Branding in Asia recently spoke with Dominic Stallard Founder & Experience Leader at The Experience Makers.
Stallard started his career as a designer for Disney, and over the years has held several Global and regional Creative leadership positions, including being a member of Saatchi & Saatchi’s Creative Board, and before that, Lowe Worldwide. Prior to his current role he was Experience Centre Leader & Managing Director at PwC South East Asia.
Over the course of our conversation, he talks about his work at The Experience Makers, some creative campaigns he’s most proud of, his upcoming role as judge at the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, and more.
You’re dubbed a “Creative Experience Specialist”. Tell us more about that.
Most of my career has been in the creative industry. However, I’ve been working in Experience Design and Emerging Technology for the last five years. Picking up a diverse set of skills and processes along the way has given me different and unexpected perspectives, and helped us create better-connected, more unique solutions – whether the project is in brand & marketing, innovation, or creating new workplace experiences.
From a leadership perspective, what are some lessons you learned during the pandemic that you have carried forth into the post-pandemic workplace?
The pandemic stripped away people’s professional personas and made them more human and approachable. Ironically many of us felt closer to our colleagues by being physically separated. When we set up the XMakers, we had the luxury of creating our company culture from scratch, so we built it around a group of highly likeable and highly talented people from different countries and backgrounds.
Talent is everywhere, and many businesses today have the rare opportunity to build a stellar global team from absolutely anywhere. But if you really want people to work in an office, make it somewhere they’re excited and proud to go to, and treat them like people, not assets, when they’re there.
Stand-ups are our lifeblood. They bring the teams closer and make sure everyone is efficiently pulling in the same direction at the same time. Our Monday morning stand-ups are short and serious; our Friday ones are for unwinding and catching up with each other.
What are some projects you’ve worked on over the years that you are most proud of?
From a Brand Experience point of view, Scoot’s “Inspiring Spirit” is work I‘m still proud of. It was one of those rare opportunities to convert a real business problem into a substantial amount of positive brand perception and worldwide exposure.
Another standout project for me was PwC’s Experience Centre for Southeast Asia.
My brief was to create a new line of service from scratch, including building the workspace, bringing in a team of technologists, strategists, product specialists, and creatives, and creating a range of new products and services at the same time. It was an amazing learning experience every single day.
You’re on the Corporate Communications/PR, Publications, Social Media & Video jury at the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards this year. What are you looking for from entrants that will make them stand out from the rest?
The world is cluttered with average-at-best content and communications. What I’m looking for are ideas that cut through – the ones with messages and stories that are impossible to ignore.
Why do you think awards like the Stevies are important?
The relationships between employers and employees, businesses and customers, have gone through some seismic changes over the last couple of years.
“What I’m looking for are ideas that cut through – the ones with messages and stories that are impossible to ignore.”
Awards like the Stevies shine the spotlight on companies that deserve to be on stage – those who have adapted the most to change and found the smartest, bravest, and most innovative solutions.