Get To Know: Arnava Asen, the marketing consultant behind America’s biggest brands

Get to know: Arnava Asen, the marketing consultant behind America’s biggest brands | Soho House

Here, we talk agency politics and the importance of IRL interaction with the Soho Works Founder member

Thursday 21 April 2022   By Soho House

All you’ve got to do is look at Arnava Asen’s portfolio to see that he’s an expert at building brand profiles. From Tiger Woods’ golf course design firm, TGR, to PepsiCo, the marketing professional has helped save struggling businesses transform into profitable empires. Asen has led several campaigns for &pizza, lilah b., and Herman Miller, invested in early-stage disruptors Butler Hospitality and BeautyLabs, and acts as a brand marketing advisor for WOLACO.

Read the interview to hear more from the brand expert.

How has the job market changed in the past year?
‘The growing allergy among brands towards big agencies has only increased; I’m finding a lot of disenfranchised teams coming to our company for our nimbleness and truly strategic perspective. Because we’re a small team that pulls from a huge network of tried and true talent, we don’t sell bloat. And because that team is made up of seasoned vets, we get to better results faster.’

How has your work life changed?
‘I’m busier than I’ve ever been, for sure. Our intentional desire not to scale the business takes its own amount of effort to maintain. Plus, now with two little girls at home, it’s a lot to juggle.’

What are your tips for success for creatives in 2022? 
‘I’m showing my bias here, but I believe that too much time online is a real threat to creative work. I’m aware of the necessity, but creatives need to shoot the sh*t, bounce ideas off one another, play with paper in real space, and exchange energy – with clients, with teammates, and the cultural world – on a purely human level. So, safely, and if possible, close the laptop, go for a walk, engage in an eye-to-eye conversation, and keep that cupboard of creative juices filled.’

What’s your favourite story of connecting with someone in the 875 Washington community?
‘As cliche as it sounds, every day is a new favourite story. Sitting next to former colleagues, finding out that a client sits two floors below me, sharing in new parent vibes because my baby shows up in a Zoom call, and bringing my team into the space, seeing them connect with others in person... it’s a remarkable thing, the human tendency towards connection.’

The best thing about Soho Works? 
‘The hospitality. I work with a lot of hotels and restaurants, and so it means the world to me that my name is known when I first walk in, that everything is clean and ready for me to work, and that the amenities are thoughtful.’

What did you want to be when you were a child? 
‘The first time I really “knew” what I wanted to be was as a teenager, and as crazy as it sounds (or maybe not for someone who grew up in New York), I knew I wanted to work in brand marketing; there’s something deeply psychological about it, broadly challenging, and always relevant. And though I’ve worked my fair share of “pretty garbage” projects, I still believe that commercial creativity has the power to influence the masses for the better.’

Learn more about Soho Works here.

Get to know: Arnava Asen, the marketing consultant behind America’s biggest brands | Soho House
Get to know: Arnava Asen, the marketing consultant behind America’s biggest brands | Soho House
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