- What excites you most about the role at Catch A Fire?
That’s an easy one for me – it’s the people and purpose! For me, working in a company with a culture and team that connects well with my values is extremely important. I’ve been lucky enough to have already met with quite a few of the Catch A Fire team members and I’ve been amazed at the level of energy, openness, curiosity and passion that everyone has shown. I just can’t wait to dive in and get working with the team!
- What’s your background and point of view on purpose-led businesses?
For the past 17 years I’ve been working primarily in the world of FMCGs, spending my time in businesses like Unilever, Mars & Upfield. Over that time I’ve been in many different roles, mostly in marketing, all the way from local market category and trade marketing roles, to global brand and strategy roles. Perhaps more interestingly, I’m also a trained Chef and have worked professionally for a number of years in restaurants and bistros. This is all a far cry from my university days where I studied Chemical Engineering – learning to do things like optimising the flowrate of a shell and tube heat exchanger!
My view on purpose-led businesses is pretty simple – there isn’t really an option anymore. It doesn’t matter what facet of a business you’re looking at; whether it’s finding and motivating talented team members, building meaningful connections with consumers or generating value for shareholders, the evidence is clear that purpose-led businesses outperform those that aren’t.
- Tell us about your experience in the food industry?
Food is such an important part of the human experience. Apart from the purely sensorial experience of cooking and eating food; food is culture, human connection, memory and meaning and because of this I’ve found working in the food industry to be absolutely motivating. Just like any other industry, it can be easy to get drowned in the numbers and everyday challenges, but in the food industry it’s refreshingly easy to be able to step back and realise that the daily grind has meaning.
- What would be your biggest piece of advice to someone just starting their journey in brand strategy?
Great brand strategy needs to be simple. Why? Because at the end of the day our job is about influencing the way people see the world, then ultimately influencing their behaviour. If it takes more that 30 seconds to explain a strategy, then you’ve lost 99% of people. This is important, not because you’re going to explain your strategy to your end consumer / customer, but because for a strategy to truly become alive, then everyone behind the brand must fully understand, believe and be champions of the story. Strategy doesn’t live through the actions of one person, it lives when it infuses into the culture of a passionate and aligned team of people.
- What’s an interesting unknown fact about you?
I’m a keen explorer and that’s taken me everywhere from watching the sun rise over Angkor Wat, Cambodia, to hiking the fjords of the Lofoten Islands, Norway, to sipping fermented milk at a pre-wedding celebration in Kenya (whilst village elders bartered over how many cows the dowry should be). But one of my most memorable experiences was when, as a teenager, I hiked up to Everest Base camp. The sheer magnitude of the Himalayas and the elemental nature of the environment made it difficult not to be in awe virtually the entire time I was there. On top of this, the warmth of the people and the joy they exuded when living with relatively little was something I’ll never forget.
“Anthony Lin will be a fantastic addition to the Catch A Fire leadership team – with deep, relevant experience in area’s we are super passionate about. His ability to really appreciate and contextualise the true consumer and customer challenge will bring immense value into the team. And importantly will be a key enabler for even more brilliant strategic and creative work for our clients.” Toby Barty, Founder & Managing Director.