She has practiced her career in London, Paris, Milan, Miami, Madrid, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Her appearance lies somewhere between a contemporary art curator and an elite athlete. Camilla oversees the fourth pillar in the structure of Borametz, a group that is proud to have her as a founding member. “Image strategy is an integral part of most services we offer,” she says. “It used to be a secondary issue for businesses. But now, after the worst crisis in decades, the importance of corporate image has become the sine qua non of company strategy: priority #1.”

We conduct our interview on the move, which is highly appropriate for this woman who is passionate about sport: “I was a good athlete in school; I did high jump and ran the 1500 meters at national level. Exercise has always helped to stimulate my imagination.” As we walk along, Camilla is looking for the ideal venue for a new product launch party. The Casino Mercantil of Madrid seemed too formal for her and she is looking for something a little more “cool.” She loves the streets facing the Retiro, and thinks she might find something more suitable in that area. “My job is to help companies communicate a strong image, either for the company itself or for the products it sells. I don’t believe that the value of a company lies exclusively in its products, and human and capital resources, like they teach you at university. The right image is also a key component of its value. A positive corporate image defines a good company, just as a good company requires a positive corporate image. We live in a visual culture, in which corporate image needs to be at the crux of every company’s business plan.”

We arrive at the Reina Sofia Museum of Contemporary Art: “It’s a great place to meditate and come up with new concepts,” she says, as she continues to talk about her other passions: literature, fashion, and theatre. “Creativity is essential in my work. My style and way of doing things is analytical…I’m driven by detail. I constantly observe the market to look for answers to the problems of my clients, and to identify responses to changing consumer desires and needs. What I do is artistic but also scientific…based both on my visual assessment and study method. Each case is a unique experience.”

She loves the extension of the Reina Sofia by Jean Nouvell…and the cafeteria as well, explaining that she “sometimes holds brainstorming sessions here.” We talk about how she became a successful image strategist. Such is the succession of achievements in her life that it gives the impression that she was born for this job, and that this profession is defined by people just like her. “In Paris I worked for a modeling agency. Soon, both my boss and I felt that I had the ability to detect the potential for success in the models and to guide them in their careers.” She worked for several years as a talent scout at the Fashion agency, first in Europe and then in Asia. During that time, she made the transition from talent recruiting to casting models and actors in television commercials. “I’d get to match celebrities with a particular product. It was the most amazing experience…plus I got to hang out with them after the filming.”

Inevitably, her experience and the recognition of her sharp eye for talent shifted from people to products, and she began to collaborate regularly with Dantus advertising agency. “My role was to create convergence between the needs and wants of consumers and the products being marketed. It started with Shiseido. Then Unilever and other companies like Johnson & Johnson and Ueshima scouted me out. I worked freelance for ten years, and while it’s not an easy road by any means, it does open a lot of doors. I was able to travel extensively, get to know different cultures and their way of doing business, and learn much about marketing and advertising from incredible professionals from all over the world.”

She keeps talking with passion about her work and her life: “there is no great divide between my professional and my personal life. I don’t work the standard workweek; I make my own schedule, so I don’t have a set start or finish time. My professional life and my personal life have always been fully integrated that way. I get to do what I love and what I’m best at for a living, so the hours I spend on it are completely irrelevant.”

Creativity is essential in my work. My style and way of doing things is analytical… I’m driven by detail.
Q

You bring years of experience as an image strategist to Borametz, but what does Borametz have to offer you?

A

Borametz allows me to be more engaged in the market creation process. It supplements those areas of knowledge and consulting that I haven’t already covered. But best is the sense of belonging. Much of my life has been living out of a suitcase, scrambling to get to an airport on time. I always shied away from being fixed in one place for a long time, but there is something to having roots. What I love about being part of our company is that it’s not only a journey shared, but I get to share it with incredibly smart and fun partners.

Q

In what way does image strategy transcend branding?

A

Image strategy is internally focused. It touches on the essence of identity, the core strengths of a person or company. It’s like…in every sport you have different types of athletes, some are sprinters (Apple), some are wrestlers (GE), some are rowers (Toyota). But even the most accomplished player will underperform if she doesn’t know how to maximize the value of her talent. At this stage in the process, it’s not about the clothing, per say; it’s about the special physical structure of the body. In this respect, image strategists do for companies what high performance trainers do for elite athletes. We identify the core strengths of a company, cultivate them and finally, we communicate that uniqueness to its various audiences. In any event, when we talk about branding, we’re really commenting on the external presentation of a company (or individual or product), not the foundational core of its being. The beauty of branding is that it allows us to connect the dots and communicate brand value to the customer. Both image strategy and branding have value. And both are necessary.