Dragon Rouge has appointed Emily Hudson as its client services director for South and Southeast Asia. In her role, Hudson (pictured) will oversee the client services and business development teams and lead key client leadership across the agency's growing consumer and corporate portfolio across the region. 

Hudson joins from BBH where she was business development director position for its branding arm, Black Sheep Design. Under her leadership, Hudson built and managed a cross-functional business development plan for Southeast Asia. According to her LinkedIn, Hudson achieves this via cold new businesses and farming within the broader Publicis Network. 

Dragon Rouge's CEO of Southeast Asia, Zayn Khan said that her experience in leading large client engagements and delivering makes her a great addition to the Dragon's Den. "Hudson is invaluable to us as we set our sights on deepening our relationships with our fantastic roster of key clients and expanding our geographical footprint in the region”, said Khan. 

Prior to joining BBH, Hudson spent close to 10 years at WPP's Design Bridge in senior business development and client service roles. At Design Bridge, she worked in a hybrid role and oversaw a team of four. In her role, Hudson has worked with FMCG giants such as Unilever, Diageo, Mondelez, and Friesland Campina in Asia Pacific. Hudson initially joined the agency in July 2010 as its senior client manager in London. She then moved to Singapore in September 2012 when she decided to helm the client director role for more than two years. She moved on to be the agency's senior client director in January 2015 for two years and client business director for two years. 

"We have seen a marked uplift in our corporate branding business this year, after a period during the pandemic where many of our corporate clients were re-evaluating their budgets and market positioning," Khan told  MARKETING-INTERACTIVE.  Khan added that corporate businesses have begun to rebound in late 2021. However, what was different now was the emphasis. 

"We are finding that many if not all, clients are placing huge importance on their sustainability strategy, actions, and narrative, which means that many of them are now looking at their brands through a sustainability lens. This area is not new to us," he added.

In fact, Khan said Dragon Rouge has been championing sustainability in brand building and story-telling for many years, and it is gratifying to see that the market is finally ready to embrace this and to back it up with substantive investments and actions. 

"On our side, we have strengthened our corporate and sustainability practice in Asia with senior hires in strategy and design, and they have been very busy working on projects in green energy, telco, industrials, agribusiness, property, and financial services, among other categories," Khan explained. 

While the pandemic has brought about several challenges, it has brought about revelations and changes as well. For instance, Dragon Rogue saw the emphasis on digital and technology rising after the pandemic hit. According to Khan, clients are wanting to see data used more effectively to help craft their brand strategies, and the agency is playing more of a role helping them to make sense of the data and see the patterns that lead to fresh insights about their brands. "As brand-building has moved firmly into the digital space, we are pivoting our business to become more adept at CX, UX and UI", said Khan. 

Since its opening in 1984, the agency has worked with a range of global and regional FMCG companies in Asia across food and beverage, personal care and beauty. Additionally, Dragon Rogue has also partnered with corporate clients in telecommunications, energy, financial services, eCommerce, technology, property, and education. According to the agency, it focuses on combining strong strategic thinking and digital-led brand design to ignite business growth for their clients’ brands.

Separately, the agency won the pitch for IKEA Southeast Asia's shopping centre arm, Ikano Centres to manage its branding duties for Batu Kawan Mall early last year. This came after a pitch held in late March 2021, which saw four other agencies vying for the account. IKEA first opened its store at Batu Kawan in 2019 and the next phase of this development comprises a shopping centre offering a retail mix of F&B, fashion and beauty, as well as home and living, among others. Meanwhile, a  drive-thru F&B concept  was launched in Penang last year. 

Related articles:
Ikano Centres appoints Dragon Rouge to manage branding duties for Batu Kawan mall
Media Prima taps on Dragon Rouge for branding initiatives
Dragon Rouge nabs branding duties for Bawah islands
Dragon Rouge Singapore names new executive director

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