We talked to Javier Castro about Neosbrand – a global branding studio that helps brands to be more relevant through the union of strategy, creativity, and design and this is what he had to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Javier Castro: Fortunately, we can say that we are doing well and that we have been able to keep on without suffering much impact. On a personal side, I was going to move to London to stay there for a while, something that I decided to change, and finally stayed in Cadiz, a place where I feel safest in the south of Spain. Apart from this, we haven’t had any positive cases of COVID-19, and we could continue with our activity.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Neosbrand?
Javier Castro: I have always been attracted to the creative and innovative side of the business, creating value, and connecting through communication with users. Thus, I decided to study Advertising and PR and then delve into brand strategies, taking a master’s degree in Strategic Planning.
I started working in large advertising groups in Madrid, such as Publicis or Havas, where I could work for various types of clients and collaborating with great professionals with whom I shared a passion for creativity and communication. But I always felt the need to develop something of my own. After several years working at several international advertising agencies’ strategic department, I joined my brother Fidel, Designer and Art Director, to found our own studio Neosbrand. Our idea at Neosbrand was to continue working with entrepreneurs and brands who believe in the value of design and have a space to develop our projects.
How does Neosbrand innovate?
Javier Castro: Innovation is something that is part of our DNA. Through experimentation and the development of side projects, we can explore new ways of creating, communicating, and understanding different audiences’ impact.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Javier Castro: We are happy as we have not been significantly affected, we have even noticed an improvement, we believe that due to the implementation of remote work. Thanks to this, more and more, we are developing and collaborating on projects of customers from different cities and countries.
Also, working in different sectors has helped us offset the impact that the pandemic is causing. For example, Odisel, a digitally native brand, or Oniti, a virtual mobile operator, have improved according to 2020 plans. However, other projects related to tourism and hospitality have lowered their activity and postponed all plans for 2021.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Javier Castro: On one hand, from Neosbrand, we have not had to make any drastic decisions due to COVID-19. Just adapt a little more on a personal level, to be able to combine both work and our personal life, because now we spend more time working from home. But without any doubt, one must learn to live with uncertainty and always be open to external factors that modify our project roadmap. On the other hand, being agile in decision-making, creativity, and business flexibility is key to improving and quickly adapting to the environment.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Javier Castro: I don’t usually have a lot of stress, but I try to do some sport, and although it is not possible now, to take a getaway to change the scene.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Javier Castro: Nowadays, we can find a multitude of design and branding studios. Each one with a culture of doing things differently. That is why we do not usually look at our competitors; we prefer to focus on our work, improving, and learning in each project that we carry out. Being in continuous training and experimentation, developing our projects, and collaborating with different professionals who complement our skills, is the way to continue advancing every day.
Your final thoughts?
Javier Castro: Thinking about being more relevant, applying ingenuity and creativity to reach the market differently. Although 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone in general, we must have an optimistic vision for the future. More and more, we see more and better companies, which in addition to generating value and business, have among their values, improving the environment surrounding them and making this world a better place.