a trends project in collaboration with one of our 14 Anthem offices around the world.
What’s your busiest time of day? I would say that each day gathers momentum as it goes – so afternoons get pretty busy, and I do end up doing quite a bit of my thinking in the evening.
What brands/accounts have you worked on? Within this role I have been lucky enough to work with some great clients such as Nestlé, Kimberly-Clark and The Co-operative as well as some truly iconic brands like Kit Kat, Huggies, Disney and Tesco.
Best day at work: In January, Anthem Worldwide acquired leading Anglo-Dutch design agency DJPA to bolster its creative resource and accelerate expansion into Europe. It was very exciting to be involved in this and subsequently it has been like a whirlwind. Joining forces has given us all a renewed energy and drive. The atmosphere has been great as we’ve been sharing our expectations and ambitions, meeting new people and new clients, as well as learning new ways of working. The best day recently has been winning our first joint project which is a major strategic design project for a massive household brand.
Worst day at work: I know you can’t win everything, but failing to win a pitch is always very soul destroying. Recently we had a really close call and we were narrowly pipped to the post. It was one of those projects which we invested a huge amount of emotion and energy into and we felt genuinely deflated when we were unsuccessful. It’s always a great learning curve though, so we were better prepared for the next one!
Name one thing you’ve achieved that has made your bosses sit up and take notice: The ability and passion to nurture and realise great ideas, whether they be internal initiatives that everyone thought would never get off the ground, or helping push clients to be bolder and more visionary with their designs.
Ambitions: We want to become a top five agency and believe that we have the people, skills and ambition to achieve this. It’s very exciting to be part of a team with such big ideas, where we are all working hard to ensure that we fulfill our potential, both as an agency and as individuals.
Advice to other rising stars: There is a positive in everything if you look hard enough. If you have a positive outlook on life it’s infectious and can make a real difference to the way that both you and your colleagues work, and ultimately to what you achieve.
Quote from the boss: “Sam is an absolute gem. The energy and passion she displays in everything she does makes her a fantastic and inspiring team member. If only we could bottle it!”: Barry Seal, Managing Director – UK, Anthem Worldwide