Brandkind People: Sanna Wester

Brandkind is growing. As part of our strategic plan, Sanna Wester was appointed as the new Chairman of the Board in April. We spoke with her about her experience, future goals, and how to be happy.

Wester has a long history in marketing at major multinationals such as Unilever, as well as in management, teaching, and more. Now she is bringing her wide range of experience to Brandkind.

“For many years I worked in marketing, branding, and strategic leadership,” she says. “More recently I have been an entrepreneur, working with coaching and supporting small and medium enterprises. In a way, coming to Brandkind is a return to my marketing roots.”

Brandkind was attractive to Wester in large part because of its client portfolio. “Brandkind is not trying to get the next big consumer product launch. We have big, industrial players as our clients, and that is fantastic. We are in a very strong position, and I am happy to be helping find the right direction for the company. Many doors are open for us, the main question is where do we want to go?”

A marathon not a sprint

Brandkind’s position in the marketing industry comes with many opportunities to build on firm foundations. “I wouldn’t have joined if I did not have trust in the company and the people who lead it. On the other hand, if everything were perfect then I would not be needed. So, I hope I can add something new to the soup, like a cook,” she laughs.

Although the last year has been difficult for many people and businesses, Wester suggests that Brandkind can offer unique opportunities for our clients in the future. “Of course, it has been tough for everyone, but now we have clear growth targets, and we have to make choices about how to achieve them.”

…we want to make strategic choices about where we want to be in three years and pay attention to providing the resources to do that.

And, as in life in general, part of managing expectations is dealing with uncertainty while planning as well as possible.  “We could choose to do something, and the universe says “no”, and then we need to live with that,” she argues. “But as Brandkind develops then we can also adapt our existing skills and knowledge. It is like running a marathon – just making that decision does not make it happen. You need to take care of your training, nutrition, and the rest, and it takes years. It is the same with us, we want to make strategic choices about where we want to be in three to five years and pay attention to providing the resources to do that.” Brandkind has started the strategic development of the company and will have more information for our customers later this year.

Do what you love

Speaking of marathons, Wester also has an impressive resumé as a sportsperson. “I used to be very ambitious in sports, and in fact I finished at the top, so to speak. I was fifth in my weight class at the weightlifting World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand. I had a nutrition coach, and an Olympic lifter as my trainer, and it was very hard work,” she explains. “But these days I am not being so hard on myself, although I still go climbing and other fun stuff.”

And what, finally, does Wester suggest is the key to happiness? “Do more of what you love, don’t let others define you, and live in the now. It sounds like a cliché but there is no point living in the past. If the sun shines today, then enjoy it.”