Michael Mitchell joined Interbrand’s Verbal Identity team in New York as a Creative Writer 4 years ago. His daily work with the Verbal team included a blend of copywriting, strategic messaging, tagline development, name generation, and more. Upon learning that he could take these skills and apply them internationally, he joined our global mobility program. Below, Michael answers a few questions about the program and his adopted city, Singapore.
What initially led you to want to transfer to Singapore? What were you hoping to take away from the experience?
I wanted international business experience and cultural immersion. Interbrand has 30+ offices, so it seemed there would be plenty of opportunity to work abroad. As an English-speaking Verbal Identity consultant, I knew I would have to transfer to a market that worked primarily in my native language. In that regard, the Singapore office was an option. I'd already met two members of the Singapore team while at Interbrand Academy in Korea, so it felt perfect.
Has anything been surprising to you about your new city?
Singapore is on the equator, and it’s very hot—every day. So, the joke is that Singapore has the world’s best air conditioning, and it’s true! Every building you step into is ice cold. It’s impressive, and slightly scary.
What advice would you give to others who are interested in global mobility?
Do it. As I got on the Singapore Airlines flight leaving New York, I was unsure, intimtidated and frightened—and that’s how I knew I’d made the right decision. The business opportunity and cultural immersion has allowed me to grow, learn, and push myself in ways I never thought possible. Anyone who takes advantage of global mobility opportunities at Interbrand is bound to have an incredible, life-changing experience.
What do you like best about your new city?
Singapore is a sparkling melting pot. It’s modern and lush, with a wonderfully diverse population. And with all that human diversity comes an amazing variety of food—this is a playground for foodies!
What specific projects have you been able to work on?
The Singapore office services the entire Southeast Asia region. As a result, I’ve been able to do work for clients from Thailand, Indonesia, Brunnei, and Malaysia, as well as for Northern Asia brands from Japan, South Korea, and China. I was fortunate to be part projects in Sydney, Australia as well. The work has ranged from brand voice and messaging to tagline development and naming work. I also published a Verbal Identity article in a regional marketing magazine!
What is most valuable idea you have discovered thus far?
We’re all a lot more similar than we are different. I believe in market analysis, audience segmentation, and big data—but being immersed here has made me realize that, while cultures differ, people are people at the end of the day. The most successful brands know that. Brands that can tap into universal human themes and sentiment can thrive globally.
Michael Mitchell is a Creative Writer and Verbal Identity consultant working at Interbrand’s Singapore office.