MT Business Lifeforms: The queen of branding

Can Deborah Hoar, chair of Brand Job, meet the biggest challenge of her career?

It's Tuesday morning and the good folk of Brand Job are sitting around the round glass table in their glass eyrie atop the firm's Clerkenwell warehouse for an 'ideation' meeting. The room (the younger staffers call it the mental wank tank) has been the scene of more rebrandings than the OK Corral. Presiding is founder Deborah Hoar, resplendent in designer hippie kit that dates her formative years to the late '70s as surely as a taste for Sting.

First up for discussion is a chocolate bar that was a bestseller in the '80s. Rising star Miles tells the group how he is struggling with the bar's 'point of view' and mumbles about boomers and nostalgia. Hoar listens indulgently, then tells them they are not letting the bar speak, tell its story... She is, of course, right. And woe betide anyone who says - even thinks - that a chocolate bar with a voice and a meaningful narrative is utterly ridiculous.

From candy bars to cars, from the food on your plate to the nation state... there is little that Hoar hasn't sprinkled her marketing pixie dust on.

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