The world’s best alarm clock rings in my new day: my newborn son cries before the sun rises – and that is early, even in Winter!
I couldn’t have a nicer journey to work. Countless famous landmarks pass me by and I am constantly reminded of the contrasts this city has to offer as I make my way by bike through the streets of Berlin from vibrant Neukölln to decadent Charlottenburg.
Mondays commence at 9am sharp with a wrap-up of the previous week’s activities. Each department presents its current state of affairs as well as the tasks outstanding for the new week. An important start to the week since Miasa is a close-knit collection of inter-dependent departments working together: product development; design; programming; communications; sales. Flat hierarchies and a friendly atmosphere are the order of the day and the driving force behind our creativity. Short decision lines are easier to handle and make our company flexible.
Today’s major task: the pending market launch of a brand new product. A lot is to be organised over the coming few weeks. The last 12 months have been extremely successful for us, due on the one hand to the excellent constellation of employees we have and the passion we all share for our products and the excellent relationship we have to the saffron producers on the other. We are a team of connoisseurs with a penchant for quality over quantity and a constant flow of new, exciting product placement ideas. Each team member is an expert in his or her dedicated field, which allows us collectively to translate big ideas into effective market achievements.
As Brand Manager I relish the youthfulness of our team and the innovative atmosphere in which it functions, as well as our common goal of giving the most expensive spice in the world new stage settings and, with the aid of digital media, making new ground as the top player in our market. Our target market is just as diverse as the opportunities open to us to interpret saffron. We are talking to younger and elder generations alike, connoisseurs and amateur cooks – in short, anybody and everybody who appreciates the refining good cuisine with the best ingredients available. And it is just this diversity that makes our daily work so exciting and versatile.
Following our wrap-up, it is clear to everyone which focus the working day will have and our communications manager starts to put the final touches to our new product’s label together with the design department. Our in-house programmer starts work on some new functionality for our website and sales turns to the task of preparing our forthcoming tasting event, scheduled to take place on our rooftop in two weeks time, glorious views of Central Berlin included! Invited are the big names of ‘grande cuisine’, delicatessen, catering and the press. And naturally, we await with anticipation the first reactions to our new product.
As for me, I have several tasks in front of me today. First of all, I take a trip to our packaging supplier in order to finalise last-minute instructions for the printing of our new packaging and to approve the first samples thereof. Material and design have of course been decided upon in advance together with our designers – only the final text and the product name are still to be agreed upon. And then I proceed to call our Balsamic Essence production partner in Modena, Italy – my subject is the upholding of regulations as regards the product name, a registered name which must first be approved by a committee before being associated with our saffron.
That brings me to lunchtime already and I attend a business lunch with my partner and founder of Miasa together with our Swedish importers. The Swedes are extremely important to us, since Sweden has the highest per capita consumption of saffron in Europe. As such, a typical Swedish kitchen not only stocks saffron for baking at Christmas time, rather the whole year round, for a wide range of fish and meat dishes. Sweden is a very interesting market for us and we are capturing ever more of it with the help of our local importer. New opportunities to optimise our logistics constitute a further topic of the day and together with the communications department there is also a discussion on media-influencing contacts to be held. After all, it is not just our product portfolio we are selling, rather the complete lifestyle which surrounds it. We compose articles on saffron on a weekly basis in order to draw the attention of our customers and the general public to the complexity of this fascinating spice – a visit to our blog is always to be recommended!
After lunch we return to the office where a lot of hard work awaits me, such as verifying the specification list for our new product and its label and the confirmation of the product name. All these details are then forwarded to our packaging supplier so that production may finally begin.
In the afternoon, a further meeting takes place together with my colleague from the communications department and our art director – we discuss the final marketing strategy for the new product. Amongst other things, we discuss the printing of recipe cards, invitations for the launch event, the selection of a prize for the prize draw, up and coming blog articles and further online advertising initiatives – all of which are subjects requiring inter-disciplinary coordination.
We also remain active during our coffee breaks – saffron coffee of course – discussing new, sometimes utopian ideas: a welcome but necessary break from the hectic day of meetings.
As my working day draws to a close, one last task remains: the completion of a presentation which I will hold during tomorrow business trip to Munich, where I will be looking for new delicatessen partners for a cooperation with Miasa. People who like to cook well appreciate not only good ingredients, but also top quality accessories as inspired in person by top chefs.
Alas, I return home by bicycle as the sky gradually darkens – my son awaits me at home for the all-important evening play-round.