Principals NZ appoints Tom Sykes as strategy director

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AUCKLAND, Today: Branding design agency Principals has appointed Tom Sykes as strategy director of its Aotearoa New Zealand office.

Sykes comes with 13 years of planning and strategy experience. He moves across from The Monkeys Aotearoa, where he was head of planning. Before that, he was a lead strategist at DDB Group New Zealand working across DDB, Trck, Interbrand and Tribal Worldwide.

Principals Auckland director Steve Main said: “Tom has influenced a rich range of local and global brands including ASB, Meridian, Sky and Neon, Westpac, Heineken, Farmlands, Fletcher Building, KiwiRail, KidsCan and Pet Refuge.

“Before relocating to New Zealand from his native South Africa, he helped brand and sell anything and everything from Lucky Star tinned sardines to summer blockbusters and Marvel shows for Netflix.

“He joins a group of 80 working as one team across Auckland, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne that services clients including The University of Auckland, One, Chorus, Blind Low Vision New Zealand, T&G and Russell McVeagh, plus AU brands NAB, Stockland, and Officeworks.

“There’s something in the air with New Zealand brands.”

Tom Sykes said: “Making brand a force for positive change: that’s the pitch from the most rebranding-awarded agency in Asia Pacific. It’s a once-in-a-career opportunity for me to join a team so passionately focused on designing and building vibrant, deep, long-lasting, fabric-of-society kind of brands.

“There’s something in the air with New Zealand brands.

“From their conscience to their confidence, we’re asking if brands can have their own defining character that’s inclusive and full of integrity but also allows their point of view on the world.

“I have scarcely met a group like Principals who are so singularly focused on the task at hand. I’m humbled to join them on this thrilling journey.”

Steve Main said: “Tom is a great fit with our values-driven team. He brings contemporary thinking and perspectives with extensive experience across brand, advertising and digital in Aotearoa and beyond. This breadth of expertise is vital as our work touches most parts of our client’s businesses; beyond brand strategy and identity to include experience design, culture and employee value propositions.

“Brands continue to adapt, engage talent and customers so there’s going to be plenty for Tom to do. Stand by for his thoughts on identity in an era of biculturalism, in the digital and increasingly faceless age of brands.”

About Principals
We believe in brand as a force for positive change. For leading corporates, government and professional services, education and not-for-profits, we deliver thoughtfully tailored work to build a better brand, and a better business.

Over the past 27 years, we’ve changed the role of the brand agency. Beyond strategy and identity, today we’re designing and developing a brand’s voice and experience in an on and offline world.

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