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Balancing creativity, service and sustainability with the Marketing Director of Ace & Tate - #BehindTheBrand

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Despite being a relatively young brand, Ace & Tate has an incredibly strong and established identity which shines through each and every aspect of the brand.

Currently operating in 10 markets with over 70 stores, the eye-wear brand balances creativity, service and sustainability thanks to a talented in-house team, as well as a series of external professionals and production houses to bring campaigns to life. As Ace & Tate grew over the years, finding the right balance between growth and leaving a positive footprint has always been at the forefront of any business decision – which is what makes the brand so incredibly unique in the first place.

Today we are getting Behind the Brand following a nice chat with Sean PeronDirector of Marketing at Ace & Tate.

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How was your brand born and what does it do?

Ace & Tate is an 8-year-old DTC eyewear brand based in Amsterdam. We offer quality eyewear and eye-care products and services at affordable prices. We work very hard to deliver a great customer experience, provide creative inspiration to our community, and reduce our impact on the planet along the way.

What is one unique aspect of your brand?

Our brand is ultimately the result of constantly balancing three elements- creativity, service, and sustainability. I believe that what sets us apart is how we use those elements in bringing the brand to life. We’re constantly experimenting with both how we dial up each element individually and the interplay between them. That allows us to stay consistent as a brand, while always giving something fresh and new to our customers. 

Can you describe your brand’s personality in one sentence?

Ace & Tate is responsible, optimistic, creatively-inspired, and friendly. 

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What was the biggest challenge for the growth of your brand?

Ace & Tate is currently operating in 10 markets with 70 stores. Expanding across Europe requires you to have a very good understanding of customers’ needs in each market, and be prepared to adapt your offer accordingly. Our biggest challenge has been in finding the balance in doing this while maintaining the core of our brand and staying responsible as we grow our footprint. The recent pandemic allowed us to accelerate our Responsible Retail Design concept which ensures that future store rollouts are flexible as well as modular, allowing Ace & Tate to respond fluidly and sustainably to future retail challenges. It’s always a work in progress, but the success thus far is the result of a lot of effort and work from all of our teams. 

Which was the first huge success that you can remember?

I’ve been at Ace & Tate for two years, and one of the first projects I was involved in was the expansion of Ace & Tate into the Spanish market. This was our first venture into Southern Europe, and we decided early to spend time understanding how the creative and design scene operates. We had to be both respective of the differences and embrace what makes that market so unique. Thanks to the big support of local artists and the creative community, who helped us launch in the market, we successfully opened our first store in Madrid, and have since expanded to Barcelona.

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What’s the biggest opportunity for you and your brand in the next year?

We know that are customers are spending much more time digital screens, a trend which we don’t see going away any time soon. Their eyes are fatigued and need some love. We’re working to expand our product offering in the space of eye-care to help our customers keep their eyes happy and healthy! This has started with the launch of Ace & Tate Contact Lenses in March, and will continue with the launch of Ace & Tate Eye Drops this summer. And that’s just the beginning!

Do you work with an in-house creative team, an agency or both?

We have a talented in-house creative team, and work outside with individuals and production companies to bring their ideas to life.

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What do you look for in a creative agency?

What I find important in working with agency partners, particularly when managing an in-house agency, is finding an external partner that can work as an extension of your internal team. To that end, I find it refreshing when creative agencies can articulate the one (or several) things they do exceptionally well, so we can create the right working environment for collaboration and success.  

What is one tip you would give to other brands looking to grow?

Let your actions speak louder than your words. 

What is your current role about? Any ‘typical’ day?

I’m Marketing Director at Ace & Tate, so I’m spending my days working with our marketing and creative teams to balance the left brain and the right brain of the business- growing our brand while at the same time staying true to our values. I would say there’s no typical day, but the one consistent thing is that the team impresses me every day with their ideas, energy, effort. I’m very lucky to be able to work with them!

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What’s your one big hope for the future of branding?

 There’s so many things in the market that look the same these days, that it feels like we’re undergoing the commoditisation of branding. That means it’s time for creatives with fresh ideas to stand up, shake the system a bit, and help us rewrite the rules of branding!

Do you have any websites, books or resources you would recommend?

I usually try to read things unrelated to my work to keep my mind fresh, but there are some great minds exploring marketing and branding that are worth following. Jess Henderson’s No Fun Mag is awesome!

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