Elena Markos: In an uber-fast changing business environment, brands risk to be left behind if they don’t future-proof themselves

Elena Markos, Business Development Manager – UK, IRL & CEE WGSN, is a well-rounded senior consultant and has 16 years experience in different markets and regions, with constant performance in sales. At WGSN, her main focus is delivering presentations for senior professionals on how future trends can impact brand strategy, consumer behavior and market dynamics.

Elena has recently been working on projects for major British and International brands and leading high street names and manufacturers. Now based in London, she swapped her native Romania for the UK half a decade ago, following her husband, who started a master in Architecture.

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In her spare time, she is a volunteer at Prince’s Trust, a youth charity that helps young people aged 13 to 30 get into jobs, education and training. She is also mentoring several women in the UK, with the goal of supporting them reshape their career path. Elena is a Massive Star Wars fan and proud wife, having been happily married for 17 years.

AdHugger: Why should the brand managers and marketers keep an eye on trends?

Elena Markos: In this uber-fast changing business environment, brands risk to be left behind if they don’t future-proof themselves. The consumer is at the very core of all brands. Think of a leading energy drink brand:  at some point it has lost connection with its consumer, who is becoming extremely heath conscious. How will the brand stewards further engage with the audience? At WGSN, we have delivered a bespoke project, looking at consumer attitudes and behaviors – inspiring the marketing & communication team on how to engage with Generation Z and further attract Millennials. The result was memorable and put the brand right on track.

AdH: What was the best context for a brand to find inspiration via the WGSN trainings and reports you’ve coordinated?

E.M.: The WGSN Content — throughout multiple reports – where a leading cycling brand in the UK found inspiration and created one of their best sold bicycles ever, having a massive impact on their bottom line.

AdH: What would be the common interest that subscribers have in WGSN?

E.M.: The main connection and what brings all brands together is the consumer universe. The second layer depends on the nature of the brands: fast fashion / luxury / slow fashion / sustainability.

AdH: What is the most wanted service WGSN currently provides and how could it be useful for the Romanian marcomm industry?

E.M.: The most wanted service WGSN provides is the Fashion platform, which is a one-stop-shop approach for every brand / retailer, starting with the analysis of the consumer, the consumer attitude and behaviors, the macro level reporting, forecasting 2 years in advance and helping brands put the product on the market, through Business and Strategy reporting. In a nutshell, this report is helping brands find inspiration, while also validating and confirming their decisions in the market.

AdH: What’s your advice for a client that wants to stop being boring, but doesn’t know how?

E.M.: Challenge your audience to be different, granularly understand your consumer and work your way backwards.

AdH: What’s the most interesting part of your presentation in Bucharest, at “The Future of Creativity”?

E.M.: The Circular Economy – From waste-wear to products as services, we will be looking at how the circular economy may be the biggest disrupter of the make-to-dispose linear economy that has become the new normal.

AdH: What makes your soul sing?

E.M.: Bread and butter.

AdH: A story of pure determination:

E.M.: How I actually got the WGSN job after 6 interviews, knowing that 250 people had applied for the role. Persistence beats resistance, right?

AdH: Best statement of British Humor:

E.M.: “I’ll have you over for dinner soon.”. Translation: “Never.”

AdH: A hidden talent of yours:

E.M.: Boxing

AdH: Best experience in WGSN:

E.M.: “WGSN Futures event – the Vision 2030”, where we looked at the Future Consumer – 2030.

WGSN is the leading global online trend forecasting, lifestyle and product design platform that has served as inspiration and guidance for thousands of subscribers worldwide, throughout the past 20 years. Their unique products and services provide data, intelligence and creative inspiration, helping clients better understand consumer attitudes and behaviors, validate and confirm design and product decisions, launch more commercial products and ranges and decrease stock write-offs.

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