Galya Korukhchyan recently sat down with Carlota Pico to chat about her role as global brand manager for Malibu Rum at The Absolut Company, part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio. Galya talked about how she got her foot in the door at her current company, and explained how the spirits brand—which has always focused on bringing people together—pivoted their strategy during lockdown. She also shared insights on navigating the nuances of different markets across the globe.

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on YouTube, listen to the podcast on Apple and Spotify, and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • Your communication cannot be tone deaf, especially during sensitive times when your audiences are facing unprecedented challenges and loss. Some brands have been scrutinized for sending out “vanilla” messages that are lacking in genuine quality.
  • Brands across the world, including Malibu, had to change their strategies overnight. The brand came up with a short-term campaign focused on “bringing sunshine to people around the world,” in order to provide some positivity during lockdown.
  • If you’re still in the initial stages of defining your brand, you need to find a happy medium when it comes to taking risks. You want to be bold, while simultaneously resonating with a broad spectrum of people.
  • Ultimately everything comes down to your consumers. You have to define them according to different personas, and then think about what they’re doing, what they want and the best ways to reach them.
  • Marketing across various regions and countries can be tricky due to differing regulations and rules. Examples include the legal drinking age and the segment of marketing: Above the Line (ATL), Below the Line (BTL) or Through the Line (TTL).

What separates good content from great content is the ability to elicit some sort of emotion from your consumer. If it doesn’t do that, it’s just average.

Check this out!

Post-lockdown, Malibu has continued to spread positivity through their latest campaign, #TheCoconutChallenge. The brand partnered with DJ Dillon Francis to remix “The Coconut Song” by Philippine National Artist Ryan Cayabyab, and collaborated with over 30 Malibu ambassadors from seven different countries to launch a dance challenge to help businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Rapid-fire recs

What’s your favorite app at the moment?

I love traveling, and what makes Instagram so special right now is that you can live vicariously through pictures. So you can just travel around the world through the app!

A role model or professional who you admire?

My sister. We’re very close, and I consider her to be my role model. One of the reasons I admire her is that she’s never afraid to speak her mind.

A valuable resource, event or group?

I’m currently reading “Principles: Life and Work” by Ray Dalio. It’s not necessarily about marketing and communications, but it’s definitely a good book to read if you want to amp up your critical thinking and become a better person, no matter what industry you work in.

Connect with Galya and Carlota on LinkedIn.

This post was edited by Mary Kresge, a freelance content creator based in Madrid.

For more insights into the life of a global brand manager, check out:

Optimize influencer campaigns – Alessia Coletta, global brand manager at Trainline

Build a socially conscious brand – Yaron Hubin Plimmer, global social media manager at EF

Create content with a purpose – Jack Dyson, global head of content strategy

To see the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.