Q&A: Karen Ge – Marketing Strategists Must Breathe Life Into Their Strategies Through Sensory Experiences

Ge is Managing Partner at FLAWED and Head of Strategy at Fred & Farid.

Leading up to her role as a juror at this year’s Gerety Awards, we recently caught up with Karen Ge, Managing Partner at FLAWED and Head of Strategy at Fred & Farid.

Ge started her career featuring for fashion magazines before transitioning into the consulting industry where she served at two global leading brand consulting agencies under WPP and Omnicom.

Within a few years after joining FRED & FARID, she has utilized her frontier experiences in both the UK and China to provide integrated marketing strategies for established Chinese and global brands. Under a joint venture with FRED & FARID, her new advisory label FLAWED was brought to life, with the aspiration to empower business growth of emerging brands both in China and beyond.


 

Over the course of our conversation, she talks about her intriguing career path, her take on AI, her upcoming juror role with Gerety, and more.

Your career path blends economics, fashion, and brand consulting. How does this mix of experiences inform your approach to strategy?

Today’s marketing strategist must transcend the confines of merely crafting consolidated PPTs. Instead, they must breathe life into their strategies through sensory experiences and validate them with tangible business results.

“Today’s marketing strategist must transcend the confines of merely crafting consolidated PPTs. Instead, they must breathe life into their strategies through sensory experiences and validate them with tangible business results.”

My fashion career, spent collaborating with brands that evoke the utmost sensory appeal, has established a high benchmark for the visual and verbal articulation of my strategic outcomes. Additionally, my economic background has consistently asked me to decode the underlying business logic before giving any branding or marketing ideas.


 

Tell us more about FLAWED and its mission to empower growth for emerging brands. What is the significance of its unique name?

FLAWED is admittedly not a jolly name, and we inevitably encounter mixed receptions when embodying this ethos. The essence behind the name aims to question the ubiquitous “total solution provider” advocated by many consultancies today. We believe that there exists no ideal partnership, but only one that mutually complements each other.

Luckily, this underlying philosophy resonates deeply with our clientele today. Brands that resonate with this imperfection-ism align with us, and interestingly, even those seemingly flawless and mature brands have sought our collaboration in pursuit of unconventional perspectives and unique solutions.

At the risk of understatement, AI has become a bit of a thing. What AI tools have become “must-haves” for you and your team? How is AI changing the way you work, both for yourself and your clients?

Within FRED&FARID, we have been actively embracing AI, particularly with the recent launch of new label, [Ai]magination, the first creative AI content studio.

For our strategy team and also the FLAWED team, ChatGPT and Midjourney have become essential tools that we utilize daily. This marks a liberation, purification, and transformation of our working experience. Strategists are no longer relegated to merely creating keynotes or PowerPoint presentations; instead, we are challenged to pose the right questions, rather than hastily providing answers. We now engage in higher-level ideation and craft creative outputs, even without a dedicated creative team.

There is also this interesting article FLAWED team constructed in reflectively engaging with ChatGPT. (Here)

What kind of work are you looking forward to seeing most as a Gerety Awards juror this year?

Drawing from my strategic background, I have observed numerous grand strategies at various awards, which delve into critical human tensions through profound reflection and evocative narratives. These strategies often exceed the realm of what marketers can achieve and resolve in the short term, but still, we encourage the industry to continue pushing the boundary.

I eagerly anticipate not only the elaborate strategies designed for PR impact but also the intricate thoughts that tackle often overlooked yet highly relatable daily challenges. I am particularly looking forward to encountering marketing solutions that bring a smile to my face, demonstrating their ability to address trivial issues in a creative manner.

In general, do you think awards shows are important?

YES but the ultimate objective is not to foster internal competition within a restricted circle, but rather to give signals and spread messages to aspiring marketers, in order to preserve the vitality of our industry. Our goal is to attract individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to participate in the creative process, ensuring the continued growth and prosperity of our field.

Can you share some of your favorite creative work from 2023 that you’re hoping to see entered at The Gerety Awards?

I choose not to give any personal preference at this stage 🙂


This Q&A was published in partnership with The Gerety Awards. To learn more, including how and when to enter visit www.geretyawards.com

 

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