The Portfolio Executives

Lorraine Carter

  • Specialism: Brand Strategy, Brand Development, Rebranding, Brand Audits, Productisation, New Brand NPD, Brand Application, Deployment & Activation, Naming, Packaging Design, Marketing and Design
  • Track Record: Version1, University of Greenwich London, Nestlé, Kerry Foods, Eurofound — the largest EU agency, Enterprise Ireland, The Law Society of Ireland, Radisson Blu, SOLAS – the Irish State agency tasked with building a world-class Further Education and Training (FET) sector to fuel Ireland’s future, AMCIS UK, Tesco, Technology University Dublin, Castle Brands, Aldi, Wavin, Massey Bros., Thunders Bakery, Abberley Luxury Yachts, Saba, and MGI Learning UK.
  • Offer: A multi-award winning brand strategy maven, international speaker, masterclass leader, writer, designer, M.Sc. guest lecturer, brand consultant, and founder of Persona Design, with over 20 years experience working with business leaders, decision makers and their teams to transform their brands and increase their sales.
  • Lorraine says: “Enabling you to build ‘The Brand’ your ideal customer wants above all other and are happy to pay a premium for — without a big marketing team.”
    Try Me:

For many modestly resourced businesses, hiring a full time highly experienced senior executive like a CMO or President of Brand Strategy & Growth is outside their remit. The portfolio executive approach enables smaller companies to leverage this leadership expertise accessibly, so they can grow faster and more efficiently with strong value for money — and avoid costly mistakes.

After many years working as an international brand consultant, strategic advisor, professional speaker, and hands-on project manager, designer and marketer when needed, with multiple clients in different sectors and countries I was open to Charles McLachlan’s suggestion to become a portfolio executive. Projects have often entailed working with leadership and their teams across the organisation at a strategic level leveraging strong stakeholder management skills with consultative facilitation, internalisation and knowledge transfer. This experience of leading and managing brands through change, transformation, deployment and activation as well as developing entirely new brands successfully (private and public sector, international enterprise organisations and national SMEs, product and service, B2B and B2C, personal and corporate), is very effectively deployed as a portfolio executive or fractional director.

Depending on how you define success there have been many successes in my career such as enabling a traditional bakery business to build their brand so strongly that they’re selling fresh highly perishable products at a premium consistently — €700 per cake — while other bakeries go bust, or an L&D business reinventing itself and punching way above its weight selling its IP and training worldwide, or a start-up tech based business in the hospitality sector become the №1 brand in its niche consistently booked out, or enabling enthusiastic non-marketers in the public and private sector to develop, build, manage and deploy their brands very successfully.

Winning a few awards along the way has also been fun:

• Best Blog Award Ireland of an SME
• Business Woman of the Year Dublin, Ireland
• Multiple other branding, packaging design and accolades are also nice reminders, especially on the days when you question yourself, that you’re on the right track.

One of the things I’ve learned repeatedly is that resilience, creative thinking, flexibility, open mindedness, attention to the important details, consistency, perspective and persistence underpinned by robust systems typically prevails. That’s been proven repeatedly by many businesses, large and small, especially the modestly resourced ones that have become the №1 brand in their niche, even without a big marketing team.

Being a portfolio executive provides flexibility, challenge, variety, embracing new tech, staying curious and learning while working with a diverse range of people from different cultures who are hard working, fun, open-minded, professional, keen to learn and committed to doing the right thing, are key, both in terms of project scope, time, location, people and travel. Often when any of us develop a depth of expertise, we become unconsciously competent finding certain things easy to the point they’re taken for granted, wheres for others it’s fraught with what appears to be insurmountable costly problems. One of the most rewarding aspects of this work is seeing those lightbulb moments in those you’re working with, when they internalise the know-how you’re sharing, then accelerate their momentum and succeed.

My hope and vision for the future is to enable 1M business leaders, decision-makers, owners and their teams to develop, build, activate and deploy more successful brands in their organisations and broader ecosystem, so they can make a bigger positive impact with stronger self-sustaining revenue for their people, their families, communities at large, and for future generations to come — whilst also enjoying more freedom in their personal and professional lives.

How do you want to go from good to GREAT? Let’s talk