Interbrand adds VP of client services from Edelman

Rob Manne brings background in communications to consulting-style role

Rob Manne has left his perch as vice-president of B2B relations at Edelman Canada to take on a client services role at Interbrand Canada.

Manne, who worked off and on at Edelman for more than 10 years, will work closely with Interbrand managing director Carolyn Ray, who said in a release he would help “bring clarity, purpose and focus to our clients’ diverse business needs, whether they are experiencing rapid growth, undergoing a merger or acquisition, or adapting to the challenges of the global marketplace.”

Manne told Marketing that working in more traditional communications was the perfect preparation for his role at Interbrand, given that companies like Edelman have expanded to do much more than media relations.

“The only challenge is that usually by the time you’re brought in to promote a product or service, everything has been decided — the solution has been created,” he said. “This was an opportunity to be more upstream and in more of a true consulting-style discussion.”

Similarly, Manne said his recent focus on B2B has given him a strong sense of how certain companies need to change the way they approach customers, even if they’re a startup or mid-sized company with limited resources.

“In a lot of cases their marketing is informed by their product or their service — what they do,” he said. “It really has to become more of a strategy around what do they stand for, how can they be differentiated beyond a product?”

The advantage of doing such work with Interbrand, he said, is a chance to provide the right mix of an international and local perspective.

“(Customers) want to work with a global firm, but they also want someone in their own back yard,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re talking the same language.”

Outside of Interbrand, Manne also sits on the advisory board for Canadian startup Candid, which creates a community experience for brands, providing counsel on their go-to-market, brand communication and overall business strategy.

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