Next up in our new series of quick interviews with Brand Managers from around the world is Ian Louden from ArcelorMittal.
- What is your name, and what do you do?
Ian Louden, Head of Brand Worldwide, ArcelorMittal.
- What does your company do/make?
ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel and mining company.
- What does your typical day entail?
Meetings, email, calls… and importantly, thinking…
- What three words would your clients use to describe your brand?
Respected, recognised, standing out from competitors.
- What is the biggest challenge you face managing your brand?
We are, for good reason, a decentralised global company. So the biggest challenge comes when something needs to be centralised because this is contrary to the company culture. The brand visual identity is an obvious case in point.
- What is more important for a brand, look and feel or vision and values?
The role of the ‘look and feel’ is to symbolise our company purpose, ‘inventing smarter steels for a better world’, and our values, sustainability, quality and leadership.
- What is your favourite brand right now, and why?
I enjoy the swiss watch brand IWC Schaffhausen. This is a brand for people who value beautiful watches and the excellence of their manufacture, but who would not be seen dead with a Rolex, which is a brand for people who want to impress other people.
- When it comes to brand management, do you prefer the carrot or the stick?
Definitely the carrot, but the stick remains in reserve and is used occasionally.
- What is the best application of your brand in your opinion?
Our corporate web site, corporate.arcelormittal.com.
- What is an example of someone going off-piste with your brand guidelines?
Two recent examples come to mind, each driven by the decentralisation tendency I already mentioned. The first is a rogue PowerPoint template and the second a deviation from our standard email signature. Both come from Brazil btw. Both have been done by colleagues there who have the best intentions, yet in both cases, there is no realisation that it is not so much the deviation from the standard itself that matters, so much as the precedent, it sets for others to do the same.