We were honoured to have the opportunity to interview Margaret Molloy, New York-based Irish CMO of Siegel+Gale and founder of #WearingIrish in advance of the WearingIrish NYC 2018 Event which kicks off today across the water!
The three day event honours Irish top-end designers and all things Irish. Margaret founded the #WearingIrish movement in March 2016 out of a passion for Irish Design and the desire to let the World know about it.
Can you tell us how Wearing Irish was born?
I’m Margaret Molloy and I’m a marketer. What do marketers do? We tell the stories of makers. Two years ago, I discovered an untold story. Designers across the island of Ireland are producing world-class fashion, yet few people outside Ireland can name an Ireland-based designer. WearingIrish sets out to change that. Fast forward to today and WearingIrish is an offline / online platform dedicated to championing Irish fashion and the makers behind the creations.
Dairy Farming and CMO of a leading US brand strategy firm appear to be worlds apart! What skills apply to both?
Growing up the eldest of six on a dairy farm in Ireland, I learned the relationship between keeping promises, committing to hard work, and earning an outstanding reputation. Years later, I appreciate that these are also the attributes of all successful brands – whether you are building a brand for a company, a cause or your own personal brand.
Who and what inspires you?
Creative minds inspire me. Strategic minds inspire me. Two groups inspires me most: creative people who are strategic and strategic people who are creative. I’m lucky to be surrounded by many of those people at Siegel+Gale.
What mistakes do you see Irish businesses making in their quest to enter the US marketplace?
I’m not an expert in all the nuances of market entry – however, I know that having a clear focus matters. The focus must be rooted in customer relevance. It is essential for a brand have a purpose-led positioning. Be excellent at something that matters, not me-too in too many things.
What advice would you give to the next generation of Irish Brands?
I encourage brands to simplify. Customers are craving a simpler experience from
brands. By simple, I mean experiences that are both remarkably clear and
unexpectedly fresh. Customers reward simpler experiences with greater loyalty, are
willing to pay more for simpler experiences, and are more likely to recommend
brands that they deem simple. See Siegel+Gale blog or my LinkedIn for a series of
interviews I conduct with brand lead that I deem Simplifiers.
What do you do to keep yourself centred?
I’m a mother to two curious sons. Children keep you centered and, as they remind me, relevant.
What are you wearing?
I’m #WearingIrish of course.
About Margaret Molloy
Margaret Molloy is the New York-based, global chief marketing officer (CMO) at the renowned branding firm Siegel+Gale. A native of Ireland and a Harvard Business School graduate, she is regarded as one of the most influential global marketing leaders and consistently appears on top CMO lists, including Forbes’ top CMOs on Twitter. A strategic marketer, she is a sought-after speaker and has published articles in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company and beyond. Margaret created #WearingIrish in March 2016 as a passion project to showcase Irish fashion designers. The movement is going from strength to strength with WearingIrish and Margaret receiving many accolades, including: Overseas Business Woman of the Year 2017 by Image magazine 2017 Marketer of the Year by The Drum Top 50 Power Women and Top 100 Irish Americans in Business in 2016 and 2017 by Irish America and the 2018 Creativity and Arts awards by Irish Central