Collette Philip

Collette Philip

Founded in 2016, Brand by Me helps organisations build social justice into their brand strategy. With clients like Womankind, Channel 4, Sodexo, and RAF Benevolent Fund, Brand by Me helps organisations use the power of brand to drive change across a breadth of causes – like inclusion, antiracism, peacebuilding, social mobility and women’s rights.

Why I started my business

I’ve spent the last 20 years working with brands, household names and great charities. I strongly believe that brands have an amazing power to do good in the world and this belief led me to set up Brand by Me in 2016.

About me

I started life in advertising, working on household names such as Starburst, McDonald’s, Always, Clearasil, and Veet, before moving in-house to build brands for Barnardo's, T-Mobile, EE and World Animal Protection. I’ve worked at some of the world’s biggest ad agencies and led brand and digital teams within organisations tackling some of society’s biggest issues. I LOVE how brands can connect people to the most abstract and difficult of concepts and make people care about stuff they didn’t know they should care about. I’m a changemaker. I’m fuelled by my lived experience as a black woman, and my passion for social justice. Throughout my life and career, I’ve faced discrimination due to my race and gender and I will not tolerate or accept it. I know I have a responsibility to be a role model, champion others and speak out against the stereotypes. 

My main role model in life and/or business

My family are a big influence, but my mantra is ‘Be more Beyonce’ - I love her energy, focus, determination and drive and try and channel this into everything I do.

My biggest achievement in business

Winning PRECIOUS Creative Business of the Year award in 2018. And reaching our 5-year anniversary in March 2021 – with everything that’s happening in the world, this feels BIG!

Challenges I’ve faced in business and how I’ve overcome these

It was a challenge to move from an employee to business owner mindset, so I employed a business coach to help me. The beginning of the pandemic was tough, but I managed to pull through and grow by focussing on our unique offer and building my visibility as founder.

Advice I’d give to someone currently starting or growing a business

Hold Your Nerve. A friend gave me this advice when I hit a rough patch. It’s so easy to let doubt, fear and criticism derail you. Believe in your purpose, be bold and consistent in your action within this.  And definitely don’t try and do everything, focus on the areas where you’re strong and out-source or seek help with everything else. I see so many businesses struggle because they didn’t seek help with their brand or strategy when they needed it and it’s frustrating – investment can be scary, but it always pays dividend if you work with the right people.

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