Head of Marketing at well-known insurance and financial service powerhouse Metropolitan, Mr. Llewellyn Allen, virtually sat down with us to talk about the journey to his career and the golden mindset that has gotten him there. Mr. Allen is actually a Lawyer by training who took these skills and applied them in ways that would lead him to what is now his ideal job. “Law gave me structure and the ability to decipher complexity and I used these skills to hustle my way onto the marketing ladder,” he shares. As a young creative mind he needed to find a space that would allow him to express this creativity, which led to the creation of his path from law, through brand strategy, all the way to Marketing. He states that, “I was able to achieve this by being true to who I am, engaging my ‘obsession’ with understanding people and what makes them tick, always adding a sprinkle of personal magic and creativity to the mix and giving it 110% at all times.”
Building a brand is all about being future-oriented and ensuring that you attach relevance to the brand by allowing it to communicate its purpose clearly to the people. For instance “people don’t love insurance, however, they acknowledge the need for it. As 2020 has shown, sadly there will always be bad experiences that may come with loss and risk, but we can help ourselves by being prepared, financially and mentally. Insurance allows for a tangible level of preparedness during these times, it can act as a buffer or a ‘softlanding’ during a tough ride. After all, hope lives in the preparation to be resilient enough to handle it,” Mr. Allen explains. Communicating this to the community is what makes it relevant. “The Metropolitan brand is about the power of the collective and it is important to highlight the power that is held by South Africans. When we stand together, we can change the country.” In 2021 he aims to continue to find conversations that matter and engage with clients and the South African population at large. The launch of the #westart2021stronger campaign marks the energy that the organization aims to utilize throughout the year, combatting the after effects of the pandemic.
With Covid-19 being dubbed as the hopefully temporary ‘new normal’, it has changed how organizations do business and has certainly had an impact on Mr. Allen and his team. He expresses, “from a professional point of view Covid-19 has definitely changed how we work for the better. It has brought us closer as a team. The constant online communication has led to more intense face to face interactions which has proven to be useful for optimal creativity and productivity, making us more effective as a result.” With the removal of the traditional office space from the equation, a typical work-day now looks significantly different than what would be expected. “I spend most of the day in shorts, and I have become ultimate best friends with my phone. I work at my dining room table after spending the morning combatting the world’s problems over coffee with my housemate. Of course from there, it is back-to-back zoom calls all day ensuring that work gets done.”
The idea of changing careers after investing so many years and resources into one field may seem daunting and overwhelming however, with Mr. Allen as an example, it can be done. “Never cram yourself into that one box, be open to colouring outside those lines. I went from lawyer, to business strategist, brand strategist and finally became a marketer. I never drew a line around myself as being nothing but a lawyer and because of this, I allowed my ambition to take me wherever it could. As human beings we are fluid, organic creatures who are constantly receiving inputs from our environments, limiting that potential would be a great disservice to oneself. So never limit yourself, spend time getting to know yourself and use that knowledge to express your gifts in every way possible,” he advises.