08 Jan #MeetMash issue 10: Anna Cooper
Welcome to #MeetMash, a regular drop-in to the Mash Studio to get to know our team a little better. This month, meet Director Anna Cooper, one of our consultancy team leaders and a qualitative expert whose combined love of human psychology and great design made Mash the perfect fit.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Originally from Bristol, I have now lived in London for 16 years. My love of new experiences, great food and travel means that London has become home to me, but I do still enjoy long country walks and idyllic English scenery that reminds me of my childhood in the West Country.
How did you find your way into brand strategy, and what brought you to Mash?
I started my career in fieldwork management and moved into qualitative research within healthcare. I joined a brand consultancy to set up an internal fieldwork department and one of the directors saw greater potential in me and suggested I transition into a consultancy role, knowing it would take a lot of hard work and determination. I couldn’t refuse such an exciting offer and my career in consultancy began. I worked at Clear focusing on insight and strategy for over 4 years, then moved to Happen to work on innovation for several years. Working at several agencies helped me build a broad range of consultancy skills and perspectives, but eventually I decided I wanted to join an agency that could solve any type of brand challenge and use bespoke solutions to do so – Mash felt a perfect fit.
What brand would you love to work on?
I never have one brand that I would love to work on – every brand presents an exciting opportunity. I would love to work with pharmaceutical brands more having worked across areas in oncology, urology & endocrinology at the earlier stages of my career which I found incredibly intellectually stimulating and rewarding in equal measure. As consultants, we are also often consumers of the brands we work on so when you work in pharmaceuticals, it challenges you to really get to grips with the area and the needs of the user / consumer more. I love that from an insight perspective.
Where are you most likely to be found outside the Studio?
Doing anything related to floristry or design – attending a floristry course, or learning a new skill such as kokedama or jewellery making. Having worked in a florist for several years when I was younger, I have a passion for flowers and have recently been investing more time in building on previous skills. Not only do I love the process of creating arrangements, I love how mindful it is and how much you can appreciate the end result.
What is your favourite place in the world?
My favourite place in the world is the Philippines. I recently went there and travelled around just a small part of it. I was so pleasantly surprised by many things – how stunning the scenery is, how much it has to offer, the absolutely lovely and warm people, and the food. I didn’t want to leave and can’t wait to go back again and see areas I was unable to explore the first time.
What would your alternative career have been?
Two very different options –
A florist – I would have loved to worked with flowers every day but know I would have missed the intellectual stimulation that I get daily working with great clients.
A criminal psychologist – having grown up with Cracker and a lover of reading & watching thrillers, I dreamed of being a criminal psychologist. I still get to understand what makes people tick and solve complex problems – so far, this just hasn’t covered criminals!