Under the Hood with Fiona Kerr, Head of Creative Content at ZURU Edge
Ahead of our upcoming online event, Under the Hood – Women in Design, we sat down for a quick q&a with one of our featured speakers, Fiona Kerr from ZURU Edge.
All folks are welcome to virtually attend this event by registering here ( free for DA Friends, pay-what-you-can for the public)
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Can you tell us a little bit about who you are, what your background is, and how you first got started in the industry?
Kia Ora, I’m Fiona, Head of Creative Content at ZURU Edge. My background in design started when I moved from Hamilton to Wellington as a naive 17 year old to study design at Massey University. Thankfully, I made it through the gruelling creative studio papers and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Design (Honours), Majoring in Graphic Design. At the time, there weren’t a lot of opportunities in Wellington so the competition was high and you really had to hustle to get your foot in the door. After graduation, I moved to Auckland for a role with Dish magazine. This was a great introduction to the industry, I learnt a lot of my practical skills there and got to pair my love of design with food! Like most Kiwis do, I moved to London and worked as a designer for fashion brand Boden. Since being home, I’ve been working as a designer and art director across multiple sectors including retail, home and interiors and most recently FMCG.
What project will you be presenting in Under the Hood?
At ZURU Edge, we are dedicated to creating the next generation of brands that will disrupt stagnant consumer goods categories and better serve modern consumers. As one of the fastest-growing consumer goods companies in the world today, ZURU Edge is committed to developing brands across five key verticals: Pet Care, Baby Care, Personal Care & Beauty, Home Care and Health & Wellness.
Working at ZURU Edge provides an incredible opportunity to be involved in the entire brand-building process, from start to finish. As creatives, we generally play a crucial role in the initial stages of brand creation, including developing strategies, designing logos, crafting packaging and creating websites. However, unlike other brands which are designed by an agency and then handed back to the client to execute launch and ongoing marketing, we handle all ongoing content creation and marketing in-house. This is where my role comes into play and this will be the focus of the project I am presenting for the Under the Hood series.
I will be sharing the importance of brand DMS (Distinctive Memory Structures) and the Four Pillars of Persuasion (Likeability, Credibility, Proof and Solution), which are the frameworks that inform and underpin the creative process at ZURU Edge. I will be using some of our existing brands (MONDAY, Health by Habit & BONKERS) as case studies to demonstrate how we apply this framework to the ongoing life of a brand.
What was the most challenging part of the project and what lessons did you draw from it?
One of the main challenges we face when applying the brand DMS and Four Pillars of Persuasion framework is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to using it. Each brand is unique and can come with its own set of challenges within its category. As a result, we continually audit, optimise, and refine our brands as we learn more about how audiences react to them and what the data shows. The lessons and learnings we gain from one brand can often be tested and applied to others.
Was there an ‘Aha!’ moment in the project when things clicked and fell into place?
I think the ‘aha’ moment came when building out this framework as it simplified our approach. By following established frameworks around DMS and the Four Pillars of Persuasion, we can build strong and effective global brands. Our CEO, Nick, is heavily involved in our strategy and is a driving force behind our constant efforts to improve. We have regular meetings with him where we discuss ways to innovate and push the boundaries. As a result, many of our strategies are inspired by his insights and ideas.
Now that the project has finished, what are you working on?
The projects are never ending!! But we are working hard at applying this methodology in the work we do (both present and future). We are launching several new brands this year so these toolkits have been at the forefront when building out our brands. 2023 promises to be a very busy and exciting year for us, and I am excited to see these new products out in the wild!
What insights to your methodological approach or philosophy can you give us?
Critique, collaborate and craft. As designers working really close to a project, it’s easy to get bogged down and not see something for what it is. Remember to take a step back and critique it against these frameworks that will help guide the design and decision making. In the context of FMCG brands, we would ask ourselves these questions:
- What are the Distinctive Memory Structures of the brand? Have we established 3-5 assets that make the brand memorable and magnetic?
- What problems are we solving for the consumer?
- Has the product’s credibility been translated into on and off pack messaging?
- What proof points reinforce the credibility of the brand?
- And what are the likeable elements that are going to connect with our consumer?
Outside of work hours what creative projects and/or hobbies are you involved with?
This year, I really want to develop my creativity in more tactile ways so I have just enrolled in a 9 week beginner’s painting class at the Browne School of Art. Apart from that, outside of work I love to cook! My latest obsession is Alison Roman and her new book “Nothing Fancy.” her recipes are amazing and I love the photography and styling!
And finally, where to next for you? What areas of your work or personal development are you hoping to explore further?
Off to Italy to work in a vineyard and eat pasta . . . one day!