Jewellery Girls Q&A: Sonia Menezes


Clogau’s brand manager on KPIs, shop-in-shops and winning awards.

As part of our Jewellery Girls Rule issue for July, Professional Jeweller heard from 21 females leading their sector of the UK jewellery industry about the challenges of today’s business, making their mark and their inspirations. Today marks our final Q&A, featuring Clogau Gold brand manager Sonia Menezes. She talks campaigns, KPIs and women taking lead roles in the UK jewellery industry.

Professional Jeweller: Tell us about the path to your current role at Clogau
Sonia Menezes: Prior to my role at Clogau I spent seven years in the drinks industry in a variety of sales and trade marketing roles at Diageo and Bacardi Brown Forman brands. Both companies were exceptional in terms of training and development. The brands are absolutely first class and also diverse. I was lucky to work on the premium portfolio including brands like Johnnie Walker, Bombay Sapphire and Grey Goose vodka. My final role at Bacardi was overseeing the launch of Grey Goose 4.5 litre bottles in central London. The brand team were quick to spot a great opportunity to take a premium brand, re-bottle to create something special and drive incredible volume through the best bars and clubs. The time I spent with both businesses was rewarding on many levels but I was keen to change industries and add to my experience with a new set of challenges. I was at Hot Diamonds for four years and then Ben Roberts, who I had met on a few occasions, talked to me about joining his team at Clogau. I was delighted to accept. Clogau is a unique brand with a marvellous history. I had really enjoyed working on brands with a great heritage and this seemed like the perfect role.

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PJ: Were you Clogau’s first female brand manager?
SM: I’m Clogau’s first brand manager. It’s the most challenging and rewarding role of my career so far. I wrote five business visions with Ben and then set up a series of KPIs to make them achievable. Some of the changes were immediate; the launch of Clogau shop-in-shops and the tiering of our retailers. One of the biggest challenges was to harmonise our sales channels.

I believe that long-term brand building is based on working in true partnership with all our retail partners and supporting each one individually. Consolidating the portfolio and creating campaigns has taken time. Rash decisions in design development and branding would have alienated our existing customers and not necessarily brought us many new ones. I’ve been with the brand for three years and there is still a lot to be done. However, we now have a portfolio of jewellery, campaigns and POS that has opened up new doors at home and overseas. Winning the Jewellery Brand of the Year award [at the UKJA] last year was fantastic and shows just how far we have come on. The appointment of brand ambassadors has been carefully planned. Clogau has such a wonderful story that it should only be represented by people who hold the same values and credentials. Former royal harpist Claire Jones, adventurer Richard Parks and the Wales Polo Team are all a perfect fit. These ambassadors have brought the brand into contact with some amazing people. I can’t emphasise enough how important good networking is to our business and brand development

PJ: Do you believe more women are fulfilling powerful roles in the UK jewellery industry?
SM: Yes I do. It’s great to see more women in the roles that are driving the industry forward. Creatively, we’ve always had great women designers but it is very gratifying to see more women take on lead roles within PR, buying departments, media and event management.

To read the Jewellery Girls Rule issue of Professional Jeweller in full online, click here.

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