Hi Billy – what are you doing at Cordovan and what's happening on the German market?

Billy Peña Contreras has been an intern at Cordovan during this spring. Billy is a strategist and designer with the German ad agency Shindler Parent – a company that just like us belong to E3, an international network of strategic, branding and communication agencies. Here, in our latest blog post, we have asked Billy about current trends in the German marketplace, about his internship at Cordovan, and about his views on what constitutes good communication.  

How come you’re visiting us?

–I was looking to increase my experience in strategic planning abroad. As part of my studies I need to do an internship in a foreign non-German speaking country. I was also looking for some new impressions from a part of Europe that I knew very little about.

Tell us about yourself and your background?

– I have studied business and advertising and I am currently studying communication and culture. Apart from my studies I work as a strategist and freelance designer, most often with Schindler Parent, that is part of the same international agency network as Cordovan. And that’s how I came here.

At Schindler Parent, I worked mostly on the strategic part of client projects. So, I have done a lot of research, looking for insights, preparing brand workshops and developing brand strategies and as well communication recommendations.

"There is a trend to work more on value based communication for brands but also on the brand experience."

What's happening on the German market? Do you see any particular communication trends right now?

–There is a trend to work more on value based communication for brands but also on the brand experience and the way brands can match the requirements of people as well as businesses. The way we look at communication, society and doing business has changed a lot over the last 5 years and will continue to do. On the other hand the work with brands is becoming much more complex and delicate, because you have to keep in mind that what you do for the German market has become more strongly related to international living conditions and business environments.

How does the work at Cordovan differ from how you work at Schindler Parent?

– In most parts, the work is not so different. The focus lies in both cases on B2B. Therefore, you have to handle really complex goods and services. You have to think about which ways to communicate these offers, so that it purpose, benefits, and usefulness become clear. And in general, what do you need to do to build brand experience and foster a brand image that fulfills the needs of people and creates a higher value. What I find really unique at Cordovan is the work on a strong strategy foundation, that is based on a deeper understanding on how good communication could work – to transform this understanding into something that addresses a higher purpose and creates value and economic success.

"Good communication for me is driven by value-oriented habits, that give people benefits, orientation and advice that help them make better choices."

What is good communication for you?

– Well, good communication for me is the kind of communication that is driven by value-oriented habits, that give people benefits, orientation and advice that help them make better choices. Furthermore, good communication is clear about what message to convey, what its meaning and purpose are, what added value it can offer – and beyond that, how it contributes to making wiser decisions.

What are your goals for the future? Where do you want to work?

–I am looking at the possibility of working in strategic planning, with the possibility to do this in an interdisciplinary context, combining knowledge from different areas to work on brands that create greater value for the society, the people and as well for the economy.

What do you think of Gothenburg and Sweden?

– During my stay in Sweden, and particularly in Gothenburg, I really appreciate the city and the landscape. In my opinion Gothenburg is a beautiful city and has such a vibrant cultural life but also a great off-space scene. So that you can explore a lot of things from art, to music, to pub scene and a lot of other things. At the same time, I also really like the beautiful landscape that surrounds the city. You have the possibility to discover the seaside but also have really fast access to the countryside.