Every woman has an incredible journey to share with the world.
We’re putting the spotlight on our very own members and their career paths this International Women’s Day.
Here is Kate’s story:
What is it that you do and why did you choose this career path?
I run a human experience consultancy Style Psychology working with retail, hospitality and tech brands across brand strategy, customer experience, design and innovation. Our clients include Swarovski, Klarna, Zopa Bank, SNUG and Dowsing & Reynolds.
As a consumer psychologist it was clear to me that I want to use this knowledge to create a better world by making brands more HUMAN. This is in fact my company’s mission and this is what I do every day. We use our behavioural expertise to help brands understand why people do what they do, how to create experiences which are in line with how the human mind operates and how to design brands, spaces and online experiences that create desired brand perception and consumer behaviour.
I was always fascinated by human behaviour but the more I looked into the amazing scientific discoveries, the more I realised how little of it is used in the world of brands. I truly believe that brands shape our identity, our societies and the whole humanity. Therefore, it is not only a great opportunity for brands to use behavioural sciences to better their experience but it is also their responsibility to ensure that their brand’s actions are making a positive impact on humanity.
Would you say there are equal opportunities within your line of work? Did you have to face any challenges related to inequality in your career and if so, how did you overcome those?
Challenges is something that all humans face, some more than others, but they are also what shape our identity. I won’t sugarcoat it; it is not easy being a fairly young woman doing the work I do. Firstly, it is still not as common to use a behavioural expert as a brand and CX consultant. Secondly, many bigger brands are still run by men with a short-term outlook on business and little understanding that behavioural expertise is something that can move the needle just enough in the right direction.
So, yes, I often faced negative responses from boards or CEOs who didn’t think that my expertise was needed or they don’t see how they can use it. But more often I actually met with open arms, feelings of being inspired and wanting to advocate my approach. And quite often that meant great projects and continued relationships.
So, of course, there are clearly challenges stemming from being a woman and from the uniqueness of my approach, but there are as many or even more advantages, if you look at it properly.
What women inspires you the most or is your biggest influence?
I always learned a lot from my older sister. She believed in me from the start and taught me a lot about running a business. We support each other daily and inspire each other to reach for our dreams.
My grandma was an extremely strong, and sometimes stubborn, woman. I often think of her when things get tough and if she could go through war, cancer and at least 8 heart attacks and still be as strong at over 80 that when she held my hand, she almost crashed it, then who am I to think that I don’t have this strength in me!
There is nothing we can’t conquer, if it is truly what we want.
What advice would you give to young women looking to start working in your sector?
Always start with establishing your life mission. What you do as career or business if often related to it, but does not have to be. The key is to always be aware of what impact you want to make in the world and through which parts of your life you want to make it.
For me, my work is intrinsically tied to my life mission. Therefore, every new addition to my business needs to be consistent with it.
Make sure you have a great group of fellow women and men to support and inspire each other on your journey. It is so important to have people to be your sounding board. I made a mistake of not having much of it in my earlier years and it felt really alone. I am now more open with my friends and clients and we help each other to grow.
Also, make sure to invest in your personal development and wellbeing. If you’re not ok, you won’t be much use to anyone else. The reason I persevered is because I had a deep belief in what I am doing but also because I work on myself every day.
Otherwise, try to get diverse experience and make sure to notice what makes your heart sing, what brings you joy. This is usually what you should continue doing in your career.
As we continue going through the challenging times of change, what are your professional plans and career focus for the rest of 2021? Please mention any new projects you’re currently working on.
We are working with a few of our clients on their brand strategies and customer experience. One of them is an incredible new sustainable and ethical fashion brand in casualwear and loungewear. I am super excited about that. We are planning to launch in September 2021, so watch this space.
We are also working on more educational content, including incredible live and self-study courses for start-up and scale-up founders and managers. More info to come soon.
Style Psychology are running a special competition looking for 10 consumer brands in retail, hospitality or tech who will receive their Behavioural Brand Audit for only £199 (worth £1,500) and one brand who will win a complimentary audit.
The applications are open till 15th March. Full details here.