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A Day in the Life of a Millennial Brand Experience Intern

A Day in the Life of a Millennial Brand Experience Intern

One brilliant intern's perspective on what goes into creating stellar brand experiences

By Kit Popolo 

I’ve just completed my summer internship with FreemanXP in London and the experience really opened my eyes to the brand experience industry and the roles that Freeman and FreemanXP play.

Even as the daughter of the CEO of Freeman, I have to admit that I have not always completely understood what my family’s company actually did. “Face-to-face marketing” didn’t mean very much to me, and my old perceptions of Freeman as a general contractor, carpet-installer and sign-printer turns out to only be a sliver of the story. This summer, I realized that we are not just in the events business, we are in the brand experience business — which is pretty cool.

Life at a boutique brand experience agency like FreemanXP in London is very different from what I have previously been exposed to (and even what I was expecting), which I guess is what this summer was about!

Working in a creative agency like FreemanXP (where everyone is very experienced and highly specialized in his or her particular areas of expertise) meant that there was only so much help that that an intern could offer. Thankfully I was able to support the creative, strategy, and business development teams with understanding brands, inspiring design, and generating ideas.

I quickly recognised that the unique attributes of the clients’ brand are the essential drivers for creating live or online brand experiences. This seems obvious, but I have learned that a brand is so much more than a logo and a tagline, so a brand experience must represent more than the logo’s colors. A brand is a feeling, a message, and a movement.

Often times it seemed that the companies themselves did not entirely realize what their message was or the real nature of their brand. It was up to our strategy and creative teams to discover what the client was trying to communicate, and how to translate that into a meaningful experience. It was really fun to see how excited clients got when they felt that their brand was really understood and the experience created was designed to achieve their objectives.

I found it fascinating how the team dug deep to understand the motivation for an experience design. I fancy myself as an artist but am not at all qualified to design an experience marketing campaign, exhibition stand, or create 3D renderings. What I could do, and what was a very exciting part of the process, was find the graphics, colors, textures, and architecture that inspired the experience design. Seeing how mood boards come alive in a live brand experience is an incredibly gratifying experience.

Lastly, I was inspired by our ability to generate truly breakthrough ideas on behalf of our clients. I have come to realize that one of the roles of FreemanXP – and Freeman as a whole – is to work with clients who may not entirely know what they need, but know they want “wow” and help them to achieve their objectives.

Responding to a brief which only specifies broad objectives, square footage, and a budget is a definite challenge, and if it were not for the imaginative power of the team, it would be very difficult to meaningfully respond. Wanting an industrial look turns into making a stand out of shipping containers; asking for attendee interaction turns into a second screen experience; and asking for artifacts turns into bottling air from California to give away at their stand in Tokyo. This is what clients are expecting from our agency: taking an RFP and then creating and delivering a spectacular, and valuable experience.

I am so glad that I got to have my own taste of life as a member of the FreemanXP London team and gain a new perspective and appreciation for what goes into creating a stellar brand experience!

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