As part of our global expansion plans, Elevate has opened three new offices in Germany, France and Austria to provide brands and partners with greater opportunities to create and deliver multi-market European experiences and events.
To help our clients get to know the newly appointed Managing Directors for each market, we’ve invited them to answer five questions about the industry and themselves. With over 12 years of experience sourcing exceptional talent, Sarah Wangler has taken over the role of Managing Director for Germany, as Jonas Willuhm becomes Elevate’s Chief Growth Officer.
How will Elevate’s global expansion plans benefit clients on a local level?
Our industry is changing fast. Before the coronavirus pandemic, we focused heavily on the German beauty market, and everyone wanted to work with us because clients recognised us as the experts. However, the last year has encouraged us to open up our expertise to even more brands and industries, and we’ve proved we can do this successfully.
Expanding globally presents us with the perfect opportunity to learn from colleagues in other countries. We now have access to even more information on crisis communications, handling closed retail, and reaching audiences across multiple markets. There is a great deal of expertise and knowledge to draw upon, so I’ve been like a child in a sweet shop. I see my colleagues as an extended family that provides me with guidance which, in turn, gives me the tools to help clients in many different ways.
What do you think are the essential components of a successful activation/brand experience?
The most important thing is understanding what the client’s needs are. You have to build a good relationship with them, listen to them and truly understand what they want.
When it comes to delivering an activation, I like to go above and beyond what’s expected, providing the client with added value. They already know that we are the industry experts, but I also present more in-depth information and data on customer behaviour through mystery shoppers and feedback sessions. These are things they did not expect, which makes them very happy. We don’t just think about the staffing; we think about what else we can do to benefit the client and improve the overall experience.
What needs to change in the industry right now?
The behaviour towards promoters and staffing needs to change. At the moment, it’s not always seen as an attractive or valuable role, and I don’t know why. The talent we employ are incredibly experienced and skilled at what they do. They are the face of the brand and are responsible for building a valuable connection with the customer, which needs to be recognised more.
What’s the best piece of advice someone’s ever given you?
My Grandfather told me: “If you argue, never say never”. So, for example, if you’re speaking to someone, don’t say that they never listen to you. It may seem simple, but this advice allows me to be more productive and respectful when I communicate with others.
How do you like to prepare for the day ahead?
I wish I could say that I get up at five am for a run followed by a cold shower, but I don’t have a fancy routine like that. When I had a dog, I used that time in the morning to go for a walk and enjoy being outside. I still keep things simple now and lie in bed without my phone, listening to the news for an hour before getting ready for the day.