Building an Impactful Brand |Collette Philip

Courtesy of Brand by Me

This week, I had a lovely chat with Collette Philip. Collette is a brand consultant and the founder of Brand by Me, a brand consultancy company with the aim to build brilliant and impactful brands. We spoke about her journey as a strategist/ business owner and the key steps involved in building a strong brand. Since this interview, I have evaluated the brand, Layo by Victoria and my personal brand as a professional. Grab a cup of tea and let us get stuck in!

1. Please give me a brief history of your professional journey?

I studied International Management and German at Bath University. I later decided to pursue a career in advertising after an internship with Sellotape where I gained a good understanding of Marketing & Advertising. After my internship, I got a graduate job with Grey London.

I really enjoyed working with big brands such as McDonald’s, Clearasil and Veet. I have worked as brand strategist at T-Mobile and EE, a marketing manager and an assistant director of communications at Barnardo’s Charity. The advertising industry is fun, but it can also be challenging. After many years in the industry, I decided to take a step back and work out what I truly wanted for my career. I knew I wanted to make a difference, this influenced my decision to move to the charity sector and eventually start my own Brand Consultancy business called Brand by Me.

2. Please tell me about your role as a brand strategist?

My role as a brand consultant is to help my clients understand, define, articulate and put their brand into practice.

3. What are the key steps involved in developing a brand strategy?

Brand by Me’s process of developing a brand strategy involves four stages. These four stages form the core of a brand strategy. It is also important to measure success, impact and progress of your brand.

Building Brand Strategy
4. What are the common branding mistakes made by businesses or influencers?

Three mistakes a brand can make include:


  • Focussing only on the visual side of branding.
  • Not putting your brand into practice. As an influencer or business, your brand should drive every single decision that you make. A brand may be portraying one thing but be involved with many unconnected activities. This can impact the authenticity of a brand.
  • Not investing enough or at the right point in your brand. This can be money, time, resource or effort. People will try to do things as cheaply as possible, but it is good to find a balance because you cannot do everything yourself.


5. When is it necessary for a business or influencer to re-brand?

Rebranding is necessary when your brand no longer represents who you are, what you do and what you stand for. For example, if you constantly have to explain what you do or what you stand for, then you might have to consider rebranding. The scale of the rebrand depends on the scale of the challenge. Sometimes it is a simple visual change and other times it is a fundamental name change. 

6. I recently read your blog post on building your personal brand versus workplace stereotypes. How does building a personal brand apply to a young graduate, who is about to enter the corporate world?

Your personal brand is all about helping people to understand who you are and, in this situation, how you relate to the company you are going to work for. As a young graduate, there are three elements for building a personal brand.

  • Be clear on your values from day one. E.g. Integrity
  • Your personality is your superpower. Develop your skills to complement your personality, this can be an asset to your career. For example, if you are outgoing and great with people you can hone your skills as a connector by seeking opportunities to network.
  • Nowadays you have more channels to build your personal brand. But this means using your social media responsibly. Be yourself and also portray things you are passionate about.
7. Can you please give me examples of how building your personal brand has benefitted you.

Building my personal brand has helped me to understand and evaluate my values. I have always known that my purpose involves building brands that influence social change, and this influenced the transition from working in advertising to working with charities. It has also helped me to spot opportunities that may not seem obvious.

Courtesy of Brand by Me
8. What do you love about your job?

Running a business is very different from working for an employer. There is a lot more risk involved. Being a business owner has been a big learning experience, but for the first time I feel fully in control of my destiny. I love the freedom and flexibility of owning a business that coincides with my purpose and values.

9. What challenges do you face as a business owner?

I work with a great team but being a business owner can be challenging. Resilience is a must because running a business is a dynamic process, things can happen outside of your control and you have no choice but to bounce back. As a business owner, I work long hours and it can be hard to switch off even when I am not working.

10. What do you do to ensure a good work-life balance?

I have a dedicated office to ensure a healthy work-life balance. I dance and walk my dog regularly to keep fit. Like everyone, I do enjoy watching tv programmes, but I avoid “The Apprentice” because watching people demonstrate bad brand is horrifying!

11. You recently launched a programme called “strategy mastermind”, can you tell me a little about this programme?

Strategy Mastermind is a 5-week programme which involves working through a brand strategy as “Brand by Me” also evaluates its strategy. Every week involves a strategic task which introduces the basics of strategy which can be applied to a business or an individual.

Unfortunately, people struggle with strategy because there is a lot of myth and jargon around it. In the long term, I want to use this to help women especially women of colour in business or the corporate world to understand how to develop and deliver strategy.

12. Do have any branding advice for business start-ups and creative freelancers?

Nail your brand framework, focus on your personality, purpose, vision and values. As a creative start-up or a freelancer, it will help you stand out among the competition who may be more established. Once you have your brand and strategy developed, live by it and evaluate your performance. My final advice would be to find ways to help people through your work. Be open to partnerships but ensure that you value yourself and your time.

Courtesy of Brand by Me

Connect with Collette

Website :

Instagram: @brandbycollette

Twitter: @brandbycollette


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