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Prepare for a new horizon: Advice from a Brand Consultant

By Aileen Yu


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Milan-based Brand Consultant and Creative Strategist, Yossi Fisher, has worked with clients such as Refinery29, Hypebeast and Vogue Italia. Last week, Fisher shared with FashionUnited in an interview via a video call on what brands and the self-employed can do to reinvent themselves for the world after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fisher told FashionUnited that as a business, brand, or freelancer, one should focus on providing more emotional value, sharing knowledge, and act from a human aspect by leveraging all communication channels to do so. The right message will add additional value to a brand in the long run and in the post-coronavirus world, these businesses and freelancers will be ahead of the curve. Customers and clients will remember them for being giving during a time of crisis.

How has the coronavirus crisis affected your business?

Actually, my consultancy has gotten busier due to the impact of Covid-19. Brands and businesses are reaching out to me because the market has shifted to valuing the consumer first and paying more attention to their wants and needs. It’s a good time to test the market, listen to customers, realign company values, take a step back and find purpose in their products and services. It’s forcing businesses to focus on market empathy, and not only their bottom line.

At a time where many are looking for insights in solutions, I’m leaning in to my values as well. I’m using my platforms to deploy insights and advice to my clients and network by leveraging all my social channels. I believe we all need to play a part in rebuilding the industry.

Brand Consultant and Creative Strategist, Yossi Fisher(Image Source: Yossi Fisher Studio)

What advice do you give to your clients and businesses during this time?

A lot of businesses right now are not doing anything and just trying to ride out the wave because they don’t want to misstep or send out the wrong message which could damage their brand. However, this is actually an opportune time to practice empathy and re-evaluate the values your products or services are built on.

Based on your experience, what tips do you have for freelancers and the self-employed to stay afloat during Covid-19?

The harsh truth is that the system of freelancers in fashion has been broken for a while now. There are too many make-up artists, styling, MUA’s, photographers, etc., and they're all vying for the same jobs, which has minimized rates and opportunities as well. The creatives who stand the best chance to win in the industry’s afterlife will not only have to be uniquely talented but very pragmatic in their approach to the next 6 to 12 months.

Tips for freelancers:

  • Eliminate 'the romance' and start being pragmatic.
  • Do not isolate yourself to one lifestyle/work method. Be dynamic.
  • Don’t be disillusioned and believe only in the all in or not worth it lifestyle of a creative.
  • Deploy humility-Find out what other skills you have and if there's anything else you can do to weather the storm.
  • Build a career to last-Make sure you have a strong foundation, and a long term strategy.

How do you see the fashion and creative industry when normalcy returns, do you think things will be permanently different?

Post the corona crisis, there is not just going to be a ‘new normal’, there will be a ‘new horizon’. That’s why it’s so important for brands, self-employed, freelancers alike to take this time to reset their values, find out how your services and business can join the current conversation and contribute in an empathetic yet practical manner.

You often host IGTV Live Talks on your Instagram, how important do you think Instagram Live is for businesses these days?

This crisis is really showing the need we all have for human connection and also propelling digital experiences that were already burgeoning into the forefront. We’ve seen a surge in the usage of Instagram Live, with many people testing their voices to see what works for them. Businesses should lean in to this time as well to not only offer insight or distraction, but really think about what kind of unique experiences and messages they can put out there that will add value to their communities. For example, featuring guests that align with your culture in context brings both communities together, and creates an exposure win for everyone involved.

Imagine, if you take away your product what type of conversation would you have with your customers? What can you do to ensure your culture and values resonate with your audience?

Imagine, if you take away your product what type of conversation would you have with your customers? What can you do to ensure your culture and values resonate with your audience?

What does a workday look like for you as a brand consultant, and as a creative strategist?

Daily I’m processing market trends, business behaviors, consumer reactions, the latest on social media and translating all of this information to elevate my clients’ businesses in as many ways that I can – be that sales, experiences, or communications. By holistically processing all these market touch-points, I'm able to strengthen their market presence and industry impact on a regular basis.

As a brand consultant, my main objective is to understand my clients, their vision, and develop (or elevate) the DNA of their brand or businesses. I take their products/services and align them with values and cultures that consumers care about.

As the owner of your own consultancy, Yossi Fisher Studio, how did you build such an extensive network?

I went from owning an urban streetwear boutique in my hometown in Canada to co-founding a styling company in Los Angeles that worked on music videos for RZA (Wu-Tang Clan) and styled artists for the Grammys. In 2011, I moved to London and had to build my business from the ground up again.

Since I’ve relocated numerous times, I'm used to staying in touch and keeping up-to-date with my contacts. If there’s a service I’m offering and it's relevant to my network, I’ll reach out or fill them in on current knowledge. Above all, I value quality friendships, and that’s how I’ve always treated my network - as humans, not dollars or opportunities. It’s how I’ve been able to build such a healthy, global industry reputation, and how after 20 years it’s still expanding.

Lastly, what would you tell your younger self?

Practice self-awareness, be pragmatic and strategic, and most of all, be resilient. If you can find a way to balance all of this, you’ll be able to sustain your ambitions and ultimately find your own happiness.

Photos: courtesy of Yossi Fisher Studio

brand consultant
career coach