James has extensive experience of working as a Senior Marketer for leading brands including Walkers Crisps, British Airways, Persil, Halifax and HSBC. His expertise covers the entire marketing mix including customer strategy, product development and multi-media communication.
James’s career began at Unilever in 1987 after graduating in Economics & Accounting from Bristol University. Highlights of his seven years at Unilever include leading the launch of Persil Micro Liquid and range extending Jif & Domestos to take market leadership from P&G’s Flash.
Having gained a strong background in FMCG marketing, James joined an innovative team of consultants at Oxford Strategic Marketing in 1994. He specialised in marketing driven corporate strategy and his clients included British Airways, SmithKline Beecham & Kelloggs. Assignments included a global segmentation study (facilitating workshops in five countries), European brand rationalization and NPD projects. He also conducted Marketing Capability work across a number of industries.
James returned to corporate management in 1998 as Walkers Crisps Marketing Director for Pepsico. The re-stage of Walkers biggest selling flavour as ‘Cheese & Owen’ and the launch of Walkers Max resulted in Walkers highest ever share of 63% in 1999.
James deepened his experience of service marketing by joining Halifax PLC in 2000 and was part of the merger team that formed HBOS in 2001. He launched the ‘Staff as Stars’ campaign that led to Sheldon Branch bank clerk, Howard Brown, becoming a household name and took the Halifax brand from 7th to 1st place on consumer shortlists for current accounts.
In 2005 James was head hunted to become HSBC’s UK Marketing Director, responsible for all UK brands principally HSBC, first direct and M&S Money. He was a member of the Retail Banking Executive Team that delivered a record breaking £1bn of profit in 2008.
James moved to Nationwide Building Society in 2009 as Divisional Director, Marketing & Customer Strategy. He defined a new Customer Strategy for their 15M members focused on deriving customer benefits from being a mutual. In the first year of implementation, James developed a compelling internal & external definition of the Nationwide brand, launched seven ‘Savings Promises’, introduced an actionable ‘Service Tracker’ and delivered cut-through advertising featuring the Little Britain comedy team.
James left Nationwide in 2011 and is working on a number of strategic consultancy projects. He is also exploring opportunities for new ‘client-side’ leadership roles including interim assignments.
James lives in Oxford with his wife, a writer and their three teenagers.