We caught up with International Master in Management alumnus Fredrik Sanford in St. Gallen, Switzerland, where he currently works as Enterprise Solutions Manager at Frontify, a world-renowned brand management platform in the Software-as-a-Service space. Fredrik holds a bachelor’s degree in German and Business Studies from the University of Warwick (U.K.) and he participated in EADA’s exchange programme at EGADE Business School, ITESM (Mexico).
Tell us a bit about your current position.
I am developing the French market at Frontify. Our mission is to create the best and most user-friendly brand management platform – a platform that enables anyone to deliver compelling and consistent brand experiences.
What was the biggest challenge in your role as Enterprise Solutions Manager?
The position was a bit daunting at first because I had to start a completely new market alone. I started by building a close collaboration with marketing to develop an inbound strategy. This was a mix between search campaigns on Google/Microsoft networks and social campaigns such as LinkedIn/FB and Twitter. To develop an outbound strategy, I was working closely with a prospector who provided me with email lists of interesting personas and industries to target. The market has now gained some traction with some French enterprise clients on board and the team has grown.
What qualities would you say are the most important for someone in your position?
To be successful in this role, you have to be motivated, eager to learn and willing to establish a lot of relationships. There is a lot of collaboration between all departments to understand the latest product rollouts and the strategic roadmap, including legal for negotiating contracts, finance for invoicing and reporting and marketing for developing quality leads.
How important do you think consistency is for brands today?
It is important that a brand is consistent across all channels. Frontify software enables companies to maximise consistency through centralisation. By documenting the brand’s guidelines, dynamic asset libraries and building a Design System, the company creates a single source of truth for the brand. This ensures collaboration among stakeholders, clarity and efficiency.
How do you keep up in a field like tech that is constantly changing?
I read the latest tech news such as techcrunch or medium to keep informed about industry trends and the latest tech innovations. I also have discussions about these topics with a lot of people from diverse technical backgrounds. These different viewpoints help me get a fresh angle on the industry’s problems and develop approaches on how to solve them.
How did EADA prepare you for your career after graduation?
EADA prepared me well to build a successful career. The combination of hard skills and soft skills helped me develop a sound business acumen and a deep understanding of the corporate world. Another highlight was the final project, which helped me build a robust knowledge of business, understand how each department functions and analyse how a scaling startup operates. At EADA, I was also able to build an international network, which is valuable in the long run to make strategic partnerships and maintain a relationship with the EADA community.
How important have soft skills been in your career since graduation?
In my current position, soft skills are important. I manage online and in-person meetings and I need to be able to communicate our value proposition and understand the customer’s problems. Speaking in public is equally important for me, as I often speak at branding events and deliver presentations. Finally, the negotiation skills I learned at EADA have helped me negotiate with the procurement and legal teams to reach the best possible agreement faster.
You participated in the EADA exchange programme at EGADE in Mexico. How do you think this helped you in your career?
The exchange programme forced me to get outside of my comfort zone and learn a new language and culture. This helped me build confidence and become more assertive as an individual — both personally and professionally.