Branding & design | 29/02/2024

Lisa Seymour celebrates women in marketing

Posted by JessThomas

At Fox&Bear, we’re lucky to have a fantastic team of women who bring creativity and innovation to everything they do. This International Women’s Day, we caught up with Lisa Seymour, our Head of Brand Development, to talk about her career journey so far, her top marketing tips for women, and the inspiring female figures who have influenced her – and of course her love for Frida Kahlo. Read on to delve into her insights and to join us in celebrating the power and brilliance of women in marketing.


Tell us about your role and what you like best about it.

In my role as Head of Brand Development at Fox&Bear it’s my job to lead a group of talented designers, and creatives. Together we aim to bridge the gap between brand and audience, for clients in sectors such as Healthcare, Professional services, Leisure and B2B.

Problem-solving varies greatly between brands due to differences in messaging and audience engagement challenges. Whether it’s a website, direct mail campaign, or rebranding effort, each project presents unique obstacles and outcomes. I enjoy combining audience research with team brainstorming sessions – merging knowledge with experience. This process keeps me engaged as I continuously seek improvement, a better comprehension of our clients’ businesses, their audience, and refined design. I’m passionate about pushing boundaries and fostering creativity in design. Above all, I get huge satisfaction from empowering my team to make bold choices, whilst upholding the integrity of the client’s brand.


Which women inspire/have inspired you the most?

My very first boss in marketing was a real game-changer. Back when I was 27, juggling two kids as a single parent, I got hired as an admin assistant. This was back in the days when filing cabinets were giant metal beasts! Even then, I knew I had a thing for design, but I had no clue how to mix that with my love of people, natural curiosity and my then role. It took me a while to connect the dots. To keep it short, my boss, Charlie Chant, was a total rockstar. She led our team in a way that let us spread our wings, be ourselves, and she was our biggest cheerleader, always pushing us to use our strengths and get out of our comfort zone when needed. Honestly, I wouldn’t be where I am today, without her.


Frida Kahlo. Sure, she’s been getting more attention lately, but I’ve been a fan since I was about 15. I was lucky enough to spend a summer in Miami, and I ended up in a shop plastered with copies of her famous look. That was it for me; I was hooked on her story from then on. What I admire isn’t just her art but her whole journey – the struggles she overcame, the feminist beliefs she championed, her never-give-up attitude, and of course, her work, which at the time challenged the status quo. I don’t own any of her work, but the design style I’m drawn to takes cues from her. Bold colours, funky patterns, and a dash of heroism. That’s how I got the bug. I really care about how things look, obviously as marketers we don’t get to create things for ourselves, it’s not quite like choosing a painting for your home. In a lot of ways, it’s better. You have to put yourself in the mind of the audience and understand what they expect to see from a brand.


As women, how can we support each other to achieve our goals?

Hang out with women who are different from you, and don’t see their differences as a threat, see them as someone you can learn from. The women in my life come from all walks of life; old friends, new friends, all age groups, with all sorts of beliefs, and each of them has taught me something valuable. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we’re always learning and that the people around us, are our teachers. Understanding different viewpoints, lifestyles, and experiences helps me grow professionally, whether it’s understanding client briefs or guiding newer team members. Knowing that systems and processes are just part of the picture, and that support comes in many forms. We should be each other’s biggest fans, celebrate each other’s victories, ditch the competitive mindset, and work together no matter our job titles.


What advice would you give women looking to get into brand/marketing?

Get a handle on your “why”? What’s driving you? What’s your mission? Why are you drawn to what you do? Figuring out what excites you, what you’re passionate about, and how you want to make a difference is key to finding your place in marketing. It’s ok to mess up sometimes – that’s how we learn and grow. While there are norms and best practices in the industry, it’s totally fine to experiment with new stuff, even if it doesn’t go as planned. Speak your mind; don’t be afraid to share your thoughts. Marketing is all about connecting with people; the success of our campaigns or designs depends on the emotions they incite. So, if you’ve got an idea, don’t hold back, every idea counts.


What are some key skills or qualities you believe are essential for success in the world of marketing?

  • Listening – It’s super important. It’s about really getting what your clients are saying about their needs, problems, and ideas for solutions. And as you get better at it, you start picking up on the things they don’t say.
  • Data curious – What tools can you leverage to give you a better picture of the audience? Consumer research tools, such as GWI and analytics tools such as GA4 can give you some great insights into the audience and help you design for them. A win, win as they’re the ones you’re trying to attract.
  • Creativity – The ability to think creatively and come up with original concepts and designs that effectively communicate the brand’s message and values. This is imperative as some subject matters are more difficult than others. Before you put pen to paper so to speak, collaborate.
  • Collaboration – Work with your peers to get their take, share research. Discuss what you know and build a picture. Once you have your initial concepts, ask your peers to give you feedback.
  • Resilience – Creative marketing, design and brand can be a hard job at times. A little bit of you goes into every piece of work you do. Often your clients will require changes and sometimes a complete do-over. Learn not to take it personally, be happy to go on the journey with your client and the results will be worth it!
  • Detail – It’s a must. Once you’ve launched something, there’s no turning back. So, making sure everything is spot-on is key. If you’re not naturally great at noticing the little things, it’s worth figuring out your own system to proof your work.


What advice would you give to young women aspiring to leadership positions in their careers?

I still believe in the idea of leading by example, which ties into what I mentioned about my first manager. If you’re aiming for a leadership role, I’d suggest paying attention to who leads you and how their leadership style has influenced you. Think about getting involved in volunteering or mentoring programs like Young Enterprise; they can really boost your confidence. Remember, it’s important to find a balance between giving too much and not enough. Maybe consider finding a mentor you can talk to about challenges. These experiences can help you develop important skills like being adaptable, communicating well, and bouncing back from setbacks.

In the end, whether you’re in marketing, branding, or leadership, success hinges on understanding people. Just as no two individuals can be managed in precisely the same manner, no two brands can be marketed identically.